Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing regarding the attacks of Ukrainian armed forces on the Zaporozhye NPP
I thank Under-Secretary-General R.DiCarlo for her briefing. In the context of the briefing I would like to point out that we’ve heard her words that the electricity of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant belongs to Ukraine. I would like to draw attention to the fact that we have not heard such words from the representatives of the UN Secretariat regarding the frozen Russian financial assets or the Syrian oil, which were stolen by the US authorities, who illegally occupied part of the Syrian territory.
It’s been about two weeks since the last Council meeting on the Zaporozhye NPP. During this time, nuclear safety there has deteriorated even further. Ukrainian armed forces continue to shell the territory of the plant and the city of Energodar almost daily, creating a real risk of a radiation accident at the ZNPP with catastrophic consequences for the entire European continent.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defense and the military-civilian administration of the Zaporozhye region, on August 11, units of the 44th artillery brigade of Ukrainian armed forces shelled the station with 152-millimeter guns. As a result of the strikes, the equipment of the spray pools of nuclear reactor’s cooling system was damaged.
On August 14, the Ukrainian armed forces fired 10 shells at Zaporozhye NPP with 155-mm shells from American-made M-777 howitzer, and also launched two guided munitions. As a result of the shelling of the city of Energodar, one person died, another was wounded. On August 15, 30 shells were fired from 152-millimeter guns. August 17, 11 shells were launched as well as a Polish-made kamikaze unmanned aerial vehicle. Three strikes were made with loitering munition on Energodar.
On August 18, Energodar was shelled 7 times with heavy artillery. On August 20, strikes on the station were made from Ukrainian positions using heavy artillery and American-made 155-millimetre shells with American-made M-379 fuses. An artillery strike was carried out in the area of special buildings No. 1 and No. 2 and the laboratory and amenities building. As a result, the building of the laboratory and amenities building No. 2, the building of the hydraulic engineering unit and the station lighting were damaged. Immediately after the shelling of the station, fire was opened on the suburbs of Energodar.
On August 22, an unmanned aerial vehicle attacked the area of laboratory building No. 2. In addition, American long-range artillery was used to shell the thermal tower station in Energodar. According to reports, one civilian was killed and one injured.
I want to show the Council a photograph of the destruction of the territory of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant as a result of shelling by the Ukrainian armed forces. We have a whole collection of such photographic evidence, we distributed it this morning as official documents of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly.
The fact that the Kiev regime does not stop shelling the station is a direct consequence of the criminal acquiescence of its Western patrons. At the most recent meeting, not a single Western delegation had the courage to condemn the shelling of the station by the Ukrainian armed forces and call on the Kiev regime to stop it. There was no such courage in the European capitals. We’ve only heard absurd calls for Russia to stop some “recent actions around Zaporozhye nuclear power plant”. It seems that our colleagues exist in some kind of parallel reality, where the Russian military itself is shelling the plant it is protecting, and, moreover, uses US systems for such attacks. The pinnacle of this absurdity were the recent statements by British parliamentarian T. Ellwood and member of the US House of Representatives A. Kinsinger that the shelling of the Zaporozhye NPP could be a reason to invoke Article 5 of NATO.
At the same time, the Western media promotes the conclusions of the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency according to which the shelling of the plant and even a hypothetical accident aren’t dangerous for the population of Western Europe. They say that there will be no large-scale catastrophe, the plant is made to withstand a rocket strike, and if it doesn’t - the radioactive "tongue" would not reach Western Europe. Apparently, our Western colleagues are ready to traditionally consider as a "collateral damage” the fact that even under the least destructive scenario, at least the population of the Zaporozhye region will suffer. Apparently, this shows their concern for human rights and "human-centered" security, which the Western delegations discussed at such length at yesterday’s Council meeting.
Such a cynical attitude towards the population of Ukraine is another evidence that the Western curators of Kiev are not at all concerned about their fate and are ready to fight "to the last Ukrainian".
So far, we have been able to avoid catastrophes as a result of shelling of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant by the Ukrainian armed forces only thanks to the joint well-coordinated work of the plant personnel, firefighters, emergency crews and Russian military personnel, who are providing them with comprehensive emergency assistance. This confirms that there is healthy working atmosphere at the plant, and no one is harassing anyone.
Contrary to the false claims of the Kiev regime and its curators, Russia does not place heavy weapons on the territory of the plant and does not use it for military purposes. The Russian Ministry of Defense is ready to provide the IAEA with high-resolution images, which show that weapons, especially heavy ones, have not been placed there.
Recently, the UN Secretary General Guterres visited Ukraine. We pinned certain hopes on his visit. We expected that the UN would finally firmly demand that Kiev stop shelling the plant. But we have not heard any words of condemnation of what is happening from Mr. Guterres, other than appeals for "military actions to bypass the Zaporizhzhya NPP."
