Disarmament Chief Tells Security Council Arms Supply Accelerated ahead of Reported Counteroffensive in Ukraine, Stresses Weapons Registers Are Key
Briefers Alternately Spotlight Western Proxy War, Kyiv’s Right to Self-Defence
The issue of supplying weapons to Ukraine divided both those briefing the Security Council today and the discussion that followed, as contentions that arms transfers have escalated the conflict met assertions that the embattled country has the inherent right to defend itself from the Russian Federation’s full-scale invasion.
Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, warned that the supply of weapons into any armed conflict raises significant concerns about the potential escalation of violence and the risks of diversion. There are reports, she noted, that the supply of arms and ammunition has accelerated ahead of the reported Ukrainian counteroffensive, as well as of States transferring or planning to transfer weapons to the Russian armed forces for use in Ukraine.
“To prevent the diversion of weapons, supply chain transparency and cooperation and information exchange between importing, transit and exporting States is required,” she stressed, adding that the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms is a key instrument in this regard. The establishment of the Unified Weapons Register by the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs and Police — designed to digitize registration and accounting — is a timely initiative as well, she said.
Max Blumenthal, founder and editor-in-chief of The Grayzone, said that the Joseph Biden Administration knows that “it is escalating a proxy war against the world’s largest nuclear Power”. Recalling President Biden’s words in March 2022 characterizing the provision of offensive equipment to Kyiv as “World War III”, he noted that “Biden changed his tune” just over a year later. He asked those present: “Why are we tempting nuclear annihilation by flooding Ukraine with advanced weapons and sabotaging negotiations at every turn?”
Chay Bowes, a scholar specializing in small arms and munitions, said that a “frenzied, incalculable, loosely regulated” supply of weapons has flooded into Ukraine. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is supporting a military proxy conflict in that country, one described by the United States Department of State as “endemically corrupt”. Ukrainians dying in the thousands on the battlefield are the foremost victims of a military escalation, he emphasized.
Sergey Radchenko, Wilson E. Schmidt Distinguished Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, meanwhile said that it is by the inherent right of self-defence that Ukraine asks the world for military aid. It is also by that same right that so many nations have contributed to Ukraine’s defence. “If anything, they have not gone far enough,” he added. The Russian Federation invaded Ukraine on fabricated reasons, he said, but Moscow has been so bold as to demand that the West does not supply Kyiv with weapons.
In the ensuing discussion, some Council members rejected attempts to justify or distort responsibility for the Russian Federation’s military aggression against Ukraine, underscoring that Ukraine has the right to defend itself under the Charter of the United Nations. Many urged that Member States have a duty to settle their disputes through diplomatic means. Several speakers spotlighted the potential threats posed by arming mercenaries, while others expressed concern over the disruptive potential of arms transfers to conflict zones.
On that point, the Russian Federation’s representative warned against multiplying threats that stem from Western weapons being supplied to Ukraine. In their militaristic frenzy, Western countries have become completely detached from reality, provoking direct confrontation between nuclear Powers. Such States did not allow Ukraine to become a neutral State. Instead, they arm the country in “an insane calculation” that it will vanquish the Russian Federation. While “Ukrainians are being sent into battle like lambs to the slaughter”, Kyiv’s defeat is “a question of time”, he said.
The representative of the United States, however, stressed that it is categorically false to imply that support for Ukraine constitutes a threat to international peace and security. Today’s meeting is a “painfully obvious” attempt to divert attention, he said, pointing out that, although Moscow has repeatedly denied its connection to the Wagner Group, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin has now “nakedly admitted” that his Government fully funded the group — granting it $2 billion from State coffers in 2023 alone.
Ukraine’s delegate, spotlighting the security threats stemming from Moscow’s practice of recruiting people with criminal backgrounds, observed: “Finally, Russian aggression has incrementally started returning to its home harbour.” He also underscored that “it is not because Ukraine receives weapons that three young girls were killed by Russia in Kramatorsk, but because Russia still has weapons and remains willing to kill”.
