Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on Ukraine
At the outset, let us repeat our position regarding the participation of the president of Ukraine in the meeting via VTC, which happens not for the first time. As we repeatedly stated, we have nothing against his participation, but he needs to be present here in person. This is prescribed by the rules that have been regulating the work of the Security Council for the past 75 years. Besides, Mr.Zelensky seems to be not taking part in this meeting at all. Apparently, we have just listened to his pre-recorded statement. Whichever UNSC meeting Zelensky addressed, he never stayed until the end, and most likely, he never stayed even a second.
I now turn to the esteemed representative of Norway. You said that you heard Zelensky “loud and clear”. I am sorry to disappoint, but he did not hear you at all. He is not interested in opinions of UNSC members. To him, this Council is only a podium.
In the course of our special military operation, we have to oppose not only the formations of the Kiev regime, but also countries of the North Atlantic Alliance that provide all sorts of military support to Kiev and thus wage a proxy war on Russia. In order to weaken and destroy the military potential of our opponents, we launch high-precision strikes against energy and other infrastructure that is used to supply Ukrainian armed formations with weapons, first of all Western, facilitate their logistics and liaison.
Today many grieved that the people of Ukraine risk being left without energy or water. But we cannot remember anyone in the West express any concern back in 2015, when through the fault of Ukraine the people of Crimea were left without water and electricity. To say nothing of the people of Donbas, who suffered from economic suffocation for eight years on end. We will not take over the sly logic of the representatives of Zelensky’s regime who are cowardly bombarding the Zaporozhye NPP and blaming it on Russia (given total connivance of their Western sponsors) and will not say that Ukraine itself is hitting its infrastructure. Especially if we recall that, as Ukrainian and Western media would put it, we ran out of missiles back in March, then in July, then in September. However, the residential buildings become damaged and civilians get killed on account of Ukrainian air defense systems that are deployed in centers of Ukrainian cities rather than on the outskirts. As a result, wreckage of the missiles or stray Ukrainian missiles hit the facilities that we never targeted. For example, today, Ukrainian web users posted photos of missiles that had hit residential buildings in Kiev and Vyshgorod (the Kiev Region). Those turned out to be American air defense missiles that Kiev had been supplied with. Let me draw the attention of my US colleague to this. Your thoughtless provision of weapons to Ukraine is already killing civilians not only in Donbas, but in Ukrainian cities and towns.
Quite understandably, Ukrainian propaganda makers do their best to conceal such incidents carefully and try to narrow it all down to the mantra about Russia being guilty of everything.
Reaction of Ukrainian leadership to the incident in which Ukrainian air defense missiles had hit the Polish town of Przewodow, made it clear to what extent one may trust the stories and evidence shared by the Kiev regime. After the incident, Kiev made hysterical and absolutely untruthful claims that were meant to provoke a large-scale war in Europe. But the Western partners, though blushing and stuttering, still try to blame it on us. We wonder what the results of the “transparent and objective” investigation of this episode are going to be. We very much want to believe that our Western colleagues will not fear to call things by their real names and will not lie to their people the way Zelensky’s regime does.
Unfortunately, many national and even international officials eagerly take up those fake stories while not thinking of verifying the facts and sources.
Absurd allegations by Special Representative of the Secretary-General Pramila Patten are a telling example of this. In October this year she claimed that Russian soldiers were allegedly supplied with “Viagra” in order to rape Ukrainian women. But recently a recording of her conversation with whom she thought to be the representatives of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine was leaked to the web. In this talk, she admitted to not having any credible data on this. What’s more, she said, “It’s not my role to go and investigate. I have no such authority”. So the highest officials of the UN Secretariat may hide behind the limits of their mandates or easily overstep those – depending on what they need. Convenient, isn’t it? We pinpoint all such cases and we call on UN officials to be guided strictly by the UN Charter and the rules of conduct of international officials.
We also keep record of all real evidence of the crimes committed by Ukrainian armed formations, i.a. in the territories of the new Russian regions that are temporarily under Ukrainian control. Having landed in the Dnieper's right bank, Ukrainian nationalists began mass “cleansings” and repressions against the local population. Ms.G.Lugovaya, a representative of Ukrainian authorities, warned in advance that the UAF would “shoot the traitors like dogs”. To cover up for this, a curfew was introduced. Though the Kiev authorities try hard to maintain the information blockade of the Kherson Region, bone-chilling photo evidence still reaches us. It shows Ukrainian militants tying up to lampposts those locals who cooperated with Russian forces. Back in the times of the Great Patriotic War, Nazis tortured the Soviet people in the exact same way.
Now they torture even those whom they discover to be in possession of a Soviet-issued military identity card. The goal is clear – intimidate the opponents of the Kiev regime. Fearing reprisals, citizens are forced to shout Nazi slogans and throw up their hands in a Nazi salute, as is customary among Ukrainian militants. This footage was aired by CNN, after which Kiev revoked licenses of the journalists of this channel. Same happened to Sky News. So what is it that official Kiev takes pains to hide? Why don’t Western delegations condemn these infringements on the freedom of media and access to information?
Thereby the European Union that champions these goals, flung aside its former peaceful ideals and openly embarked on the path of an aggressive military alliance, which brings it close as never before to being directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine. On 14 November, Brussels announced the launch of an “EU mission to train Ukrainian military”. The training will take place at the sites of EU members, Germany and Poland, and will provide exercise for at least 15,000 military personnel.
Last weekend, the shocking footage of Ukrainian military shooting unarmed Russian POWs went viral on the Internet. In an open letter, we called on the Secretary-General and UNSC member states to demand Kiev to put an end to its gross violations of international humanitarian law.
The amount of evidence of the use of torture by the Ukrainian side in violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 is growing. The DPR fighters released from captivity confirm that militants of the ultra-nationalist armed group “Right Sector” execute prisoners by hanging. In the LPR, forensic experts arrived at a conclusion that the POWs had had upper sections of their ears cut off and legs shot through before they were killed. Some Russian POWs were left lying in excavated graves under a layer of earth for as long as 5 hours.
The Investigative Committee of Russia holds inquiries into all these cases. But we also expect the international community and international rights advocates to give their principles assessments to Kiev’s non-compliance with its obligations under the IHL.
In parallel to this, the Kiev regime is carrying out provocations in order to pose a threat of an industrial disaster at the Zaporozhye NPP. On 19 November, UAF launched 12 large-caliber projectiles against the ZNPP industrial area, and then 8 more on 21 November. According to IAEA Director-General R.Grossi, these bombardments turned out to be the most serious incidents in the recent months. IAEA experts who were present at the ZNPP saw with their own eyes the explosions where the projectiles fell. They noted extensive destruction that occurred in the area of the NPP. In particular, condensate storage tanks were damaged, which resulted in a leakage of a non-radioactive material.
So far, the radiation background at the ZNPP remains normal. But taking into account the irresponsible attempts of Kiev to infringe on the integrity ZNPP’s critical infrastructure, this may change and the only question is when.
Now back to the issue on which account this meeting was called. We underscore again that we launch strikes against the Ukrainian infrastructure in retaliation for the pumping-up of Ukraine with Western weapons and the reckless calls to Kiev to win a military victory over Russia. Undermining the combat capability of the Ukrainian army, which threatens the security and territorial integrity of Russia, is one of the goals of our special military operation. This task will be carried out by military means until the Kiev regime adopts a realistic position that would allow to negotiate and try to resolve the issues that forced us to start the SMO. So far, what we have heard from Mr.Zelensky and his adepts can in no way be described as "readiness for peace”, but rather as the language of reckless threats and ultimatums. Kiev’s Western sponsors further encourage this irresponsible stance, because the war “until the last Ukrainian” to be fought on the Ukrainian territory is something they benefit from. This is how their weapons industries can receive colossal profits, and also how NATO can test its armaments. In doing so, Western states seek to establish their geopolitical hegemony by proxy at the expense of Ukrainian lives.