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 UNSC briefing on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine


The fact that the Security Council is holding its second meeting this month on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine comes as a surprise to all those who are following the work of the Council against the background of the bitter Palestinian-Israeli conflict, on which occasion the United States and its allies have not yet requested a single meeting. It turns out that at some UNSC meetings the Western members, vying with each other, cry out about humanitarian problems, while at others they carefully downplay those issues for political reasons.


It is not my wish to diminish the scale of the tragedy that people of Ukraine are faced with. The issue is multifaceted. It dates back to the West-orchestrated coup d'état in 2014 and becomes aggravated daily because of the destructive desire of the Kiev regime to serve Western geopolitical interests in weakening Russia at any cost. The Ukrainian clique, as we all know very well today, had more than one opportunity to silence the guns. First of all, they should have stopped the war against the peaceful population of Donbas, which began more than 9 years ago. Then they should have rejected glorification of Nazi collaborators who had been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews, Roma, Poles, Russians and Ukrainians. They should have granted to the entire population of the country, without exception or discrimination, the rights that people in the vast majority of other countries enjoy by default. That includes countries of the European Union, which Ukraine so desperately seeks to join. In other words, Ukraine should have stopped being an "Anti-Russia" and returned to normal, civilized and good-neighborly development.

However, the regime that came to power in 2014 with Western help after an anti-constitutional coup missed all these opportunities without asking its citizens whether they wanted to fight until last Ukrainian. What’s more, the regime in Kiev actually boasts about it, begging for more and more Western military aid. To be able to do this, Kiev needs high-profile tragedies that would move the Western public to pity. That is why Kiev and its puppeteers try to pass off Ukrainian air defense missiles falling on civilian objects as Russian strikes, though this runs counter to facts and video evidence. And if there are no such strikes, then heinous man-made tragedies like Bucha, Kramatorsk or Konstantinovka come into play. Those who stand behind it do not care if their doings become unveiled or disclosed. All they need is to disseminate more lies about Russia among the public and get more weapons. Western delegations on the Security Council eagerly follow up on this propaganda by calling meetings once or twice a month to play along with the Kiev regime. All sorts of compromised mechanisms that were created in the West rubber stamp whatever reports and data are needed for that purpose. Structures responsible for this propaganda and various Russophobic narratives seat in Kiev, Washington, London and Brussels. They spread brazen lies, including here in the Council, about indiscriminate strikes, rapes and abductions of children.

At the same time, our Western colleagues deliberately keep silent about casualties and destruction that occurred on the territory of Donbas and the Azov region. In fact, from February 2022 to September 2023, the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic alone was subjected to more than 25,000 artillery and rocket attacks by the Ukrainian armed forces. During this time, 4,712 civilians, including 139 children, were killed in the DPR; 5,289 people, including 356 children, were injured. There were 136 cases of civilians, including 11 children, treading on Lepestok anti-personnel mines. Three victims subsequently died. In total, over 9,000 civilians, including 230 children, were killed in the DPR alone between May 2014 and September 2023, and over 13,000 people, including 825 children, were wounded. The exact data on casualties and destruction in the new Russian regions are still being compiled, as the Ukrainian armed forces shell them almost daily.

And, of course, the fact is consistently silenced down that from the very beginning of the conflict in Donbas in 2014 the Kiev military has been attacking critical civilian infrastructure, primarily water and heating facilities. Besides, medical and educational institutions have been and continue to be destroyed. Over 8 years, at least 50,000 civilian infrastructure facilities have been destroyed or damaged in the republics of Donbas. Since February 2022, more than 16,000 residential buildings and almost 3,500 civilian infrastructure facilities have been destroyed or damaged, including about 700 educational and more than 180 medical institutions and 1,100 electricity, water, heat and gas supply facilities. However, none of our Western colleagues has said a word about this in recent years.

This statistic does not find a way to UN reports either, which disproves the assertion about equidistant approach of the UN Secretariat. Fearing the wrath of Washington, London or Brussels, the United Nations keeps shamefully silent. Western states want their arms supplies to the corrupt regime in Kiev to be perceived as perfectly justified, with nothing being able to call it into question. Whereas facts that those weapons are used to kill civilians or sold off to enrich the Ukrainian government could influence the sentiment among Western voters.


I should like to address our Western colleagues. You shout all over the place about devastated Ukrainian cities and allegedly indiscriminate Russian strikes against them. Please bother to go online and read some Ukrainian news or watch TV. You will see a lot of coverage of restaurant and club life in Kiev, Odessa, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, and other Ukrainian cities. State institutions and other municipal buildings work normally almost everywhere. Public transit is running, schools and hospitals are working. Of course, that excludes facilities that have been damaged by Ukrainian air defense, as we have already discussed today (and not only today). And this is after almost 2 years of the special military operation, which we started in order to stop the war of the Kiev regime against the population of Donbas. Our high-precision strikes target only military facilities or infrastructure that is related to Kiev’s military potential, including ammunition depots and UAF locations disguised as retail outlets, hotels, silos, etc.

Now look at the images from the Gaza Strip, which Israel has been trying to raze to the ground for only three weeks. And you will see towns, hospitals, schools destroyed and burned to the ground in the spirit of what the Americans once did to Fallujah or Raqqa. The death toll, many of them children, makes shudder the entire non-Western world, and normal people in the West. And people continue to die.

Comparing these two realities, ask yourself a question. How many times did you condemn the systematic annihilation of Palestinian civilians? How many times did you try to call a Security Council meeting on this issue? Have you supported a single call for a ceasefire? We all know the answer. And knowing it, we understand the true cost of your efforts and the crocodile tears you are trying to shed today. You have no idea how cynical and duplicitous your efforts look. But this is now well understood in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Take our advice. Instead of this cynical and double-dealing performance, do something good for the Ukrainian people. Namely, do not let the criminal neo-Nazi regime of Zelensky sacrifice the entire Ukrainian people to the United States’ unattainable geopolitical objective to weaken Russia. The head of the Kiev clique stands very close to this already.

Thank you.

Video of the statement