Delegates Criticize Russian Federation for Consuming Resources of Security Council
Ukraine Did Nothing to Provoke War,
Many Speakers Underscore, Condemning Atrocities Perpetrated by Moscow
Ukraine is forced to choose between its legitimate right to self-defence and its annihilation, several delegates told the Security Council today, as they contested the pretext under which today’s meeting was convened, noting its detrimental effect on the 15-member organ’s work.
Raffi Gregorian, Deputy to the Under-Secretary-General and Officer-in-Charge at the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, outlined the Office’s main functions, including to provide leadership on the General Assembly counter-terrorism mandate and to improve visibility and resource mobilization for the Organization’s counter-terrorism efforts. However, the Assembly does not provide the Office the mandate to investigate or ascertain the conduct of States and other actors; nor to determine what constitutes an act of terrorism, whether by a State, a group or an individual. “For these reasons, I regret that I have nothing else to contribute to the substance of today’s session,” he said.
Sergey Chaulin, a civil activist who said he defended traditional family values that his parents taught him back in Soviet times, said that he was deported from Estonia in 2023. After finding refuge in the Russian Federation, he recalled his experience surviving a bomb explosion in a Saint Petersburg cafe, which killed “independent war correspondent” Vladlen Tatarsky. Citing an investigation, he said that Ukrainian militants were behind the attack. Mr. Tatarsky was trying to convey the truth about what was happening in Donbas since 2014, he said, calling for accountability for the perpetrators, including those who ordered and orchestrated the attack.
When the floor opened for discussion, many delegates underscored that, despite Moscow’s claims, Ukraine did nothing to provoke the war, and condemned large-scale atrocities perpetrated by Russian forces.
The representative of Albania asked: “What is the purpose of throwing missiles in the middle of the night into apartment buildings and residential areas if not to terrorize people? There is no doubt who is using terror in this bloody war,” he said, adding that Moscow is using every method “to put Ukraine on its knees”.
Japan’s delegate expressed regret that the Russian Federation has been consuming resources of the Security Council by requesting the same number of meetings as those requested by the countries that accuse Moscow. The country seems to have requested this meeting to blame Ukraine for not being able to reach a political solution. However, if the Russian Federation had not initiated the current aggression, the tragedy being witnessed now would never have happened.
In the same vein, Brazil’s delegate, recalling that the Council has met to discuss the conflict in Ukraine 66 times since February 2022, voiced regret that “other urgent situations, such as Sudan, the Sahel and Palestine, are not given adequate consideration”. Dialogue — the only way to lasting peace — remains blocked, he said, decrying that “[the] collective response is limited to a repetition of opposing narratives about events on the ground and of positions known, at this point, by all”.
On that note, Ghana’s delegate expressed deep concern that the prospects for peace in Ukraine remain starkly dim with the parties now heavily invested in a fierce military contest. The chances of sustainable peace are reduced by the events of each passing day, she cautioned, stressing that “the conflict between the two neighbouring countries would, ultimately, be resolved around the table and not on the battlefield”.
Meanwhile, the representative of the Russian Federation said Kyiv’s terrorist essence became evident in 2014 when the United States and the European Union financed the Maidan coup. That is when organized groups of armed nationalists began to carry out massacres. In one instance, people were driven into a building and the building was set on fire. Kyiv uses terrorist means to achieve political goals, he said, criticizing the United Nations for giving Kyiv “carte blanche” for all its crimes.
To that, the representative of Ukraine said: Evil can only be stopped by force, not mere talk. The Russian Federation’s aggression and terrorism against peaceful cities and people present the gravest threat to international peace and security. “But as dangerous is the reluctance of the world to employ force and accountability mechanisms to stop the aggressor,” she warned, adding that Kyiv — in collaboration with the International Criminal Court and other international bodies — will keep gathering evidence of Moscow’s crimes.
RAFFI GREGORIAN, Deputy to the Under-Secretary-General and Officer-in-Charge at the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, said the establishment of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the series of resolutions against Da’esh set forth practical measures for Member States to choke off the flow of foreign terrorist fighters to Da’esh and to reduce its cash reserves. Unfortunately, there has not yet been consensus at the General Assembly on the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism, including on how the definition of terrorism would precisely apply in situations of armed conflict. When the General Assembly established the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism in 2017, it did so with a clear intention to help Member States implement the General Assembly 2006 anti-terrorism strategy and other relevant Assembly and Security Council resolutions related to the fight against terrorism.
