Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UN Security Council briefing on Ukraine

Point of order

Dear Colleagues,

In view of the fact that by assuming the UNSC presidency the Russian Federation  took on the obligation, as always, to act in a transparent and impartial manner, I would like to openly explain the situation around Ukraine's participation in today's meeting.

Yesterday, the Secretariat received a letter from the Permanent Representative of that country requesting the right to speak at the briefing.

Unlike all other requests, including that of the EU and Poland, the way it is drafted violates greatly the established practice; it is not addressed to the President of the Security Council, nor does it contain even basic protocol language of diplomatic communication.

The only sentence the letter had was a request to allow Ukraine to participate in the meeting.

Here is the letter. It is not clear who it is addressed to. And these are the letters from Poland and the EU, they contain all the necessary elements of an address to the President of the Security Council, and drafted in accordance with the protocol.

We informed the Council about the request from Ukraine. I would like to stress that we see no problem in allowing Ukraine’s participation as it is a country whose interests are affected by an item on the agenda. This is in accordance with the rules of procedure. We immediately conveyed the message that as soon as the Presidency receives a letter in due form, Ukraine's participation in the meeting will be accepted when agreed by the SC members.

However, the Ukrainian delegation never sent any proper request. I believe that the point is that it is fundamentally important for them to show that they are above the rules established in the Security Council and to show that, unlike other delegations (including that of European countries), requesting participation in accordance with Rule 37, they have the right to set their own rules of the game.

We as the Presidency cannot accept this. The rules are the same for everyone; and this has ensured the functioning of the UN Security Council for almost 80 years.

The Ukrainian delegation's approach is nothing but an attempt to undermine the authority of the Council, because the Presidency is an institution rather than a country. I hope that all our colleagues on the Security Council realize that.

Nevertheless, we agree to let Ukraine participate in today's meeting (if there are no objections from other members of the Council), but only in view of the fact that this was requested by the member of the Security Council, namely by the United States. We intend to accede to the request of the US delegation, in accordance with the Council's rules of procedure. We regret that Ukraine is unable to act independently even in such a purely procedural matter as participation in a UN Security Council meeting, and even in that it needs guidance from its sponsors.

Video of the statement


Main statement

I would like to begin by thanking France and Ecuador for convening this meeting.

As is evident from the statements by our Western colleagues (very minimalist, by the way), the topic of the alleged Russian strike on the children's hospital, which we are discussing today, is hardly gratifying for them. They have probably seen numerous photos and videos of what happened, from which it clearly follows that it was a Ukrainian air defense missile that hit the hospital. Hence, the Western members of the Security Council are performing the magic of verbal gymnastics, trying by all means to vindicate the Kiev regime.

For us, however, this meeting is an excellent opportunity to tell the truth about what actually happened.

Nevertheless, the truth, as we all know, does not interest our Western colleagues, and in the best traditions of the Bucha provocation or the Mariupol hospital mentioned today, they tried to engage in wishful thinking by condemning the allegedly intentional strike by the Russian Armed Forces against the children's medical facility.

The dishonesty of such tactics can be seen with the naked eye, and the Ukrainians themselves immediately noticed it, as videos of the strike swiftly appeared on the Internet negating all the efforts by Kiev and Western propagandists. Here are the references to the most complete publications. Kindly use this QR code. And here is what was immediately published by Ukrainian telegram channels, which remain the only source of information for Ukrainians uncensored by the Ukrainian authorities, I quote: "The presidential office instructed everybody to only publish and disseminate the information realted to the children's clinic Okhmatdet in order to:

a) divert attention from other issues as there are very interesting objects in vicinity, and people could ask the government why military facilities are located so closely to residential areas and hospitals;

b) attempt to boost the morale of the army and the people by making them feel hatred towards the enemy. So they claim that the enemy intentionally targeted children, even though it’s fairly clear that the rocket was accidentally shut down.

c) distract the masses from the constant lawlessness of the authorities, corruption, rising tariffs, growing prices, increasing disillusionment, etc.;

d) divert attention from the constant retreat of the Ukrainian armed forces;

e) Give another reason for justifying the constant conscription in the name of Zelensky;

f) create a media hype in the western press just before the NATO summit”.

Or here's another testimony: "Everything is clear about the strike on the Okhmatdet hospital - it was a Ukrainian air defence NASAMS missile that went off course and hit the building near the children's hospital.

Western air defense systems also frequently miss their targets. Most likely, the missile lost the target in the air and captured the heat signal from the hospital, messing up the targets. This was also the case when Ukraine’s air defense hit a tractor in Poland killing Poles.

If it had been a X-101 missile, the damage inflicted would have been much worse.

We constantly write that Ukrainian air defense missiles frequently go off target. We have already witnessed many tragedies like that, and Zelensky’s office is constantly lying to people that it is the Russians who are intentionally hitting residential buildings. The presidential office has to constantly fuel hatred among Ukrainians and justifying the continuation of the war by such "artificial tragedies".

And the military themselves admitted that a large number of such tragedies occurred due to the improper operation of their air defense system."

These are quotes from Ukrainian sources, not my words.

