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 UNGA meeting on Ukraine


I think anyone who is capable of an independent, open-minded analysis can clearly see that topic discussed today at the United Nations General Assembly has nothing to do with reality and is politically motivated. The reality is that there are no temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. There are Russian regions: Crimea, whose tenth anniversary of reunification we will be celebrating in March, and the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics, who have joined as a result of the legitimate expression of the will of the people, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions.

Today we have heard and will continue to hear lies on this subject from representatives of Kiev and its Western sponsors. Behind this there is a desire to not just distort the facts but also to rewrite history in general. The fact is that truthful, undistorted version of history is extremely inconvenient for our Western colleagues. Because this true version of history calls on them to admit their responsibility for provoking and unleashing the Ukrainian crisis, for preparing Ukraine for a war with Russia "under the guise" of the Minsk Agreements, for nurturing the sprouts of nationalism and neo-Nazism in Ukraine, which have blossomed there in full bloom since 2013. Of course, our Western colleagues do not want to do any of this; they benefit from spreading a black-and-white "narrative" in which Russia is the aggressor and Ukraine is the innocent victim.

However, the collective West will still have to answer for what it has done to Ukraine. And for the selective blindness and deafness that it has displayed in recent years. How can countries that claim to be civilized and democratic dismiss Prime Minister Yatsenyuk's statements in 2015 that residents of Donbas were “subhumans”? Or the words of current President Zelensky, who called them "creatures" and "species" in 2021. Those who know the truth about the actions of the Kiev regime and do not try to substitute reality with propaganda have no questions why new regions made a decision to enter the Russian Federation. It was a natural consequence of the policy of extermination of population by the neo-Nazi regime that came to power in 2014 after a deadly coup d’état that had been organized, sponsored and openly supported by the West.

The people inhabiting southeastern Ukraine, who always felt historically and culturally connected to Russia, did not want to obey the new illegitimate authorities who demanded that they renounce their own cultural and historical identity and glorify Hitler's collaborators who had committed mass murder of Jews, Russians, Poles and Ukrainians during the Second World War. Then the post-Maidan radical nationalists took the path of ignoring the fundamental rights and freedoms of their compatriots through persecution of "undesirable" population on national, linguistic and religious grounds. They have imposed a financial and social blockade on the inhabitants of Donbas. They stopped paying social benefits and pensions and cut off health care services. Almost every year, laws were adopted which aggravated the situation of the population of Donbas.

For eight years, the post-Maidan authorities shot at, maimed and killed the people of Donbas systematically and with impunity. It will take as way too much time to list all the brutal crimes committed by Ukrainian punitive battalions against innocent people. I will only remind you of the tragedy in the Odessa House of Trade Unions, when 48 people were killed - 42 were burned alive, and those who managed to jump out of the windows of the burning building were killed and shot when down on the ground. Or about the “Madonna of Gorlovka” – a young woman holding a 10-month-old baby who died in a shelling in 2014. Pictures of her mutilated dead body went viral and became a symbol of the inhuman policy of the new authorities in Kiev. However this passed unnoticed by the Western patrons of the Bandera neo-Nazis. There were hundreds of such cases.

Crimea was more fortunate. Almost immediately after the coup d'état, having correctly assessed the true face of the new authorities, the Crimeans made a choice in favor of returning to their historical homeland and in accordance with the right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Charter. Further events confirmed the that this was the right thing to do. Once the special military operation started, which was designed to stop the eight-year war of the Kiev regime against the peaceful population of Donbas, four other former Ukrainian regions stepped on Crimea’s path.

This turn of events was extremely inconvenient for Ukraine. After all, the stories that the inhabitants of Ukraine allegedly fear Russian armed forces and are afraid of a real guerrilla war are shattered by irrefutable facts testifying to the contrary. The people of the liberated towns greet Russian troops as liberators, thankful that Russia has not abandoned them. We have just seen civilians rejoicing at our soldiers in liberated Avdeevka, where the Ukrainian Nazis have maintained a fortified outpost for nine years, which they have been methodically using to bombard Donetsk situated at a few kilometers’ distance.

A few years back, before the special military operation began, the real eyesore for the Kiev regime was the huge tourist traffic (million people a year) from Ukraine to the Russian Crimea, who posted enthusiastic feedback in social media upon their return.

Of course, the representative of Kiev forgot to mention in his speech that when part of Ukraine, the Crimean Peninsula had been a completely abandoned region. Its infrastructure fell short on maintenance; its socio-economic problems were resolved on a piecemeal basis and were not addressed systemically.

Over the past ten years, however, Crimea has received a new look. Social and economic projects in health care, culture and education are underway. Real salaries in the public sector, as well as pensions and social benefits are on the rise. Thermal power plants have been put into operation, the construction of gas pipelines and transportation infrastructure is progressing. The acute issue of security of water supply due to the water blockade of Crimea on the part of Ukraine has also been resolved. Two years ago, the dam was finally taken down that Ukraine had built to block the water flow. A huge amount of work has been completed to increase the investment and tourist attractiveness of the region.

On a separate note, I want to dwell on the observance of the rights and freedoms of national minorities in Crimea. Over the past few years, Kiev has been scaring everyone with Russia's alleged infringement of the rights of the Crimean Tatars and the "erasure of their identity". However, the recent decision of the International Court of Justice on Ukraine's claim under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination has fully demonstrated the invalidity of these claims. Moreover, the ICJ had found no signs of racial discrimination in Russian legislation and its executive application. It also rejected the false accusations of discrimination against Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians with regard to their access to the media, education and opportunities to realize their cultural needs in the Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian languages.

Let me draw your attention to a very telling fact that came to light during the ICJ proceedings. Kiev tried to accuse Russia of destroying the cultural heritage of Crimea. In fact, the ICJ stated that my country was engaged in a large-scale and expensive restoration of historical monuments that had fallen into disrepair and started to deteriorate while Crimea had been with Ukraine.

In Novorossiya and Donbas, projects are taking place to revitalize these regions and promote their integration into the country's unified legal and socio-economic field. Industry, agriculture and infrastructure are being restored. There is a goal to bring the regions to the all-Russian level by 2030 in key areas that determine the quality of human life. Most importantly, our new citizens are enthusiastically participating in all these processes and associate their future with Russia.


If we look back at everything that has happened over the past ten years, the question arises: could it have all been avoided? Russia did not start a war; Russia came to put an end to it. All the Kiev authorities needed to do was to respect the rights of the people, let them live in peace on their land, be educated in their own language, have a freedom of religion and be able to have views different from the imposed mainstream. The new authorities needed to not shy away from direct dialogue with the dissidents, but to make the necessary efforts to ensure a decent future for them within Ukraine. By the way, this is exactly what candidate Zelensky pledged during his 2019 presidential campaign and what brought him support of 2/3 of the voters at the elections. However, once in power, he forgot all his promises and got involved in the Western geopolitical game against Russia. And the chance for peace was gone.

Many ask what should be done now. What can bring peace back to Ukraine? We have already said many times that for this to happen, the goals of our special military operation (formulated upon observing 8 years of post-Maidan development of Ukraine), must be fulfilled. We are ready to do this through negotiations. And we have never turned down this option, unlike the Kiev regime, which (at the instigation of Western puppeteers led by Boris Johnson) refused to talk to us and to sign the agreement after it had been initialed in Istanbul in April 2022. What’s more, Kiev even passed a law prohibiting any negotiations with Russia thus dooming tens of thousands of unfortunate young (and not so young) Ukrainians, throwing them into the furnace and offering a bloody sacrifice to the "deity of war". There is no point wasting time on the Kiev regime's empty plans to negotiate on the basis of Zelensky's so-called "peace formula", which is nothing but an ultimatum to Russia and an attempt to "lure" as many countries as possible into infinite meetings regarding this impossible project. This formula is a fake, which is already clear to many of those whom Kiev managed to draw into this deceitful scheme. But even in the absence of real negotiations based on a real assessment of the situation on the ground, the goals of the special military operation will still be achieved.


80 years ago, on February 22, 1944, an order was issued to award mortar platoon commander, Junior Lieutenant Semyon Ivanovich Zelensky with the Order of the Red Star for valor and courage shown during the liberation of Ukraine from the German Nazis. He was not yet twenty years old. If he were alive today and wanted to honor the memory of his fellow soldiers, he would have been arrested, possibly beaten and thrown into the SBU cells, where he would have been tortured to death, as was done to the American journalist Gonzalo Lira. Such a regime in Ukraine was established by his grandson Volodymir, who today honors as heroes the Nazi criminals and collaborators who killed hundreds of thousands of Jews, Poles, Russians and Ukrainians during WW2. Those who fought Nazism together with us 80 years ago try to save this Nazi regime today. It is no coincidence that not only Germany, Italy and Japan, which lost in the Second World War, but also the entire Western camp today oppose the condemnation of Nazism in the General Assembly. And those who fought in the ranks of the SS are being honored in the Parliament of Canada.

Today is a holiday in Russia - Defender of the Fatherland Day. On this day, we pay tribute to all veterans, our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers who gave their lives defending their homeland. Thanks to their military merits and bravery our nation crushed Nazism 80 years ago and is crushing it today. Happy holiday, dear defenders! Ours is the right cause and we will win!

Thank you.

Video of the statement