He outlined the Office’s main functions, including to provide leadership on the General Assembly counter-terrorism mandate; strengthen the delivery of the United Nations counter-terrorism capacity-building assistance to Member States; improve visibility and resource mobilization for the Organization’s counter-terrorism efforts; and ensure that due priority is given to counter-terrorism across the United Nations system. The Assembly does not provide the Office the mandate to investigate or ascertain the conduct of States and other actors; nor to determine what constitutes an act of terrorism, whether by a State, a group or an individual. “For these reasons, I regret that I have nothing else to contribute to the substance of today’s session,” he said. Citing international law as “the bedrock of the fight against terrorism” — including full respect for obligations under the Charter of the United Nations — he stressed that any action that contravenes these moral imperatives undermines the global fight against terrorism. He underscored that when Member States speak in one voice, they can make meaningful progress in the fight against terrorism.
SERGEY CHAULIN, civil activist, introduced himself as “a simple heating engineer from Estonia”, who in his free time engaged in human rights activities and defended traditional family values that his parents taught him back in Soviet times. On 14 February 2023, he was deported from Estonia in which he was born and lived all his life. He was a stateless person holding an alien’s passport. On the contrary, the Russian Federation accepted him. He learned that on 2 April, “independent war correspondent” Vladlen Tatarsky would speak at a nearby cafe in Saint Petersburg. Arriving there, he took a seat near the stage. A young lady was permitted to bring her present to the stage, which was a bust of Mr. Tatarsky. The young woman was given a standing ovation. A few seconds later there was an explosion.
He said he did not know what happened, thinking his cell phone might have exploded. Many were in blood. He was transported to a hospital where he was interviewed by investigators. The investigation found out that the bust presented by the young woman exploded. It turns out that the woman was recruited by Ukrainian militants. Terrorists detonated the bomb. The young woman miraculously did not suffer because she was behind Mr. Tatarsky, who took the explosion and died. Mr. Tatarsky was trying to convey the truth about what was happening in Donbass since 2014, he said, calling for accountability for the perpetrators, including those who ordered and orchestrated the attack.
DMITRY A. POLYANSKIY (Russian Federation) said that his Western colleagues have concluded that Ukraine can use any means to defend itself but “I suggest that you think twice before stating this”. What kind of military usefulness is in the shelling of peaceful villages? What can justify cowardly raids, shooting children and assassinating journalists? Kyiv’s terrorist essence became evident in 2014 when the United States and the European Union financed the Maidan coup. That is when organized groups of armed nationalists began to carry out massacres. In one instance, people were driven into a building and the building was set on fire.
Kyiv uses terrorist means to achieve political goals as well, he continued. For Western forces, it is nothing new to support terrorist organizations for geopolitical interests. In Ukraine, radical “neo-Nazis” and white nationalists were used first to overthrow the “regime” in Ukraine. How does this relate to Western and European values, or could it be that Western media, who have been promoting Russophobia, has completely turned Westerners into zombies, he asked. The geopolitical ambitions of the collective West brought “to power aggressive nationalists who hate everything Russian”. Without this, there would have been no need for any “special military operation”. Meanwhile, the United Nations is giving the [Ukraine President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy “regime” carte blanche for all its crimes. “Will you continue to remain quiet and blame Russia for everything,” he asked, urging the United Nations to show courage in objectively assessing the actions of Kyiv.
FERIT HOXHA (Albania) deplored that the Russian Federation has turned the Security Council into a place where it tries to sell every ludicrousness on what has been “an unjust, unjustified and inexcusable war of choice”. Against this backdrop, he asked: “What is the purpose of throwing missiles in the middle of the night into apartment buildings and residential areas if not to terrorize people? What is the definition of the use of Iranian kamikaze drones that end up destroying schools, kindergartens and health facilities?” There is no doubt who is using terror in this bloody war, who is responsible for its terrible consequences and who should be held accountable, he stressed. Moscow is using every method “to put Ukraine on its knees”, he said, adding that “Russia went back to the crime scene and killed the grain deal,” knowing that it would cause the death of innocent people.
ADRIAN DOMINIK HAURI (Switzerland) contested the pretext under which today’s meeting was convened, noting that it is “detrimental to the effectiveness of the Council's work”. Condemning in the strongest possible terms the Russian Federation’s military aggression against Ukraine, he recalled that Moscow is not only at the origin of the military aggression against Ukraine, but that credible reports show that it is also responsible for the vast majority of violations of international humanitarian law during this conflict. With the adoption of a General Assembly resolution in February 2023, over 140 countries reiterated their call on the Russian Federation to withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory. So that the search for a diplomatic solution can continue, he urged the Russian Federation to de-escalate the situation, cease all hostilities and withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory without delay.
