Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on Ukraine
At the outset, let me thank Mr.Ebo and Mr.Nixon for their meaningful briefings.
With persistence worth of a better cause, our Western colleagues have been convening meetings on humanitarian situation in Ukraine from month to month. They have been hypocritically calling for hostilities in Ukraine to stop immediately, which they believe is possible only after a de facto defeat of Russia. Meanwhile, they continue to do the exact opposite – they are pumping Ukraine full of weapons and talking the Kiev regime out of adopting realistic scenarios of resolving this crisis.
The scale of Western aid for Ukraine keeps setting records. If we get down to this seriously, we can convene all but daily and every time there will be something new popping up. However, we have not heard any substantive proposals from our former Western partners at any of the past meetings that would help to find a peaceful solution to the situation in Ukraine. Instead, there is plenty of accusatory rhetoric against our country that is not backed by facts. At the same time, whatever inconvenient aspect they become exposed to, they carefully rub those out or sweep under the carpet. That is why in our statement we should like to draw attention to a number of issues that are unflattering to our Western colleagues.
The cynicism of our former Western partners is truly striking. Today, Mr.Nixon already cited L.Graham. I will cite Minister of Defense of the Netherlands K.Ollongren. On 4th October, she called Ukraine “a very cheap way to counter Russia”. According to Spiegel, Kiev has become the largest importer of weapons and equipment from Germany. In the first 10 months of this year, more than one third of overall German military exports has gone to Ukraine. This equals $3.3 billion. Besides, at least 13 foreign private military companies and 9 proxy paramilitary formations engage on the side of the Kiev regime. This makes almost 1,000 well-trained and well-armed personnel from 35 states. I stress that Russia is not confronted by the armed forces of Ukraine that have almost depleted their capacity, but by the collective military machinery of NATO states and their joint weapons industry.
It has come to the point where, because of the endless lenience towards Kiev's ambitions, many countries in Western Europe have almost emptied their small arms and ammo depots. But the sponsors of the Kiev regime take no respite. At the behest of the United States, they have tapped reserve stockpiles, pulling them from other parts of the world – Israel and South Korea. Nonetheless, the Kiev regime's military machine is crumbling before our eyes.
In parallel to this, V.Zelensky knocks on every door in the West to beg for more handouts. Washington goes for whatever tricks to deceive the public opinion in the United States and have the Congress endorse another money tranche for Ukraine.
Great Britain delivered MSI-DS Terrahawk Paladin systems as part of its £100 million package, of which £70 will go for air defense. Belgium also reports on its “achievements”, having made a “gift” to V.Zelensky when the latter visited Brussels – $1.7 billion to purchase more weapons. By the way, this money is tax deductions from the interest on Russian assets that have been frozen or rather stolen by the West.
Germany has announced a $1 billion aid package to Ukraine. Thus will include IRIS-T SLM larger range missile systems. Pentagon chief L.Austin said it was necessary to ensure a constant and uninterrupted flow of weapons to Ukraine and also announced the formation of a coalition of countries that would help Ukraine develop its own air force. He threatens to start deliveries of F-16 combat airplanes as early as spring 2024, as if this could change anything. Irresponsible statements about Ukraine's future in NATO continue unabated, although it is clear to everyone that such a scenario will only deepen the crisis of European security, of which combat action in Ukraine has been a direct consequence.
At the same time, Western sponsors of the Kiev regime are doing their best to hush up the increasingly loud questions that come from broader public in their countries. People wonder what Ukraine, mired in corruption, is doing with the huge amounts of weapons that have been transferred to it. Meanwhile, there is growing evidence that once those weapons fall in Kiev's hands, there is little to no control over them. The results that it leads to are deplorable. The scale of corruption generated by arms supplies to Ukraine is simply astounding. It is quite telling that the other day Israeli Prime Minister B.Netanyahu said that weapons transferred by the West to Ukraine had appeared near Israel's borders as early as the summer of 2023. The very fact that weapons from Ukraine got to the Middle East through well-known corruption schemes was essentially confirmed in this room on Monday by a representative of the Kiev regime, who tried rather clumsily to shift responsibility for this to Russia. A guilty mind is never at ease, as the saying has it. While formally denying the reports of the Israeli military who claim to have discovered ammunition marked as belonging to an UAF military unit stationed in the town of Mukachevo in the Transcarpathian region, the Security Service of Ukraine carried out searches and made a series of arrests in Mukachevo on the following day. Well, comments are superfluous. We are not going to be surprised if weapons from Ukraine surface in some other hot spots.