The representative of Ecuador, while rejecting armed violence, militarization and the build-up of weapons anywhere, also underscored the right to self-defence as enshrined in the Charter. Those States who provide weapons to Ukraine should enhance their checks, and he also underlined the seriousness of placing weapons into the hands of mercenaries operating on the margins of international law. Moreover, he emphasized: “We must move from the logic of domination of one State over another to the logic of diplomacy.”
Mozambique’s delegate, pointing out that the conflict is of collective concern, reiterated his country’s call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the return to direct negotiations between the parties, in full respect for the Charter and relevant Council decisions. “It is our considered view that the continuation of the armed conflict and violent confrontation in Ukraine is not the answer to the interests of the parties and those of the world community,” he underscored.
The meeting began at 3:02 p.m. and ended at 5:21 p.m.
IZUMI NAKAMITSU, Under-Secretary-General and High-Representative for Disarmament Affairs, said that the provision of military assistance to the armed forces of Ukraine has continued in the context of full-scale invasion of that country by the Russian Federation. Information on transfers of weapons systems and ammunition flows from Governments are available through open sources. These transfers have included heavy conventional weapons, such as battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, combat aircrafts, missile systems and uncrewed combat aerial vehicles. There are reports that the supply of arms and ammunition has accelerated ahead of the reported counter-offensive by Ukrainian forces, she said. There are also reports of States transferring or planning to transfer weapons, such as uncrewed combat aerial vehicles and ammunition, to the Russian armed forces for use in Ukraine. Media outlets have also reported on the transfer of major conventional arms including artillery rocket systems to other armed groups involved in the war in Ukraine.
The supply of weapons into any armed conflict situations raises significant concerns about the potential escalation of violence and the risks of diversion, she warned. Measures to address the risk of diversion to unauthorized end users and for unauthorized uses are essential for preventing further instability in Ukraine, the region and beyond. Such measures include pre-transfer diversion risk assessments, end user certificates and non-retransfer clauses, effective legal and enforcement measures, and post-shipment verifications. “To prevent the diversion of weapons, supply chain transparency and cooperation and information exchange between importing, transit, and exporting States is required,” she stressed. The United Nations Register of Conventional Arms is a key instrument in this regard. Regarding instruments to prevent the diversion of conventional arms and regulate the international arms trade, she cited the Arms Trade Treaty, the Firearms Protocol, the Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons and its International Tracing Instrument.
The establishment of the Unified Weapons Register by the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs and Police, designed to digitize registration and accounting, is a timely initiative, she continued, stressing: “The impact of the intensifying war in Ukraine on civilians continues to be an area of serious concern”. From 24 February 2022 to 18 June 2023, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has recorded 24,862 civilian casualties in the country, with 9,083 killed and 15,779 injured. Most civilian casualties result from the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects. Mines and explosive remnants of war have led to widespread land contamination rendering land unusable for agriculture, while impeding the movement of people. “The United Nations strongly condemns attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure and calls for their immediate cessation,” she said, adding the Organization "stands ready to support all meaningful efforts to bring a just and sustainable peace to Ukraine.”
MAX BLUMENTHAL, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Grayzone, said that the United States Government is funding a proxy war that has become a threat to regional and international stability. On 28 June, the Pentagon announced plans to send an additional $500 million in military aid to Ukraine, charging average United States taxpayers another $325 million to replace Ukraine’s squandered military stock. Grayzone recently published an independent audit of United States tax dollar allocation to Ukraine throughout fiscal 2022 and 2023. The investigation — led by Heather Kaiser, a former United States military intelligence officer and veteran of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — found a $4.48 million payment from the United States Social Security Administration to Kyiv and $4.5 billion from the United States Agency for International Development to pay off Ukraine’s sovereign debt, much of which is owned by the global investment firm BlackRock. The audit also revealed the Pentagon’s $4.5 million contract with the notoriously corrupt company Atlantic Diving Supply to provide Ukraine with unspecified explosives equipment.