HERNÁN PÉREZ LOOSE (Ecuador) said that as long as the invasion of Ukraine continues, the Council should be very attentive to the developments of this situation. All Member States assume the obligation of resolving international disputes in a peaceful manner, he recalled. Further, he underscored the many Council resolutions which were vetoed. Almost a year and a half has passed since the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine. And the situation has only worsened in recent months. The Security Council must fulfil its obligation to maintain international peace and security. “All parties must strictly and unconditionally comply with their obligations that derive from international humanitarian law, focused mainly on the protection of civilians,” he said. Only a political solution based on the respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity will lead to a lasting peace.
HANS MARTIEN DIABA (Gabon) deplored that the war in Ukraine continues to flout the most fundamental principles of international law. This situation is unacceptable and must be relentlessly denounced, he said, adding that indiscriminate or targeted attacks, forced displacements, and acts of sabotage only lead to additional suffering for populations, especially women, children and the elderly. Concrete measures must be taken to guarantee the safety of populations and facilitate access for humanitarian organizations. The proliferation of weapons presents a danger to world peace and security. Gabon continues to advocate for international peace and security and invites the parties to seek a diplomatic solution through dialogue, he said.
DARREN CAMILLERI (Malta) reiterated his condemnation of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine as well as Moscow’s unilateral decision to terminate the Black Sea Grain Initiative. “We are facing a man-made problem of food insecurity, and hunger is being used as a weapon,” he said. The Russian Federation is blocking and bombing Ukrainian seaports and preventing freedom of navigation in the Black Sea without any justification. The Russian Federation’s disregard for international humanitarian law has been perpetuated further by the recent deliberate missile strikes on Kostyantynivka and Odesa. “Malta condemns these barbaric acts of terror, which resulted in the death of civilians, including children,” he stressed. The shelling has also damaged educational institutions and other cultural and religious sites. The Russian Federation must immediately cease all hostilities and unconditionally withdraw all its forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine, he said.
SHINO MITSUKO (Japan), noting that today’s meeting is the sixth time the Council discusses Ukraine in July, expressed regret that the Russian Federation has been consuming resources of the organ by simply requesting the same number of meetings as those requested by the countries that accuse Moscow. The Kremlin seems to have requested this meeting to blame Ukraine for not being able to reach a political solution. If the Russian Federation had not initiated the current aggression, the tragedy being witnessed now would never have happened. “Peace prevails based on justice and principles of the United Nations Charter in order for it to last,” she said, urging Moscow to fulfil its responsibilities as a permanent Council member and withdraw all of its troops and military equipment from Ukraine.
TRINA SAHA (United States) expressed regret that this meeting makes a mockery of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism’s important work and that the Russian Federation continues to abuse its position on the Council to lie, distract and mislead. Since the beginning of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the international community has been clear: Over 140 countries have repeatedly condemned the Russian Federation for its aggression against Ukraine and demanded that it withdraws its forces from Ukrainian territory. Citing Moscow’s efforts to divert the Council’s attention from core issues at hand as “a transparent ploy to distract from its own aggression”, she warned that the country announced the stationing of tactical nuclear weapons in the territory of Belarus. “This war would end today if Russia withdrew its forces from Ukraine’s sovereign territory and abandoned its relentless, brutal attacks against Ukraine’s cities and civilian infrastructure,” she said, noting until that day comes, her country will continue to offer its full support to Ukraine’s self-defence.
KHALILAH HACKMAN (Ghana) said that the information provided must be properly investigated. Ghana continues to be deeply concerned that the prospects for peace in Ukraine remain starkly dim with the parties now heavily invested in a fierce military contest. The calls for peace continue to go unheeded and the chances of sustainable peace are reduced by the events of each passing day. Nothing justifies the extensive destruction of the war and the accompanying civilian casualties now running into the tens of thousands. The protection of civilians everywhere must be prioritized. She also stressed the crucial importance of dialogue in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement on a credible pathway for negotiating a settlement of the conflict. “We believe that the conflict between the two neighbouring countries would, ultimately, be resolved around the table and not on the battlefield,” she added.
XING JISHENG (China) expressed concern over the perpetuation of military logic and use of new methods of war in the crisis, warning that escalation could reach a point of no return. The parties to the conflict should maintain calm, safeguard nuclear safety, comply with international humanitarian law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, and cease hostilities. His country supports any initiatives to resolve the impasse, welcoming the recent African peace proposal. China stands ready to support all efforts to find a political solution.