I would like to ask Ms. DiCarlo whether the Secretary-General managed to get a promise from Vladimir Zelensky to stop shelling the plant. What does the the UN Secretariat make of the fact that the shelling of the plant by Ukraine is continuing in the light of the grave concern expressed by the IAEA about the situation?
From day one, we have supported the efforts of the IAEA and its Director General Rafael Grossi to organize a mission to ZNPP. We did everything we could to ensure that the visit of the Agency's experts to the plant could take place as early as June, having agreed to this mission as early as June 3rd. Then the visit was canceled through no fault of ours. Today we hear absurd speculations in the foreign press that the Western countries almost forced Russia's consent to organize this mission.
We expect that the IAEA mission will nevertheless take place in the near future and the Agency's experts will be able to confirm the real situation at the plant. We are ready to provide the maximum possible assistance in resolving all organizational issues.
In conclusion, I would like to draw the attention of the Council members to the tragedy that took place on August 20 near Moscow. A car driven by Daria Dugina, a well-known independent journalist, war correspondent and political scientist, was blown up.
Our competent authorities are conducting an investigation. According to their preliminary conclusions, the Ukrainian special services are behind this heinous crime. They have established the identity of his direct perpetrator affiliated with the nationalist battalion "Azov". She managed to escape justice and flee to Estonia.
Daria Dugina was 29 years old. Her life was cut short in its prime. Due to her professional activities, the journalist has long been in the sights of Ukrainian nationalists. Here is a photo of her from the infamous Peacemaker website, which we have referenced so many times. They openly flaunt her murder - as you can see, Daria's photo is crossed out with the inscription "liquidated". We note that this crime was condemned by the official representative of the US State Department.
We call on the Council and leadership to strongly condemn this latest crime of the Kiev regime. Not only are they actively using nuclear blackmail, shelling the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and, in fact, holding the population of Europe hostage, but they also crossed all the lines by physically eliminating foreign civilians that they do not like. Moreover, their victim was an independent journalist, killed because of her professional activities.
Official representatives of the Kiev regime openly call for the killing of Russians. Pyotr Vrublevsky, Ukrainian Ambassador to Kazakhstan recently publicly stated that the goal of Ukraine is to kill as many Russians as possible: according to him, the more are killed now, the less Russians the next generations of Ukrainians will have to kill.
We are outraged that not only the Western countries do not condemn all this, but also help the Ukrainian special services to train subversive saboteurs to exterminate "undesirables". A vivid example is the situation with the Ukrainian citizen Yevgeniy Karpenko, who was recruited by the Ukrainian special services in the Czech Republic and underwent sabotage training to lay mines at a military base in the Czech city of Český Krumlov. He was taught to plant explosive devices in buildings and cars and then sent to the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic to carry out a terrorist attack in the administration building of the Volodarsky district. Fortunately, Karpenko turned himself in. But if he had done what he had planned, the scale of the casualties among the civilian population is even scary to imagine.
In this context, it is no longer surprising that the Czech authorities have crossed all the boundaries of moral standards, openly gloating about the murder of Daria Dugina. Jana Černochová, the Czech Minister of Defense, said that she did not feel sorry for either Daria or her father, and and that the night of 21 August will long be remembered in Russia. She subsequently confirmed that “she stands behind every word.” But even putting aside morality, which has long been eclipsed by Russophobia among our Western colleagues, the statements of Ms. Chernokhova essentially amounts to open support and propaganda for acts of terror against civilians. I would like to remind you that Czech citizen Chermak, who publicly supported the terrorist attack in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, was sentenced to 6 years in prison in the Czech Republic. We expect the competent Czech authorities to treat their Minister of Defense’s statements with equal seriousness and asses it appropriately.
Thank you for attention.
Right of reply:
We have all gathered today since the reasons for requesting this meeting have not disappeared. The shelling of Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and Energodar by the Ukrainian armed forces continues despite the fact that there are no Russian heavy weapons at the plant and no shelling comes from there. We have repeatedly stated this and it can be confirmed by objective monitoring data, including from the satellite. However, today once again we heard the old record that Russia is to blame for everything. The real background of the events around Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is shamelessly distorted, obvious facts are hushed up or denied. All this is being done with one single goal - to whitewash their Kiev wards whatever they do, giving them carte blanche for most reckless actions, in the expectation that they will be justified by their patrons in any case.
We are once again being urged to agree to a visit by the IAEA mission, to which we agreed back in June and confirmed it many times, including today. Some Western colleagues think that there is the only and easiest way out of this situation - to withdraw Russian troops and create a demilitarized zone around the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. These are irresponsible statements that do not take into account the need to maintain conditions for the safe operation of the plant. We once again urge you to stop covering for your Kiev wards and encourage them to stop reckless attacks on the plant, threatening a nuclear incident and radioactive contamination of European countries.