Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Remarks to the press by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia following UNSC meeting on Ukraine

Vassily Nebenzia: People [the Ukrainians] wrote in social media what they saw, claiming that it was a Ukrainian stray anti-aircraft missile. One can see it very distinctly in the videos that were shot. I have a QR-code (demonstrated to the UNSC Members) with the clearest footages of what the Ukrainian witnesses evidenced. I invite you to take a photo of it and see it for yourselves.

They [the West and Ukraine] again tried to attribute the fault to Russia, but, as usually, in vain. We said it many times and we continue to say that we are not targeting civilian objects, let alone the children’s hospital. They were trying to pull the same thing with the Mariupol hospital, which was mentioned today. Time has passed and everybody forgot that we replied to it by rejecting the accusations, saying it happened exactly the other way than they claimed.

Q: The Ukrainian Ambassador just showed us multiple photos…

A: What would you expect from the Ukrainian Ambassador to demonstrate? A stray Ukrainian aircraft missile? Of course, they hurriedly made their version of events and demonstrated the debris of a Russian rocket. What else can they say? Will they be willing to recognize it was their missile that hit the hospital? When he accused me of being immoral after I said that the Russian missile would have destroyed the hospital completely, I don’t see what immorality he is referring to. As, indeed, if the Russian missile that was targeted to the military object had hit the hospital, it would have been completely destroyed. I mean, I’m not rejoicing at whatever victims or the wounded were inside the hospital at the time of the strike. What’s more, it was Ukrainians themselves who did it. But, you saw, despite the evidence provided to us, 300 people were injured, including 8 children, 2 grown-ups were killed. Every death is a tragedy. But, the scale of destruction is not the one that they were trying to present. And you can see that the footages and photos from the QR-code I gave you. They demonstrate how people are gathering around the rubble, strangely passing water through the line, passing the bricks. It looks very ingenious. It looks suspicious.

Q: What do you think of the fact that the UN Secretary-General abruptly accused Russia of hitting the hospital? 

A: You remember that I came for a stakeout to discuss the way the UN has been commenting on the Russian and the Ukrainian strikes, to compare the reaction. And I visited UNSG after that stakeout and gave him the same quotes that I was reading out to you, telling him that these are clearly double standards – when the Russian territory is hit, and civilian objects are hit, the reaction is very flaccid. But, when something happens in Ukraine, UNSG and his spokesman are rushing to condemn Russia right away.

Q: Was Russia firing in the area?

A: Yes, indeed, Russia was hitting one of the largest factories in Ukraine, which produces armaments – the Artyom plant, a very old enterprise, which is 2 km away from this Ohmatdet hospital. In the vicinity, and Ukraine’s air defense was in the area. It testifies again that they are using (against international humanitarian law) civilian quarters, deploying anti-aircraft systems there.

Q: European countries, including the Irish government have called Russia’s bombing of the hospital a war crime. What is your response to that?

A: My response to that I gave many times, including at this very stakeout. We have not bombed the children’s hospital.

Q: Did the Ukrainian Ambassador challenge the legitimacy of Russia’s Presidency?

A: It’s perennial. Referring to it, I just ignore his statements. You know that.

Thank you very much.

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