Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on Ukraine
At the outset, I would like to say a few words to one of our briefer in the language that he chose to address the Security Council in. Дякуємо Миколі Кулебі за наочну демонстрацію справжнього обличчя сучасної Украині, яка абсолютно байдуже ставиться не тільки до своїх громадян, але до ООН, членів Раді Безпеки так зокрема до ее американського головування.
I would like to draw attention to the fact that we have just seen a gross violation of Security Council’s provisional rules of procedure by the US Presidency. In particular, it was a violation of Rule 44, which goes as follows, “Any representative may make a speech in a language other than the languages of the Security Council. In this case, he shall himself provide for interpretation into one of those languages”. This was not done and UNSC members spent more than 15 minutes listening to a speech that no one save those who know Ukrainian or Russian did not understand. Besides, as it turned out at the end of the address, the briefer is very fluent in English, and we bet that in Russian too. This was a political move, a showy act of disregard for the rules of procedure of the Security Council, which the US Presidency was not able to stop.
On 9 May 2010, a military parade took place in Kiev on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War. 2,500 military personnel from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus took part in the parade. Festivities were held throughout the city.
After only 4 years, on 9 May 2014 (almost three months since the anti-constitutional coup d'état in Kiev) during a similar parade in Mariupol, militants from neo-Nazi battalions Azov and Dnepr-1 shot at cars and ambulance vehicles killing those who had taken to the streets to honor the memory of their fathers and grandfathers. According to local law enforcement authorities, 99 people had been killed and 119 injured. May I also remind that shortly before those events, on 2 May 2014, approximately 50 peaceful protestors who rallied in support of the Russian language, were burnt alive by nationalists at the Odessa Trade Union House.
So what happened in those 4 years? How come that Ukrainians replaced heroes who had liberated the country from Nazism with Nazi collaborators complicit in deaths of hundreds of thousand Jews, Poles, Russians, and Ukrainians? How come that a country that was actually a Russian-speaking one, started to persecute Russian-speakers and drop bombs on peaceful cities in the Donbas whose residents rose to defend their values? And Western countries who champion the ideals of tolerance in external affairs, why didn’t they react to that?
The answers to these questions harbor the roots of the tragedy that Ukraine is living through being ruled by a criminal regime in Kiev, which serves exclusively the geopolitical interests of the United States and its allies, waging a hybrid war against Russia in Ukraine to the last Ukrainian. This regime grabs Ukrainian boys in the streets, pushes them into vans and then (even without basic military training) sends them into "meat storms" against Russian military fortifications and minefields, without regard for the exorbitant death toll. And our former Western partners only keep spurring on Zelensky and his clique, supply them with weapons and demand that this grinder must go on. The other day, experts from the German newspaper Die Welt calculated in a very matter-of-fact manner that the Kiev regime needs to mobilize another 3 million people to defeat Russia. This is despite the fact that the population of Ukraine, according to UN data, has decreased from 48.2 million people in 2001 to 37.6 million at the beginning of 2022, and today there are no more than 29 million people living in the country. However, Ukraine’s Western sponsors do not feel sorry for them, because, as Polish President A.Duda put it, Russia can be defeated cheaply now, because "American soldiers are not dying".
To such unflattering facts our Western colleagues usually say that we would not have turned up where we are, had it not been for the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, However the tragedy of that country began much earlier, when the West had picked it up to be a pawn in its efforts to oppose and weaken Russia. We would not have turned up where we are, had it not been for the Kiev regime and its war on the Russian speaking population in eastern Ukraine that began in 2014. We had to protect the women, children and elderly people whom Kiev started annihilating after its Western patrons eventually refused to implement the UNSC-endorsed Minsk Agreements. Moreover, as we are well aware today, for all those years the Minsk Package had been just a smokescreen behind which Ukraine was getting prepared for a war with Russia.
Our country used diplomatic levers to the last to settle the situation. We had called for many years, including in this chamber, for the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. At the end of 2021, we put forward to Western states unprecedented proposals on security guarantees. All of them were rejected, and Ukraine was preparing openly to seize the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics by force. Russia could not let this happen. Neither could we tolerate the strengthening on our borders of a Russophobic neo-Nazi regime posing a direct threat to our country.
