Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC briefing on Ukraine
Since apart from yourself, there are many other high-ranking accomplices of the terrorist Kiev regime in this chamber, who share full responsibility for its crimes, I would like to begin with elaborating on where your actions have taken is in the context of the Ukrainian crisis.
Right in front of our eyes, an ever-worsening tragedy is unfolding. Its root cause was the anti-constitutional coup d'état in Kiev in 2014, which the United States and its Western allies had orchestrated following the best colonial traditions. The people who have stood at the helm of the Kiev regime never really adhered to the interests of Ukraine. Contrary to the aspirations of the majority of Ukrainians and in order to fit into Western confrontational narrative, they turned down peace and good neighborly relations with Russia, defied a non-discriminatory approach to all the ethnicities living in Ukraine, and began to promote blatant nationalism "by leaps and bounds" and whitewash Nazi war criminals.
When 9 years ago the Kiev regime unleashed a deadly war against the Russian-speaking population of Donbas, it purposefully and conscientiously escalated the Ukrainian crisis to a point where it turned into a military confrontation with Russia. My country had to come and protect women, children, and senior citizens whom Kiev started to annihilate in plain sight of the so-called civilized world. This happened after Ukraine and its Western sponsors ultimately refused to implement the UNSC-endorsed Minsk Agreements. At this point, we know for sure that for years, the Minsk Package only served as a cover story for Ukraine and Western states while they were preparing for a war against Russia. That is why the wailing of our Western colleagues about alleged “unprovoked Russian aggression” and a “war of choice” can no longer convince anyone. Whoever is capable of analyzing the situation objectively will see at once that we did not have any choice and that the time bomb that exploded on 24 February 2022 had been planted by Western states as early as in 2014 or, as a matter of fact, even earlier.
In April 2022, that is a little more than a month after the start of our special military operation, Ukraine rejected a peace plan that had been already initialed by its negotiators, which implied, among other things, international security guarantees for the country. As we all know well today, this happened with the direct involvement of Great Britain, whose leadership at the time convinced the leader of the Kiev regime that with Western support Ukraine would be able to defeat Russia. Then the "acute phase" of NATO's proxy war against Russia to the last Ukrainian really began, and Ukraine essentially turned into a private military company on the payroll of Washington, London and Brussels.
After a draft peace agreement had been initialed in Istanbul and the Russian troops withdrew from Kiev as a goodwill gesture, a provocation in the Kiev suburb of Bucha, repulsive in essence and clumsy in execution, was organized in order to ensure that Ukrainian authorities had no turning back. Many experts believe that British intelligence played a role in organizing this staged provocation. An objective investigation, which we will certainly conduct, will show whether this is true or not. But we all remember how in April 2022, the British Presidency of the Security Council prevented (through unscrupulous procedural maneuvers) the convening of an emergency meeting that we had requested in connection with the Bucha provocation. This manner of behavior was unworthy of a President of the Security Council and a P5 member and exposed the UK as an accomplice of the Kiev regime.
The provocation in Bucha created the necessary "smokescreen", which the Ukrainian leadership used to opt for armed confrontation with Russia instead of peace. Instead of diplomatic efforts, Western countries redoubled their efforts to provide Ukraine with assistance and weapons. The price Ukraine paid for this fateful decision was hundreds of thousands of dead and maimed young Ukrainians, whom even today the Kiev regime throws into the grinder on the eastern and southern fronts in futile attempts to prove to Western curators Ukraine's ability to win. During this time, the country has already lost several armies and has actually forfeited its own weapons.
Availing of the presence of several Western ministers here today, I would like to emphasize the responsibility of your governments for the ongoing tragedy of the population of Ukraine. By systematically pushing that country towards a war with Russia instead of implementing the Minsk Agreements, you have been guided solely by your own geopolitical interests, which is the need to weaken Russia. For the sake of this unattainable goal, you condoned the emergence of a real totalitarian dictatorship in Kiev, which started a war against its own Russian-speaking inhabitants in the east of the country. For eight years, you did not notice Ukrainian projectiles kill peaceful women, children and seniors.
Today they die again, this time from long-range shells and missiles that you supply to Ukraine, because Ukraine’s own systems (which the UAF are almost out of) no longer reach the peaceful Donetsk and other cities. In order to make the suffering of civilians even greater, you have decided to supply depleted uranium projectiles and cluster munitions to Ukrainian armed forces; and also to ignore the incessant shelling of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant by Ukraine, the destruction of the Kakhovka Hydroplant, and outright terrorist attacks against Russian territory that prove the terrorist nature of the Ukraine’s power authorities.
Today we learnt of another terrorist attack by the Kiev regime against the Crimean Bridge, which is hundreds of kilometers afar from the combat zone. The attack killed two innocent citizens of Russia, their 14-year-old daughter was seriously injured. I have not heard any condemnation of this act of terrorism from any of the Western sponsors of the Kiev regime. And we have yet to understand the extent to which Western, particularly British, intelligence services were involved in the preparation and execution of this attack: too much is pointing at it.
Colleagues, all the facts I have cited indicate that there is no crime that the West is not prepared to commit in order to preserve its hegemony in global affairs and to keep, as Mr. Borrell put it, the blossoming garden at any cost, while everyone else continues to live in the jungle. There is no principle you are not prepared to cross for the sake of it. I am saying this so that you have no illusions and realize that your countries, or rather your governments, are no less responsible for what is happening in Ukraine than the Zelensky regime. No matter how much you try to make yourselves look like defenders of the poor and unfortunate Ukraine, your actions give you away. The actions of the Kiev regime, including against its own population, (e.g. persecution of the followers of the canonical Orthodox Church, which you try to ignore), leave no doubt that you will easily turn a blind eye even when the regime starts to grab people in the streets or shoot on the spot all those who disagree with the destructive and anti-national policy of the current government. But we will talk about this in more detail at the meeting we have requested for July 26.
