Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on Ukraine
At the outset, let me convey to your our perplexity. We do not quite understand what added value, apart from prolonging this session, bears the inclusion on the speaker’s list of the representatives of Slovakia, Poland, Germany, and Greece. We are having a briefing, not a debate. Position of those states is well known to us, and the representative of the European Union could sum it up just fine. We only perceive this as a desire of those representatives to make an appearance on national television, and nothing more than that. Mr.President, we would request you to be more careful when making lists of speakers for meetings on this topic in the future.
We note the briefings by USG DiCarolo and UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine Denise Brown. We see that the Secretariat finally became concerned over the devastation of civilian infrastructure. Unfortunately, this is again a lopsided concern, as not a word has been said either about the destructions that Kiev has been causing in Donbas for the recent 8 years, or about the civilian casualties that occur as a result of strikes by Ukrainian armed forces. Atrocious terrorist attacks carried out by Kiev against such infrastructure facilities as the Crimean bridge, Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, and the Kakhovskaya hydro power station receive no reaction from the UN Secretariat.
As a reason for calling this meeting, our Western colleagues cited intensified attacks on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure by the Russian side. Let’s see how things really are.
In the past two months, the Ukrainian regime and its Western sponsors apparently have been euphoric over some tactical advancement of Ukrainian troops at some tracks which cost Ukraine enormous losses in manpower and equipment, wherefore they started to propel the idea in every possible way that Russia allegedly had exhausted its material and human resources and was about to start losing on the battlefield. In the meantime, Ukrainian “strategists” (supported by their Western masters) have turned to terrorist methods of sabotage on the Russian territory. This can be confirmed by many cases, the most explicit of which was the terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge on 8 October that was performed by Ukrainian special services. Four people died, and the highway that delivers food, medications, and other vital items to the population of the peninsula was partially destroyed.
Ukrainian officials, including Vice Prime Minister and Head of the Ministry of Digital Transformation M.Fedorov and Adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs A.Gerashchenko, unabashedly “savored” this crime. Official account of Ukrainian Defense Ministry also made some gleeful publications on social media. Once checked by the Western sponsors, Kiev tried to deflect the blame onto Russia. However a video reel was leaked to the Internet showing Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine D.Kuleba who confirmed that it was Kiev that stood behind the attacks on the Crimean Bridge and the Belgorod region of Russia. Here is exactly what millions of Internet users heard him say: "If you ask me who is blowing something up in Crimea or Belgorod, in private I will tell you that, yes, it's us."
Eight years of bitter experience of the people Donbas have shown us what the Kiev regime is capable of, a decision was made to cool down the belligerent ardor of Kiev’s brazen terrorists. Our high precision missiles and Russian made UAVs hit many military facilities and related infrastructure in Ukraine to undermine the military capabilities and potential of Zelensky’s regime that is aimed against his nation.
Of course, this situation was not appreciated by Western states, whom it rendered pretty hysterical, and this hysteria continues to unfold at this meeting. Our Western colleagues still do not want to face the truth and admit that civilian facilities were only damaged if UAVs were shot by Ukrainian territorial defense units and therefore deviated from their initial course, or when civilian objects were hit by a stray Ukrainian air-defense missile unable to intercept its target. A lot of such cases were caught on camera and are available on the Internet.
Now Ukraine and its Western sponsors are trying to propel another fake about alleged deliveries to Russia of Iranian UAVs in violation of UNSC resolution 2231. We reject any attempts to drag the UN Secretariat in this shady affair, which Germany, France, and Great Britain undertook today by circulating a letter among Security Council members, where they in fact called on the Secretariat to violate Article 100 of the UN Charter and the mandate prescribed by Note S/2016/44 of UNSC president dated 16 January 2016. The United States went even further and in its letter demanded an investigation from the Secretariat, which the latter is not authorized to carry out. This is an outrageous situation. We articulated our legal assessments of it in a response letter that you received before the meeting. We expect the Secretariat to provide an exhaustive confirmation that it is not going to follow these instructions of Western delegations in violation of the UN Charter and will not conduct any investigations.
If the UN experts choose to engage in this pseudo-investigation at the behest of Western capitals while making ungrounded references to UNSC resolution 2231, we will be compelled to reassess our entire relation with the UN Secretariat, because in this case, we will no longer be able to proceed from impartiality of the UN Secretariat.
The show that we are observing in the Security Council today also serves as a “smokescreen” for the Kiev regime and its sponsors.
For the regime in Kiev, the West painstakingly creates the image of an “innocent victim of the Russian aggression” that is in constant need of military assistance. Last week further deliveries of military use products to Kiev were announced. The United States and the European Union opted for the systems that proved the most deadly against the people in Donbas and the liberated territories. The US will transfer to Kiev another batch of M142 HIMARS and high-precision guided missiles M31 GMLRS, as well as AGM-88 high-speed anti-radiation missiles (HARM). Paris will again contribute 155-mm self-propelled artillery systems CEASAR. Projectiles for 155mm systems will be provided by Germany.
Leaders of those states tell their population that those weapons allegedly should help Zelensky’s regime defend Ukraine. But let’s see what those are really used for.
As reported by the Donbas republics, from February to October bombardments by Ukrainian heavy weaponry damaged more than 10,000 housings and more than 2,000 facilities of civilian infrastructure, including 424 education and 109 medical facilities in the DPR and LPR-controlled areas. American HIMARS systems were actively used in those attacks.
French CEASARs also showed their might in the unequal battle against residential buildings, schools, and other civilian objects. Since June this year, French armaments have killed at least 5 people in Donetsk. 10 were injured, more than 64 buildings destroyed.