We know that the US and its allies dedicated this meeting to Ukraine’s Independence Day. Such days usually provide a good reason to take stocks, ponder on achievements and failures. So what is it that present-day Ukraine can be proud of? Let’s just briefly list whatever lies on the surface. By all means, the main achievement is a totalitarian dictatorship that is getting stronger from day to day. It does not tolerate any dissidence or opposition, rewrites history, and elevates glorification of Nazism and Hitler’s accomplices to a rank of state policy.
We know about dozens of thousands of Ukrainians who were arrested for browsing Russian websites on the Internet, having Russian music in their playlists and reading Russian books. Everything related to Russia Ukraine had declared to be hostile long before the special military operation started. We have witnessed and we continue to witness many politically-motivated assassinations, cases of blackmail and intimidation of political opponents. Do you know other countries where such things happen openly?
Do you know in what other countries religion-based persecution is taking place? Countries where canonical church is banned, holy sites get desecrated, and clergy become prosecuted for their faith and beliefs?
Add to this rampant corruption, which has not gone anywhere since the independence, and which has taken on an unprecedented scale due to billions of dollars of Western aid that the Kiev regime receives and embezzles immediately. Ukrainian media space is filled with news on this subject, but our former Western partners ignore all this, although in Western countries, too, there is growing indignation at this situation, which the authorities are trying to dismiss.
What other state (apart from the notorious Islamic State) is openly promoting terrorist methods as a tool of state policy? What other state takes pride in attacks and assaults against civilians, in using them as suicide bombers, in blackmailing them vis fraudulent cyber schemes, forcing them to commit crimes in their own country? Are there many such states in the world?
Are there many states who try to falsify their own history by brainwashing their people and indoctrinating them with absolutely false ideas about their country and its role in the global civilization and culture? We have already shown here in this Chamber Ukrainian schoolbooks that claim that Jews, French, Portuguese and many other peoples descended from ancient Ukrainians. What good can come out of this historical nonsense and heresy which is consonant with Nazi theories about a super nation that is superior to its neighbors?
The worst thing about it is not even that Ukraine abased itself so far as this, but that it has done so under the tutelage of the United States and its allies, who even today demonstrate a very selective blindness and deafness when it comes to the crimes of the Kiev regime, both inside and outside the country. Moreover, Western capitals today are in fact complicit not just because they supply Zelensky’s regime with weapons that kill civilians. And not because they also share intelligence and send mercenaries and technical experts. In the first place, they are complicit because they cover up the monstrous lies that the regime is spreading about itself and about Russia. The lies about the true objectives of and reasons for our special military operation, about the true culprits of the deaths of civilians that are caused by Ukrainian air defense systems deployed in residential areas in violation of IHL. The lies about staged provocations like the ones in Bucha, Kramatorsk or the Mariupol Drama Theater. The lies about Ukrainian children, whom we actually rescue, being allegedly kidnapped by Russians. And, finally, the lies about the criminals whom today's Ukraine honors as heroes.
We have heard enough of these lies in the statements of our Western colleagues today, and of course we will hear more. It is no coincidence that the American Presidency, following a well-known scenario, has pulled in more Western allies to participate today. You have long been acting on the principle that the worse the lie, the easier it is to believe. But there is one thing you forget: the more you lie and try to smear Russia, distorting what we do and why we do that, the more these lies corrode the foundations of your societies, your values and principles. The consequences of this are already showing. More and more people around the world begin to see the truth about what is really happening and become horrified by its scale.
And the truth is that the United States and its allies pre-programmed this proxy war against Russia at least back in 2014. Washington, London and Brussels, who are fighting with others’ hands, are not interested in having it stop. A new textbook of armed action is being written today right before their eyes, and they are reading it as new chapters emerge, gaining experience in modern methods of combat without risking anything except the weapons they supply to Kiev. Otherwise, they would have allowed Zelensky and his team to do the peace deal with very favorable terms for Ukraine, which was almost agreed upon last March. However, the collective West does not need such a scenario.
Thus, on its Independence Day, there is nothing we can congratulate Ukraine on. Its fate as a blind-folded tool in the hands of the West is not to be envied. And this becomes clearer and clearer these days. Probably, the only positive thing in this is that the case of Ukraine has shown what blind indulgence of the West and willingness to compromise one’s own interests for the sake of Western geopolitical agenda leads to. May this be a lesson to others. And may the Ukrainian tragedy never repeat itself.