The United States Congress has failed to ensure these shady payments and massive arms deals are properly tracked, he said, adding that the Joseph Biden Administration knows that “it is escalating a proxy war against the world’s largest nuclear Power” and is “daring it to respond in kind”. He recalled that in 2014, President Barack Obama rejected demands to send lethal offensive weaponry to Kyiv due to his concern that arming Ukraine would provoke Moscow into a further escalation that could drag Washington into a proxy war. When President Donald Trump entered office in 2017, he attempted to hold the line on Mr. Obama’s policy but was soon branded “a Russian puppet” for refusing to send Raytheon’s Javelin missiles to the Ukrainian military. His reluctance to send the Javelins became part of the basis for his impeachment.
In January 2022, the United States announced a $200 million arms package to Ukraine, he said. By 18 February, there was a doubling in ceasefire violations, the overwhelming majority of targeted sites on the side of the pro-Russian separatist population in Donetsk and Lugansk. Five days later, the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine. President Biden said in March 2022: “The idea that we’re gonna send in offensive equipment and have planes and tanks… don’t kid yourself, no matter what you all say, that’s called World War III.” Just over a year later, “Biden changed his tune”, backing a plan to provide F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, and after pressuring Germany to send in the tanks he once feared would provoke a third world war.
Turning to recent events, he said that the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam triggered a major environmental catastrophe that caused mass flooding and contamination of the local water supply. Ukraine blames the Russian Federation for the attack but has produced no evidence. Around this time, Ukraine also baselessly accused Moscow of planning a provocation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. This triggered a resolution by United States Senators Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal calling for NATO to intervene directly in Ukraine and attack Russia if such an incident occurred. “Why are we tempting nuclear annihilation by flooding Ukraine with advanced weapons and sabotaging negotiations at every turn?” he asked, underscoring that both Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and members of the United States Congress are calling for pre-emptive strikes on the Russian Federation, in violation of Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.
CHAY BOWES, Scholar specializing in small arms and munitions, said that, since the start of the conflict, a “frenzied, incalculable, loosely regulated” supply of weapons has flooded into Ukraine, with sources there still calling for heavy and light weapons, as well as ammunition, to conduct their operations. As a result, he said, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is supporting a military proxy conflict in Ukraine, which has decreasing manpower and diminishing operational capacity to prevent a Russian military victory in Ukraine, he said. This escalation by NATO planners in an “ever-hawkish Anglosphere”, involving the delivery of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons, poses a concern, he said, as it is taking place in a country described by the United States State Department as “endemically corrupt”.
Ukrainians dying in their thousands on the battlefield are the foremost victims of a military escalation, he continued, pointing to the defunct equipment they were supplied with and the lack of meaningful air support. In this context, Ukraine’s operations constitute “suicidal, full-frontal attacks”, he said, describing the actions of those continuing such a situation “deeply cynical and sinister”. The sheer scale and volume of weapons supplied to Ukraine — $40 billion worth from with the United States — imply high-tech supplies, which is not the case, he added, citing a New York Times report about 30 per cent of Ukraine’s arsenal being under repair. Voicing concern about the risks posed by the haphazard supplies of small arms circulating in the country since the start of the conflict given its levels of dysfunction, criminality and corruption, he pointed out that the Bataclan terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015 were carried out with M70s, Serbian copies of Kalashnikovs, which now circulate in the tens of thousands in Ukraine.
SERGEY RADCHENKO, Wilson E. Schmidt Distinguished Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, said the Russian Federation is conducting a war of aggression against Ukraine. The Russian Federation’s troops have committed atrocities and the country has violated key and core principles of the United Nations Charter. “I’m a historian and historians bring the past to the present so that we gain a better understanding of what the future may hold,” he said. The Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine is not a historically unprecedented development. However, it is by the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence that Ukraine asks the world for military aid. It is also by that same right that so many nations have contributed to Ukraine’s defence by sending much-needed military aid. “If anything, they have not gone far enough,” he added.