Colleagues, I hope you now realize that no matter how much the Kiev regime and its Western sponsors try to portray the tragedy as if it were an intentional Russian strike, even in the eyes of ordinary Ukrainians this version does not hold water. In this context, we do regret that the Security Council has been drawn into the dirty propaganda campaign of Kiev and its abetters.

In this regard, we would like to ask Mr. Zhovner a question - how he -when he went outside - understood that the hospital had been hit by Russia? Who provided him with the information, which clearly contradicts the truth and common sense? Doesn’t he realize that if it had been a Russian missile, there would have been nothing left of the building, and the children and most of the adults would have been killed rather than injured? However, judging by the fact that the screen is dark, we are unlikely to hear an answer from Mr. Zhovner.

We have reiterated that Russia does not strike civilian targets in Ukraine. And speaking of the strikes by the Russian air force against Ukraine’s military industry facilities and air bases, we can clarify the following. One of the targets in Kiev was the Artyom plant, which is one of the largest plants of the Ukrainian defense industry. It is a major manufacturer of air-to-air guided missiles, weapons and ammunition, and this target was hit, which is confirmed by the data based on objective evaluation and the testimony of Kiev residents themselves. The plant is located about two kilometers from the Okhmatdet children's hospital; thus, there is every reason to believe that the hospital was hit by the Ukrainian air defense missile that was meant to intercept the Russian missile targeted to the plant. Such tragedies could have been prevented if the Kiev regime had not deployed air defense systems and heavy weapons in residential areas, which in fact violates international humanitarian law. However, its Western sponsors prefer to turn a blind eye to that important fact.

We also can’t fail to mention that Ukrainians themselves noted a very interesting trend on the social media: the tragedy with an air defense missile hitting a children's hospital occurred exactly on the eve of the NATO Summit. This is the third NATO summit since the beginning of the special military operation, and similar situations occurred before each of them. Such was the case on June 27, 2022, when Ukrainian media reported about an explosion in a shopping mall in Kremenchug, Poltava Oblast, at a time when there were allegedly "hundreds of people" inside. However, the mall was actually empty and it was not functioning, and the fire was caused by the detonation of ammunition provided by the USA and Europe, which was stored in a neighboring building. This was also the case on the night of July 6, 2023, when the Russian Air Force struck the temporary deployment stations of Ukrainian soldiers and foreign mercenaries in Lvov. It is noteworthy that Mayor Sadovyi acknowledged that it was the fragments of an air defense missile that damaged residential buildings.

And all these cases were heavily exploited by the head of the Kiev clique in order to cadge new weapons for Ukraine. The trend is really interesting, isn’t it? And it is quite telling that Ukrainian media resources have also noticed that.

By the way, it begs another question, which relates to the words of the Slovenian Permanent Representative regarding the allegedly confirmed evidence of a Russian missile strike on the Okhmatdet hospital. The videos posted by Ukrainian Internet users show five missiles of the Russian Air Force come out one after another and hit the Artyom plant, the missiles were not intercepted nor damaged. Similarly, we can see on the videos a lone Ukrainian air defense missile in the area where the children's hospital was located. And again, no interception or damage. It cannot be mistaken for anything else. We clearly recognize it by its distinguishable plumes and other characteristics. How is it possible that the Ukrainian air defense misses all five strikes on the plant, but hits the children's hospital? Can the representative of the Kiev regime answer this question?

We are also waiting for a reaction from the Norwegian authorities, who seem to have supplied Zelensky's clique with NASAMS. Did they authorize Kiev to use the system to hit a children's hospital and place it in residential areas in contravention of IHL norms?

In this context and in line with the propaganda playbook, Mr. Yermak, the head of Zelensky’s office, has already made a statement about the impossibility of negotiations with Russia. There is no doubt that the Ukrainian leadership will use today's situation as a pretext for ignoring further the long overdue demand in Ukrainian society (and in the entire world), for a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian crisis. This is understandable, because enacting such a solution would mean no need to extend martial law, and would require holding elections. This is what the Kiev clique, which has lost its legitimacy, fears most than anything else, realizing that the attitude of the population towards the regime is extremely negative. That is why the Ukrainian leadership prefers to sacrifice tens, if not hundreds of thousands of its fellow citizens sending them into a senseless meat grinder.

For our part, we have repeatedly spoke in favor of beginning negotiations and ending hostilities. However, this must be a genuine cessation rather than a suspension of hostilities aimed at providing Kiev with an opportunity to lick its wounds and rearm. In addition, the root causes of the Ukrainian crisis must be addressed. Without that, there will be no sustainable and lasting peace. Our conditions for ending the conflict were clearly stated by President Vladimir Putin on June 14 at a meeting with the leadership of the Foreign Ministry.

We also appreciate initiatives by all States that are aimed at establishing a genuine ceasefire and addressing our legitimate concerns, rather than promoting propaganda, which was clearly seen at the pseudo-peace conference in Switzerland, which proved meaningless. As long as Kiev and its sponsors remain deaf to the appeals to use diplomacy, we will have to use our military force to compel Ukraine to make peace and address the root causes of the current crisis.

Video of the statement