Ukrainian armed forces also launch missiles into Russian inland, targeting civilian population and infrastructure. On 10 October, the UAF launched more than 100 missiles against the Belgorod region of Russia, including the infamous Tochka-U missiles with cluster charges. A woman was killed, 4 housings damaged. Two people were wounded in the long-suffering village Tyotkino in the Kursk region, which has remained exposed to mass artillery bombardments by UAF since spring this year despite the absence of any military facilities there.
On 13 October, an apartment building in Belgorod got under Ukrainian fire. The village of Krasnoe was bombarded, as well as a customs office and other facilities in city district Shebekinskiy. Right before this meeting, the UAF destroyed industrial facilities in this area. I remind that UAF actively and indiscriminately used remote mining systems there (the way they did in Donetsk) including “Lepestok” mines. On 16 October they fired at residential buildings in Nikolskoye and the international airport in Belgorod, injuring two civilians. On 18 October Ukrainian forces again bombarded the village of Belaya Beryozka of the Bryansk region. On the same day, they attacked 6 residential settlements in the Kursk region, where a woman was exposed, several housings destroyed and power lines disabled. Prior to that Ukrainian saboteurs had repeatedly attempted to sabotage the nuclear power plant in Kursk.
Over the three weeks of October, more than 30 peaceful settlements in the Belgorod region and the city of Belgorod itself have suffered from indiscriminate artillery bombardments by the UAF, that used i.a. American HARM missiles. This is something Kiev is bragging about, being encouraged by its Western patrons. But do they think that we would put up with it?
Western states gave a carte blanche to Zelensky’s regime to commit whatever crimes, and so Kiev is consistently targeting the civilian infrastructure of its former territories. For five months by now, UAF have been bombarding the city of Nova Kakhovka of the Kherson region. Up to 120 missiles reach this place daily, most of them HIMARS, which Ukrainian forces aim at the Kakhovskaya dam in order to break it through, have the water level rise and the adjacent areas flooded. If this scenario unfolds thousands of civilians may be killed, and thousands of housings damaged. Today we circulated a letter in the Security Council, in which we call on the UN leadership to prevent this terrible provocation.
Reckless attacks against the Zaporozhye NPP are going on, creating profound risks to nuclear security at the power plant. Kiev does not care what toll it might have on civilians if the ZNPP sustains serious damage, to say nothing of a full-fledged technological disaster and a radioactive emission. Ukraine is ready for whatever victims if NATO agrees to continue this proxy war with Russia and carries on with arms deliveries. We keep UN leadership informed about these flagrant incidents, however so far no coherent reaction has followed.
Ukrainian fighters were able to seriously damage the Kakhovskiy and Antonovskiy bridges across the Dnieper that were used to deliver food, medication, and other products to the people of Kherson. On 19 October, yet another attempt was made to destroy the Antonovskiy bridge, but Russian air defense was able to protect the facility. Again, those strikes were made with HIMARS, just like the strikes against the detention center in Yelenovka where prisoners from the neo-Nazi battalion “Azov” had been held.
Another terrible illustration of how the Kiev authorities really treat the civilians is their violent crackdown on those who made their choice in favor of Russia. On 29 September near Kupyansk the UAF shot at a column of motor vehicles that were going to leave for Russia. Approximately 30 people died. On 30 September the UAF again shot at the refugees who were exiting to the liberated territories of the Zaporozhye region. 30 people were shot on site and further 88 were wounded. Yesterday, on 20 October, UAF fired at the ferry crossing which civilians were using to escape from the shelling and provocations by Ukraine. This crime again resulted in deaths and injuries. Among the victims there were journalists and children.
On October 4, an open video address was recorded by 38 servicemen of the 8th company of the 3rd regiment of the 25th Airborne Assault Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. In it, the soldiers confirmed that they had been ordered to annihilate peaceful population of the Kharkov region. Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs recently announced a campaign to identify “Ukraine’s enemies”. Within this campaign, up to 40 so-called potential collaborators are detained daily in settlements near Kharkov to be then interrogated by the special services.
What happens to those people after that was shown in a video footage that member of Ukrainian armed formations and ex-commander of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion M.Zhorin uploaded on social media on 9 October. The footage shows some neo-Nazis throwing bodies of the executed civilians in the ditch. Zhorin himself admitted that those had been residents of Kupyansk of the Kharkov region. “Payback will come”, he wrote in a comment to the video. Metadata of the footage indicated that it had been made some 30 minutes before it was published. The bodies were clad in warm clothing that would be appropriate for the October weather. I remind that there have been no Russian troops in Kupyansk since the beginning of September. All this tells us that those people fell victim to an extrajudicial execution by neo-Nazis who were “cleansing” the town.
Have Western delegations said a word of condemnation of these acts? Your silence is the best confirmation that despite all hypocritical statements, no one in the West truly cares for the fate of Ukrainian civilian population.
You prefer covering up for this criminal regime that brought together nationalists, radicals, and outspoken Nazis, assisting with its provocations and spreading lies about Russia and its troops.
By the way, despite all our reminders, we have not received the list of victims of the Ukrainian provocation in Bucha in April – surnames of those people. This confirms again that the authorities in Kiev do not have anything to back their claims and allegations with. Our Western partners pretend that there is nothing that might need to be confirmed by evidence and that one should just trust whatever Kiev’s representatives say.
Before I conclude, I would like to say that I am not going to listen to another portion of vile rhetoric that the representative of the Ukrainian regime will produce soon, in which he finds some strange and rather vicious pleasure. I think that everyone who is familiar with his recent derogatory comments against Russian diplomats on social media understands what I mean. Unfortunately, such steps are reflective of the current state of Ukrainian diplomacy and prove that Kiev is not ready for any kind of dialogue, let alone civilized dialogue.