The Russian Federation’s complaints regarding external support to Ukraine do not detract from the fact that the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine on fabricated reasons, he continued. And yet, the Russian Federation has been so bold as to demand that the West does not supply Ukraine with weapons to defend itself against this treacherous attack. He expressed hope that the Security Council can differentiate between truth and lies and between those who are truly peace-loving and those who are talking about striving for peace but actually are waging war.
VASSILY A. NEBENZIA (Russian Federation) warned against multiplying threats that stem from Western weapons being supplied to Ukraine, as Western countries continue to make attempts to shift all blame for the conflict in Ukraine to his country even though the crisis began long before the special military operation. Today, Kyiv’s “Western patrons” are trying to put a new spin on the state of affairs, claiming that they only started to arm Ukraine when the special military operation began to repel the so-called Russian aggression. This scheme became akin to a private military company: NATO-supplied weapons financing military companies. Meantime, thousands of Ukrainians are dying in the battlefields, as military assistance from the United States and the West to Ukraine exceeds $55 billion. Playing with fire, the West is not only pumping the Kyiv regime full of weapons but also training Ukrainian armed forces and providing intelligence to the Ukrainian army. In their militaristic frenzy, Western countries have become completely detached from reality, provoking direct confrontation between nuclear Powers.
He further underscored that while branding his country as an aggressor, the United States has started a record number of aggressive wars throughout its history. This label is not a legal qualification but a political assessment, he asserted, adding that an aggressor is the one who organized a bloody coup in the neighbouring country and turned it into Moscow’s enemy. Moreover, the Western States did not allow Ukraine to become a neutral State — instead, they are arming the country in “an insane calculation” that it is going to vanquish the Russian Federation. As far as weapons are concerned, Ukraine has been integrated into NATO, as Ukraine has hardly any other weaponry. While “Ukrainians are being sent into battle like lamb to the slaughter”, Kyiv’s defeat is “a question of time”, with victims sacrificed in vain, he said.
ADRIAN DOMINIK HAURI (Switzerland) condemned the military aggression against Ukraine by the Russian Federation and rejected any attempts to justify or distort responsibility for this act, which violates international law and the United Nations Charter. Ukraine has the right to ensure its security and to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Several Council resolutions prohibit the transfer of arms from certain countries and its use to carry out attacks on infrastructure, he said, calling on all States to respect these resolutions. Voicing concern over the heavy toll of the conflict on civilians, he called for strict compliance with international humanitarian law. Citing General Assembly resolution ES/11/6 as a broadly supported basis for a just and lasting peace in Ukraine, he welcomed diplomatic efforts pursued to this end. He called on the Russian Federation to de-escalate the situation, cease its combat operations and withdraw its troops from Ukraine without delay.
KHALILAH HACKMAN (Ghana) said that Member States providing defence assistance to Ukraine should implement arms-control measures at all stages of weapons transfer. These measures are necessary to ensure that military support provided during the war serves the singular purpose of strengthening Ukraine’s capacity to assert its right to self-defence in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations. Noting that her country has struggled to appreciate the Russian Federation’s justification for its conduct in Ukraine, she called for the cessation of hostilities and urged Moscow to end the war by immediately and unconditionally withdrawing its troops from the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine. Many Member States have taken a stand for peace in Ukraine, she pointed out, stressing that: “Much responsibility now lies with the two parties to extend themselves beyond their differences and return to the negotiating table in search of a comprehensive and lasting solution.”