ISIS MARIE DORIANE JARAUD-DARNAULT (France) responded to Moscow’s claims that “it is worried about the lack of prospects for ending the war of aggression”, stressing that Ukraine did not want war and did nothing to provoke it. The Russian Federation decided to violate the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and to attack its neighbour, she recalled, adding that if the country withdrew its troops from Ukraine, the war will end. Ukraine wants peace; however, she continued, “it is forced to choose between its legitimate right to self-defence and its annihilation”. This is why France will continue to support Ukraine and the Ukrainian people for as long as necessary, she said, emphasizing that any solution leading to the endorsement of illegal annexations would only reward the violation of international law and encourage the use of force.
PEDRO COMISSÁRIO AFONSO (Mozambique) said that “if history is of any guide, recent international conflicts often set the stage for the genesis and growth of terrorism, allowing terrorist groups to extend their terror footprint globally”. Contemporary violent transnational groups have exploited the ensuing chaos of conflict in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Council, being the custodian of international peace and security, is under the duty to act. Emphasizing the importance of considering various peace initiatives, including those proposed by African countries, he advocated for a comprehensive, multifaceted approach that can address not only the symptoms but also the root causes of this unfortunate confrontation.
GHASAQ YOUSIF ABDALLA SHAHEEN (United Arab Emirates) said “18 months into the war, there is no sign of it abating”. The dynamics of the war are perpetuating a dangerously escalatory cycle with potentially severe repercussions for geopolitical stability, civilian lives and livelihoods, and the environment. The tragedy of the Kakhovka Dam and the situation around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant are just two reminders of this precariousness. Highlighting efforts to help bring the conflict to an end and mitigate its impact on people in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world, she said that diplomacy has contributed to several humanitarian initiatives, including prisoner of war exchanges, the Black Sea Grain Initiative and the memorandum of understanding on the Russian Federation’s fertilizers and food products. Accordingly, she encouraged further initiatives which could again mitigate the impacts of the conflict, and eventually end the conflict itself.
SÉRGIO FRANÇA DANESE (Brazil) reiterated his call on all parties to refrain from actions that may result in more fatalities and further damage to civilian infrastructure, including port facilities, transportation, schools, hospitals and places of worship, as well as raise the costs of reconstruction. “It is our priority to prevent this humanitarian crisis from reaching new levels,” he stressed. The Council has met to discuss the conflict in Ukraine 66 times since February 2022 — five this month alone. “We regret other urgent situations, such as Sudan, the Sahel and Palestine, are not given adequate consideration,” he continued, also adding: “it is disturbing that our collective response is limited to a repetition of opposing narratives about events on the ground and of positions known, at this point, by all”. It is regrettable that dialogue, the only way to lasting peace, remains blocked and that no advancements towards this end are in sight, he emphasized.
FERGUS JOHN ECKERSLEY (United Kingdom) said that the Russian Federation’s claim that it is Ukrainian aggression that is in any way responsible for the ongoing war in Ukraine is absurd. “There is only one aggressor in this war,” he stressed, adding that Russian forces are responsible for horrific and large-scale atrocities, including torture, sexual violence, deportations and summary executions. It is the Russian Federation that made the unilateral decision to end the Black Sea Grain Initiative, despite widespread calls from the international community for Moscow to renew the deal. “And it is Russia that is sending thousands of its own young men to their deaths,” he continued. Estimates suggest that more than 200,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or injured in Ukraine. Ukraine is fighting a war of national survival and defending the right of all nations to live without fear of aggression.
KHRYSTYNA HAYOVYSHYN (Ukraine), recalling that the Russian Federation’s testing of international law long predates its invasion of her country in 2014, said that lack of the world’s adequate response to Moscow’s invasion in Georgia in 2008 only encouraged the Kremlin to escalate further. “This historical example underscores the importance of not allowing illegal actions to go unpunished, as they tend to recur with greater force,” she said, stressing that, today, her country is proving that evil can only be stopped by force, not mere talk. The Russian Federation’s aggression presents the gravest threat to international peace and security. “But as dangerous is the reluctance of the world to employ force and accountability mechanisms to stop the aggressor,” she warned, adding that Kyiv, working in collaboration with United Nations structures, the International Criminal Court and other esteemed international bodies, will keep gathering evidence of Moscow’s crimes.
In recent days, the aggressor State has been stubbornly attacking Ukrainian cities and shelling civilian objects and housing, she said, noting that this morning, residential buildings, a university and a crossroads in Kryvyi Rih, Kherson, were hit. Among the killed was a 10-year-old girl. “This is terrorism against peaceful cities and people,” she warned. Rejecting Moscow’s attempt to persistently mock the mandate and procedures of the Council, she said: “When evil faces defeat, it behaves exactly like the representative of the Russian delegation in this Chamber. It often resorts to manipulation, trying to portray itself as a victim.” All this is because the Russian Federation is losing the war. Ukraine exercises its inherent right to self-defence under Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations.