Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on Ukraine
The reason that the Council members at one point decided to avoid connecting foreign leaders via video link is also the desire to avoid the technical glitches that we just saw during the speech of Mr. Vladimir Zelensky. At times it was very difficult to understand him. We hope that our position in favor of the need for participating in meetings of such guests in person -- if only out of respect for them -- has become clearer to those following today's meeting.
We gathered here yesterday in connection with a specific threat to international peace and security - Kiev's ongoing shelling of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which is bringing Europe to the brink of a nuclear catastrophe. We took note of the Secretary General's explanation as for why he did not participate in the yesterday's meeting. However, today's meeting has no formal connection whatsoever to the developments on the ground and it is intended to demonstrate the unwavering support of Western delegations for any actions of the Kiev regime. As it was to be expected, we have heard enough mantras about the Russian aggression. As we have already said, over the past 200 years the West has not been able to come up with any other explanation for the challenges to the European security, except for references to Russia's actions.
Today we have heard a lot of allegations about the catastrophic consequences of the six months of hostilities for the civilian population of Ukraine. Nobody argues that Ukrainians are having a hard time today. However, the responsibility for this lies with the Kiev regime which came to power in 2014 as a result of an anti-constitutional coup carried out with the help of a number of Western States. From the very beginning, the new Maidan authorities have consistently led the country to disaster, encouraging Russophobia and the glorification of Nazi criminals. Thus, according to the most conservative estimates, more than 60 percent of the population of Ukraine was deprived of the opportunity to demonstrate their Russian-speaking identity, contrary to all relevant international conventions and obligations of Ukraine. Western curators, blinded by the geopolitical task of weakening Russia, initially made it clear that they would cover up any crimes of the Kiev authorities and turn a blind eye to all the things they would never allow in their own countries.
The Kiev regime fully demonstrated its criminal nature when it burnt those who disagreed with it alive in the House of Trade Unions in Odessa and dropped bombs and shelled the civilian population of Donbas. In this senseless “crusade” against itself, Ukraine lost Crimea and provoked an armed resistance from the Donetsk and Lugansk residents, who took up arms in the name of freedom and the future of their children.
This war, which claimed the lives of civilians for eight years, could have ended if Kiev had implemented the Minsk agreements. However, neither the Ukrainian authorities nor their foreign patrons needed this. They spoke openly about it once again at the beginning of this year, threatening to abandon their nuclear-free status. Against this background, in order to establish peace in the Donbas, as well as to prevent the obvious threats emanating from Ukraine to Russia, we had no choice but to launch a special operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine, and we’ve been successfully reaching the goals of this operation on a consistent basis. I repeat once again: if the Minsk agreements had been implemented, no special operation there be necessary. But the Kiev regime decided otherwise.
Criminal shelling of the republics of Donbas does not stop. According to available assessments, since the beginning of the escalation in the Donetsk People's Republic in February more than 840 people have died along the line of contact, about 2,800 were injured. In the Luhansk People's Republic, 80 people were killed and more than 250 were injured. About a hundred civilians have been killed in just four weeks since the previous meeting on July 29.
The Ukrainian armed forces purposefully destroy civilian infrastructure, including kindergartens, schools and medical facilities, power lines and gas pipelines. They do not spare even those cities of Donbas that until recently were under their control, such as Lisichansk. And instead of condemning their Ukrainian wards our former Western partners are supplying them with more and more new types of weapons, reaching where Kiev could not reach before. Thus, they become accomplices in crimes against the civilian population, and given that the use of some artillery systems, as the Ukrainians themselves admit, is impossible without coordinating targets with suppliers, they also become co-perpetrators. This primarily concerns the American MLRS "HIMARS", that was used, in particular, to strike the correctional colony in Yelenovka on July 29, costing the lives of more than 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war. We know that the President of Ukraine is well aware that the Ukrainian armed forces are behind this crime, although today he fed us a false version of Russia's involvement in this.
From the very beginning, we warned that the Ukrainian armed groups were actively using civilian objects for military purposes. At the same time, local residents are prohibited from leaving their homes, and all their attempts to independently evacuate to safe areas are severely suppressed. Over the past six months there were so many instances of Ukrainians placing their artillery and ammunition on the territory of educational and medical institutions that even pro-Western human rights organizations, in particular Amnesty International, can no longer ignore them. However, instead of forcing Kiev to comply with international humanitarian law, our Western colleagues, after the hysteriсal outburst of the Ukrainian authorities, who are accustomed to getting away with everything, preferred to arrange a public flogging of Amnesty International. Today, too, Ms. DiCarlo found the time to express concern about the upcoming trial of the Nazis and sadists from Azov but did not say a word about their horrific crimes and violations of international humanitarian law, including brutal torture, while international officials, including the United Nations, whom Ms. R. DiCarlo now represents, have abundant information about such cases. Frankly, all this looks extremely cynical and unscrupulous and undermines the values of freedom of speech and the protection of human rights promoted by the West. It's a pity you don't understand this. But ordinary Ukrainians, who are faced with the atrocities of the Ukrainian armed and the national battalions and their inhumane methods, understand this very well. I will give just one example here.
At the meeting in July, we already showed you a photo of the “Lepestok” anti-personnel mine. Today, for greater clarity, I will show you a training model of these mines, which Ukrainian troops scatter in the Donbas in hundreds, in territories liberated by the Russian army, and even go as far as throw then on Russian territory.
Imagine such an inconspicuous “Lepestok” lying on the ground, in the grass. It can also be camouflaged, which makes it virtually invisible on the ground. Considering that the Ukrainian armed scatter these mines in towns and villages far in the rear, it’s not the soldiers that they threaten. No, they are specially designed for civilians, especially children who are at risk of stepping on or picking up such a “toy” out of curiosity. In total, 47 cases of explosions on such mines have already been recorded in the DPR. “Lepestok” is a living evidence of the sadistic, savage nature of the Kiev regime, a symbol of its real attitude towards the people of the East and South-East of the country.
Of course, people see and understand this. Hence the attitude towards Russian soldiers as liberators, widespread in the liberated territories. This does not fit in with the narrative promoted by Kiev and its Western sponsors. Therefore, Ukraine resorts to terror and intimidation tactics in the Kherson, Zaporozhye and Kharkov regions. But this cannot change the attitude of people who have seen the real face of the Kiev authorities. Kiev is losing the battle for the minds, and its Western sponsors, who are waging a “proxy war” against Russia “to the last Ukrainian” in Ukraine, continue to build up their support for the anti-people, anti-human regime, turning a blind eye to manifestations of neo-Nazism, extreme nationalism and Russophobia. At the same time, they are also “shooting themselves in the foot” with futile attempts to isolate Russia politically and economically. However, you will have to answer for this to your voters and taxpayers. As well as answer to the international community for the unprecedented and deceitful campaign to discredit Russia that you unleashed. Never since Goebbels Nazi propaganda has anyone come across falsification and manipulation at such a level, facilitated by Western and Ukrainian specialists in psychological operations. We have no doubt that history will reveal the truth about them. Our Albanian colleague told us today about Russian prisoners who are allegedly recruited by the Russian authorities. But he forgot to mention the Ukrainian prisoners released from the Ukrainian prisons, who were given weapons in the very first days of the special military operations. Who became famous for looting and murders and continue to terrorize Ukrainian cities to this day. We will elaborate on this point at one of the upcoming meetings.
The so-called "Black Sea initiative" of the UN Secretary General is considered to be a sort of success story, especially in terms of the unhindered export of food from Ukraine. However, there are alarming trends here as well - in four weeks of export operations, only one of 34 dry cargo ships went to Africa. This is completely inconsistent with the originally declared goals of combating hunger in countries in dire need of cereals. Here, of course, it is worth mentioning the image failure when sending the pioneer ship Razoni, which in fact brought to Lebanon not wheat, which was so awaited there, but corn, and fodder corn at that.
Against this backdrop, we are carefully considering the Secretary General's comment at the port of Odessa on August 19 that "the export of grain and lower prices on global food markets will not bring relief to the countries in need that cannot afford to buy it anyway."
This situation clearly reveals the true causes of global food insecurity. The point here is absolutely not in the Ukrainian grain. The main reason is the Western countries' own economic miscalculations and the consequences of anti-Russian sanctions, which we have repeatedly spoken about in this Chamber. The sharp decline in supply on the markets was due to the sanctions that disrupted logistics and financial chains. You can't feed people with excuses about the supposedly targeted nature of unilateral measures.
We call on all those involved to seriously consider the "package" nature of the "Black Sea Initiative" and not to postpone the solution of financial and logistical problems that impede the export of Russian food and fertilizers to the world market. We emphasize that tangible results for the Russian foreign economic operators, equivalent to what we see for Ukrainian exports will facilitate the extension of the grain deal, which expires in 120 days from the date of signing. So far, there are significant reserves in this part of the “grain deal”.
It is no secret that the Western colleagues who requested the meeting insisted for it to coincide with the Independence Day of Ukraine. Much has been said about this today. A number of our colleagues directly point to Russia as a threat to Ukrainian independence. I do not agree with this. Eight years after the launch of the “Maidan project”, it became clear that the main, and in fact the only threat to the independence of Ukraine is the current Kiev government. Over the years, solid mechanisms of Ukraine's external governance, visible to the naked eye, have been formed. We know that Western advisers are present at all levels of the government, in all key departments of this country and no serious decision is made without their consent. Suffice it to recall how in 2014 the notorious Victoria Nuland discussed the issue of establishing the Ukrainian government with the American ambassador in Kiev over the phone. Or take the current President of the United States, Joe Biden, who praised himself for removal of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine through outright blackmail. If this is "independence", then what is "dependence"? And is there anything for Ukrainians to celebrate on this day?
During the term of Zelensky, and especially since February 24, the opposition was completely purged in the country, dissent was suppressed, opposition media were closed. People are arrested and put in prison simply for reading news in Russian and watching Russian TV channels. And now, in accordance with the new law on collaborationism, also for the fact that they accept humanitarian aid from Russia. Ukraine has irreversibly took a blind, ruthless "anti-Russia" course and is confidently moving towards its complete ideological and political bankruptcy.
In order to assess the degree of that deepest Russophobic decline I would like to once again quote the words said the other day by Ukraine’s Ambassador to Kazakhstan Pavel Vrublevsky. After the murder of Daria Dugina he openly declared: “We are trying to kill as many of them as possible. The more Russians we kill now, the less our children will have to kill. That's all". And these are the words of the ambassador of the country where these very “Russians” not only live, but also make up a very significant part of the population. Does such a country, such an inhumane regime have a future? Our Western colleagues can prolong its agony but can not prevent its demise.
Therefore, in conclusion, I would like to wish the brotherly people of Ukraine to finally gain freedom and have the opportunity to build a society that respects basic human rights and national identity and lives in peace with its neighbors. This hour is already close, no matter how hard the Kiev regime and its Western patrons try.
Thank you for attention.