Against this background, Western arms manufacturers are gleefully rubbing their hands. Contracts and profits of large military enterprises from the United States and Great Britain grow by leaps and bounds. In addition, many Western countries cynically use the current situation to re-equip their own armed forces, dumpling all the ancient junk to the Ukrainians. Ukraine has firmly established itself as a testing ground for military equipment and technologies. According to the Asia Times, after watching Leopards burning in Ukraine, the United States decided to abandon the M1 Abrams tank in favor of lighter and more compact vehicles. Unlike Ukraine, its Western masters benefit from the conflict in a very concrete way. Only the Ukrainians, who have become pawns in someone else's geopolitical game, are losing out.
Against this background, the UAF is experiencing serious problems in replenishing its ranks. The conscription campaign is stalled. It is no coincidence that the Verkhovna Rada has begun discussing a bill to abolish age limits for older soldiers. That is, the Ukrainian "servants of the people", as they call themselves, want to remove the upper limit of conscription - serve until death. At the same time, demands to recruit more young men are becoming louder and louder in Kiev. In this meeting, someone has already mentioned the former "mouthpiece" of the Kiev regime, O.Arestovich. Today he is working on a new Ukrainian political project aimed at ensuring Zelensky's victory in the prospective elections, therefore he has the right to some controlled "free-thinking". He admitted that it is already hard to motivate 45-year-old Ukrainians, while 25-year-olds are still ready to fight to please their immature ego. But Kiev is running out of 25-year-olds, as well as 45-year-olds for that matter. So, apparently, it is the turn of retirees to become "cannon fodder". It is no coincidence that among those who surrender to Russian troops, we see more and more untrained "fighters" aged 60 to 70.
However, those who are busy turning our friendly Ukraine into an "anti-Russia" do not care about this at all. Our Western colleagues continue to spoon-feed Ukraine with weapons and money and demand that it win on the battlefield at any cost. But all this money could have been spent with much more benefit – at least on investing in Ukraine at the pre-war stage, on boosting its good neighborly relations (including with Russia) on the basis of steps and measures that are normal for any civilized state. In particular, that could have been protection of the rights of national minorities or, at the very least, implementation of the Minsk Agreements, which had been endorsed by the UN Security Council as the only plan for resolving the internal Ukrainian crisis; not to mention development projects in Ukraine and other countries in need. However, Western countries preferred to pump Ukraine full of weapons and ammunition, including cluster munitions and depleted uranium.
The amount of financial assistance provided by the United States and its allies to the countries of the Global South is nothing compared to what the West has allocated for weapons for the war with Russia in less than two years. Ukraine has received more than €80 billion for this purpose, while the total amount of funds allocated to it is €165 billion.
At the same time, OCHA estimates that 363 million people in the world are in dire need of some form of humanitarian assistance. To fulfill all country-specific humanitarian response plans this year, the UN needs $55.5 billion, of which only 32% have been donated as of the end of September.
Starting February 2022, the EU has allocated $70 billion to Kiev, including $37.8 billion in humanitarian and financial aid. Military supplies to Ukraine have cost the European Union $15 billion, and accommodation of Ukrainian refugees – $17 billion. In June 2023, Brussels announced another aid package for Ukraine for 2023-2027 worth €50 billion. This being said, EU’s expenditures on peace and security operations in Africa over the past 15 years have totaled €4 billion. Expenditures on ensuring food security in the region in 2023-2024 will amount to €4.5 billion, which is 11 times less than the amount promised to Kiev.