I would like to elaborate on two more issues that have to do with Ukraine.
Exactly 9 years ago, flight MH-17 by Malaysian Airlines was downed in the skies above Donbas. This had a direct impact on the internal Ukrainian crisis, forcing the Donbas militias, which held the military initiative, to halt in anticipation of Ukraine's condemnation of the terrorist attack, which seemed imminent at that moment.
It is well known that since the disaster, Russia has consistently advocated a comprehensive, thorough, unbiased and depoliticized investigation into the causes of the disaster that should be based on facts and irrefutable evidence. Our country stood at the origins of adopting UN Security Council Resolution 2166, which prescribes the need for a "full, thorough and independent international investigation". However, to date no such investigation has been conducted, and the circumstances of the incident have not been reliably established. Technical inquiry of the Dutch Safety Board and the criminal investigation of the Joint Investigation Team did not meet the criteria set out in resolution 2166. Their real purpose was not to establish the truth, but to make the evidence fit into the version that said Russia had been involved.
In fact, the MH-17 disaster was a key element in the false and unsubstantiated anti-Russian campaign, which was later supplemented by the poisonings of the Skripals and Navalny, as well as the provocation in Bucha that I mentioned earlier today. The worse the lie, the easier it is to believe – this is the principle that our Western opponents have prioritized in all these cases.
As far as MH-17, Russia provided the investigation with a colossal amount of information that was of great importance for establishing the true causes of the crash.
However, all these materials were not taken into account either by the investigation or by the District Court of The Hague. They considered more "reliable" the information from the Ukrainian special services, data from dubious social media sources, and photographs and video materials that had clearly been edited.
Not a single question was asked to Ukraine, which refused to provide radar data and recorded communications of ground-based flight tracking services. Besides, Ukraine was never able to explain where air traffic controllers who were working on that day and could shed light on the circumstances of the tragedy, disappeared to. In the time that has elapsed since the crash, the question of Kiev's responsibility for failing to close the airspace over the combat zone, where UAF air defense equipment (including “Buk” systems) was deployed, has not been addressed properly.
Images from American satellites that were taken on the day of the crash could have added some clarity. However, Washington refused point-blank to disclose this data or at least to allow the judges to be familiarized with it under special conditions.
Unfortunately, the approach of the Netherlands and its accomplices, based on promoting a certain political order, excludes the possibility of establishing the true perpetrators of the MH-17 tragedy. In this regard, we can only sympathize with the families and friends of the victims, who are deliberately deprived of the right to the truth. It is very telling that none of the Western colleagues who spoke before me today recalled this the MH-17 disaster. You do not need the truth and facts about this tragedy that has already fulfilled its role in the process of demonizing Russia.
Before I conclude, my last point for today.
Today, the Russian embassies in Ankara, Minsk and London, as well as the Consulate General in Istanbul, transmitted official notes on the decision of the Russian Government to terminate the Black Sea Initiative from July 18, 2023. The UN Secretary-General and the Head of UNOCHA, who was directly responsible for implementing the deal, were notified in a similar manner.
I see no point going into the details of the actual implementation process of the Secretary-General’s so-called Istanbul package, of which the Russia-UN Memorandum was and is an integral part. We have already done this many times, including in the Security Council Chamber. We renewed the Black Sea Initiative more than once upon receiving what turned out repeated empty promises. However, as the President of Russia has stated, “there was no give and take" about the “grain deal” over this past year.
Against the backdrop of stable exports of fodder corn and wheat from Ukraine to countries with high and above average incomes (90% and 60% of all exports of these commodities respectively) not even 3% reached the least developed countries. WFP humanitarian operations accounted for even less - only 2.2% of wheat exports. Since these facts are too unflattering and speak for themselves, the Black Sea Initiative was simply reformatted from humanitarian to commercial without too much noise.
Against this backdrop, the problems of Russian economic operators remain unresolved. When we announced in March 2023 that we had agreed to extend the Initiative for 60 days, i.e., until July 18, we unequivocally stated that we would take a decision on further steps only after seeing progress in addressing a number of systemic challenges that we have mentioned on numerous occasions. I will not list them again now. We pay tribute to the efforts of the Secretary-General and his team, who tried to the last minute to persuade Western countries to fulfill their obligations to Russia arising from the UN-Russia Memorandum of Understanding. However, nothing but blatant eyewash came out of this in the end.
Since there has been no progress, and the Kiev regime does not hesitate to abuse the open maritime humanitarian corridor for committing provocations and attacks against Russian civilian and military facilities, we have taken the decision to withdraw from the deal, of which we officially informed today the Turkish and Ukrainian sides and also notified the UN Secretariat. This means revoking safe navigation guarantees, curtailing the maritime humanitarian corridor, resuming the status of a temporarily dangerous area in the northwestern Black Sea and disbanding the JCC in Istanbul. Without Russia, the Black Sea Initiative will cease to operate as of July 18. Russia will be ready to consider its restoration only when it receives concrete results, rather than promises and assurances from Western capitals.
Apparently, now is precisely the time for Kiev's European allies to show the promised solidarity. Now they can export Ukrainian food through on-land corridors.
For our part, despite all existing obstacles, we pledge to fully deliver on our contractual obligations to supply Russian grain to our customers and to continue to help those in need in developing countries.