BARBARA WOODWARD (United Kingdom), noting her Government’s support for Ukraine’s defence, said that — in addition to providing weapons — it has trained about 17,000 Ukrainian soldiers in the United Kingdom since the start of the Russian Federation’s invasion. When peace is won, her country will also support Ukrainians in rebuilding their country, as it recently did at the Ukraine Recovery Conference. “Ukraine continues to need our support,” she stressed, highlighting a recent report by the Secretary-General that lists a permanent Council member alongside terror groups for committing grave violations affecting children in situations of armed conflict. Russian Federation forces have been responsible for killings, abductions and rapes of children as young as four and have also used children as human shields. Diplomatic efforts will be essential for peace, she underscored, stressing that: “The only path to a sustainable peace is for Putin to withdraw his troops and end this bloodshed now.”
JOÃO GENÉSIO DE ALMEIDA FILHO (Brazil) expressed concern over the disruptive potential of arms transfers to conflict zones. “Our principled position on the subject remains the same,” he stressed, recognizing the right of Ukraine and all Member States to self-defense. “This principle does not exempt us from the obligation, enshrined in Article 33, to seek a peaceful solution to disputes, through direct negotiations, conciliation, mediation or any means that do not involve recourse to arms,” he added. The availability of arms and ammunition may become a long-term destabilizing factor to the security of civilians, and Brazil recognizes the concrete risks posed by the diversion of military equipment to non-State actors — including criminal and terrorist groups. Recognizing that the Arms Trade Treaty provides the means to curtail illegal transfers and to prevent diversion, he underscored: “It is essential to preserve accurate records and ensure the transparency of transactions”.
NICOLAS DE RIVIÈRE (France) emphasized that the Russian Federation bears sole responsibility for the conflict in Ukraine as it decided — in a crude attempt to rewrite history — to attack a sovereign neighbouring country. Moreover, it can end the war at any time by withdrawing its troops, as the International Court of Justice demanded more than a year ago. Contrary to Moscow’s claims, Ukraine has never represented a threat, neither to the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation nor to the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine. Ukraine did not want war and did nothing to provoke it, he said, adding that this war threatens the security of the entire European continent. This is why France has chosen to resolutely support the Ukrainian people in their legitimate right to defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said, noting that the goal is to put Ukraine in a position of strength to enable credible negotiations.
MICHEL XAVIER BIANG (Gabon) voiced concern over the unprecedented spiral of violence, terror and human suffering into which Ukraine has been plunged, citing a recent United Nations report suggesting that the conflict has claimed the lives of 24,862 civilians and entailed over 1,000 attacks on health infrastructure. Between offences and counter-offences, the true toll on human lives is likely to be even higher, he added. Further, he voiced alarm over attacks by warring parties on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant — which risk nuclear catastrophe — and over the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam and consequent ecological, human and economic impact. Gabon condemns the use of weapons with indiscriminate areas of effect targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, including remotely controlled arms. He called for diplomacy to prevail over the logic of strength and the proliferation of weapons, appealing for de-escalation and good-faith negotiations.
VANESSA FRAZIER (Malta), voicing concern over the grave humanitarian crisis and human-rights violations in Ukraine, called on all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian and human-rights law. The result of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine is not only impacting nearly 18 million people in the latter country, but also having ripple effects all over the world, she emphasized. A comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine is therefore needed as a matter of utmost priority. The Council has a duty to distinguish between the victim and the aggressor and recognize Ukraine’s right to self-defence, she stressed, adding that Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be fully upheld. She urged the Russian Federation to halt hostilities, withdraw its military forces and proxies from Ukraine and embrace constructive dialogue and diplomacy as the means to establish lasting peace, stability and security.
MARTINS MARIANO KUMANGA (Mozambique) said that conflict in Ukraine is of collective concern. It poses a serious threat to international peace and security. “It is our considered view that the continuation of the armed conflict and violent confrontation in Ukraine is not the answer to the interests of the parties and those of the world community,” he stressed. In this connection, Mozambique calls on the parties to the conflict to take responsibility for protecting civilians and ensure compliance with applicable international law and international humanitarian law. He also reiterated Mozambique’s call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the return to direct negotiations between the parties, as a matter of urgency and in full respect for the United Nations Charter and the relevant Council decisions.
ISHIKANE KIMIHIRO (Japan) said that his delegation is inclined to “repeat its basic position”. “It is Russia that initiated the unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine,” he stressed, underscoring Ukraine’s right to self-defence. Arms are provided to Ukraine for it to defend itself. By contrast, no nation should support the Russian Federation’s aggression. Expressing concern over reports of arms transactions between the Russian Federation and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he said that any transaction of arms with the latter country is in violation of relevant Council resolutions and should be condemned. Japan is not convinced by the argument that the efforts to support self-defence deter diplomatic efforts to end aggression. “If a neighbouring country launched a war of aggression against your homeland, occupied your territory, and then argued diplomatic efforts to end aggression, what would be the response,” he asked. The Russian Federation must withdraw its troops from Ukraine and respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
FERIT HOXHA (Albania) expressed disappointment over the time wasted by having two persons, with identical positions, mislead the Council with militant views. When a sovereign country is attacked without a shred of justification — when people are killed in their homes, hospitals, schools and kindergartens —“condemnation is good but not enough”, he underscored. Arms transfers to Ukraine have been conducted in accordance with national legislation, the Arms Trade Treaty and the obligations arising therefrom, and the risk of diversion has been assessed. Meanwhile, the Russian Federation is using weapons illegally acquired from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Iran, blatantly violating resolutions that Moscow itself supported. “A knife is a knife; it depends on what it is used for,” he observed, adding that there are weapons to defend life and there are weapons to kill innocent civilians.
ROBERT A. WOOD (United States), reiterating that it is categorically false to imply that support for Ukraine constitutes a threat to international peace and security, said that doing so constitutes a “clumsy attempt to rewrite the facts of the conflict”: that the Russian Federation is carrying out a full-scale war of aggression against its neighbour, while Ukraine is defending itself. Today’s meeting is a “painfully obvious” attempt to divert attention from such facts, he said, pointing out that although the Russian Federation has repeatedly denied that the Wagner Group was connected to the Russian State, President Vladimir Putin has now “nakedly admitted” that his Government fully funded the group, granting it $2 billion from State coffers this year alone.
The Russian Federation has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to abuse its position on the Council to promote falsehoods and to deliberately misguide the international community, including by today’s meeting, he added. Two weeks ago, an African delegation on a peace mission to Kyiv was forced to shelter in a bunker as missiles rained down, demonstrating the Russian Federation’s utter disinterest in peace and diplomacy, he said, adding that its acquisition of drones from Iran in violation of Council resolutions demonstrated its lack of genuine desire for de-escalation.
HERNÁN PÉREZ LOOSE (Ecuador), while rejecting armed violence, militarization and the build-up of weapons anywhere, also underscored the right to self-defence as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. The supply of weapons must pursue the purpose of security, he said, urging those States who provide weapons to Ukraine to further enhance their checks to prevent spare parts from feeding the war efforts of the occupying army. Further, he stressed the seriousness of placing weapons into the hands of mercenaries operating on the margins of international law. “A few days ago, we saw the so-called private army of the Wagner Group jeopardizing even Russia’s own stability,” he recalled. The Russian Federation must stop the protracted invasion of Ukraine, which has already claimed too many lives. Member States have a duty to settle their disputes in a diplomatic manner, he noted, stressing: “We must move from the logic of domination of one State over another to the logic of diplomacy”.
GENG SHUANG (China) expressed concern over the massive flow of weapons witnessed since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, which has resulted in spillover effects and proliferation risks. Since day one, this crisis has led to mounting civilian casualties and the devastation of civilian facilities in conflict areas. The situation on the ground has become increasingly brutal and dire. What the world needs, he underscored, is a ceasefire and cessation in fighting — “not pumping weapons into the battlefield”. It needs dialogue and negotiations, not escalated fighting. Accordingly, he stressed the importance of upholding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, abiding by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and respecting the legitimate security concerns of all parties. He also noted that his Government has stayed engaged with the parties concerned over the Ukraine crisis, actively facilitating peace talks in this regard.