In West-oriented financial institutions, Ukraine also enjoys a more favorable credit support compared to Africa and other regions of the Global South. The average size of the IMF program for African countries was 237% of the quota in 2023. Meanwhile, Ukraine - under pressure from the IMF's Western shareholders – has already been financed at 677% of the quota. The $15.6 billion aid program for Kiev approved in January 2023 exceeds the IMF's six-month-worth of lending to all African countries.
The IMF and the World Bank have approved more than $43 billion in financing for the Kiev authorities. This is more than half of the Bretton Woods Institutions' cumulative support to the heavily indebted poor countries under the HIPC Initiative which has been in place since 1996 and provides debt relief mechanisms for low-income countries.
The selectivity of Western "humanism" has always been striking. Against the backdrop of the current challenges in the world, it shows at its finest. Of course, this imbalance does not go unnoticed. The other day Mexican President A.Obrador said that instead of sponsoring the conflict in Ukraine, the US should have paid more attention to poverty eradication in Latin America. It is good that some responsible representatives of the UN "humanitarian wing" have also begun to speak openly about this.
Ukraine is drowning in debt due to the efforts of its Western masters. Its foreign debt will exceed 88% this year, according to the latest IMF data. The economy, which has been put on a wartime footing, is not growing, and the standard of living in the country is declining. Zelensky's regime is trying to promote a narrative of exemplary success in the fight against corruption. And this is despite the fact that the "First Lady" of Ukraine, who visited New York in September, spent more than $1 million in one of the most expensive jewelry stores in the world in one night. This money must have come to Ukraine from the pockets of American and European taxpayers. Such examples of the Ukrainian elite flinging money abroad appear in the news on a regular basis.
Against the failure of the counter-offensive, the Kiev regime, with the passive or, occasionally, active support of its Western sponsors, resorts to openly terrorist methods, attempting to strike peaceful targets in Russia. At the same time, details of the involvement of Western intelligence agencies in a number of such crimes keep coming to light. It is no longer concealed that the British intelligence were behind the training of Ukrainian saboteurs to blow up the Crimean Bridge in October 2022. London equips the UAF with underwater drones, trains the saboteurs, and provides them with intelligence information, which makes Great Britain, along with the United States, a direct accomplice in the crimes of the Zelensky regime.
Such support and impunity makes the leaders of the Kiev junta more cynical and brazen. For example, the head of the Ukrainian military intelligence service, Kirill Budanov, recently revealed that his country's special units had tried to seize the Zaporozhye NPP three times. Even though Head of IAEA R. Grossi admitted that Zelensky had personally promised him not to touch the ZNPP.
I have provided these facts so you can better understand the real situation in and around Ukraine. For the sake of completeness, I can add that several days ago Russian troops engaged in active combat operations along nearly the entire front line. Thus, the so-called Ukrainian counter-offensive can be considered over. Its price, unfortunately, was tens of thousands of recruits mobilized by the Kiev regime, most of whom did not want to fight (those who found an opportunity to surrender and stayed alive were lucky), and hundreds of units of Western equipment that were destroyed. The Kiev regime has had nothing else to boast of during those four months. However, instead of putting an end to this massacre, our Western colleagues keep throwing weapons to the Kiev regime as drugs to an addict. This but prolongs its agony. Their task is to inflict as much damage as possible on Russia by the hands of Ukraine and to make the territory of Ukraine unlivable.
And this is despite the fact that Ukraine and Ukrainians were not and are not really threatened by anything. I mean the Ukraine that lives at peace with its neighbors and respects the rights of all its citizens without discriminating them. Such a Ukraine had and has a future. Whereas the criminal neo-Nazi regime of Zelensky does not have one. According to the same O.Arestovich, this regime has formed an internal tyranny. This is the tyranny of a man who came to power promising peace for Donbas and respect for the rights of Russian-speaking Ukrainians, but who behaved in the exact opposite way. The sooner the Western sponsors of the Kiev regime realize this and draw the necessary conclusions, the better it will be for the surviving Ukrainians. As, indeed, for the Western countries, which profane their fabled values day to day by blindly supporting Zelensky's regime.