LANA ZAKI NUSSEIBEH (United Arab Emirates), Council President for June, spoke in her national capacity to underscore the need to safeguard weapons during transfer, storage and deployment, urging concerted steps to mitigate the risks associated with arms transfers. She also called on the Council to ensure uniform compliance with all its relevant resolutions. Outlining the devastation wrought on Ukraine over 16 months of war — which has killed thousands, displaced millions, damaged critical infrastructure and turned fertile fields into battlefields — she said that, while it may be a European war, “it is most certainly a global concern”. Noting impacts on the global economy, energy and food — along with amplified nuclear risks — she emphasized: “A constant call echoes from every corner of the Global South in support of a peaceful resolution to this conflict.” She therefore urged serious effort to end the war, despite the difficulty of the diplomacy required to do so.
Mr. NEBENZIA, taking the floor a second time and addressing comments on Kramatorsk, referred to a statement by his country’s Minister for Defence. Such statement noted that, due to an attack on 27 June in Kramatorsk, two generals and up to 50 officers from the Ukrainian armed forces — as well as up to 20 military advisers and foreign mercenaries — were destroyed. Turning to comments on the Wagner Group, he noted that several delegations attempted to refer today to events that recently occurred in his country. Those are domestic affairs of the Russian Federation, he stressed, noting that its leadership has adopted exhaustive measures to address the situation as swiftly as possible. This has avoided any large-scale destabilization in the country, as well as any bloodshed among the civilian population. Many friendly nations have expressed their support and concern, he added.
Regarding the poisonous insinuations of the United Kingdom’s representative — including the supposed use of children as human shields — he said that his delegation will respond to those in due course during London’s Council presidency. He also said that, once again, the representative of the United States lied unabashedly about several things, including airstrikes targeting Kyiv during a foreign delegation’s visit. This was refuted by African delegations who visited Kyiv, he noted. He then emphasized that, to end this war, Kyiv must be given orders by its sponsors. No such order or signal means that the United States has no desire to end this conflict and, rather, is only interested in continuing it to inflict defeat on the Russian Federation. “You won’t see the day when that happens,” he stressed.
SERGIY KYSLYTSYA (Ukraine) said that Tuesday’s missile attack on Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region could happen on a permanent basis, without any hindrance. Twelve killed, including 3 children, and 60 wounded — that was the outcome of the Russian Federation’s missile hitting a local restaurant. “It is not because Ukraine receives weapons that three young girls were killed by Russia in Kramatorsk, but because Russia still has weapons and remains willing to kill,” he said. He also spotlighted the security threats stemming from the Russian Federation’s practice of recruiting people with criminal backgrounds for use in proxy armed formations. “This was the case with the infamous Wagner Group, known for its crimes in the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine,” he said. For decades, the Russian Federation has multiplied crises throughout the world, trying to hide its responsibility behind such proxy structures.
“Finally, Russian aggression has incrementally started returning to its home harbour,” he went on to say. The world witnessed the paralysis of authorities in Moscow as armed mercenary units advanced, with little resistance, towards the Russian capital and shot down Russian aircraft. “Putin’s regime has been built on lies and hypocrisy,” he said, adding: “For years, Putin lied that the Wagner Group had no affiliation with the Russian Government”. That regime continues to pose an existential threat — not only to its neighbours and other regions throughout the world, but also to the Russian Federation itself. “Putin’s regime will only keep degenerating while generating new crises and threats until it finally collapses,” he said. The international community should therefore address the Russian Federation’s crisis. “Ukraine continues to do its best to survive and to stop the evil,” he said, expressing gratitude to the nations that support his country — including by supplying necessary weapons.