Speakers Tell Security Council Increased Weapons Flow to Ukraine Exacerbating Insecurity, Yet Several Delegates Defend Kyiv’s Right to Self-Defence
The issue of arms supplies to Ukraine was taken up again at the Security Council, putting on display divisions among briefers and Council members, with some contending that the unchecked flow of weapons dragged out the conflict, and many others defending Kyiv’s legitimate right to defend itself against the Russian Federation’s ongoing war of aggression.
Adedeji Ebo, Director and Deputy to the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, said that transfers of weapons systems and ammunition to the Ukrainian armed forces had expanded in recent months, in the context of the full-scale invasion of that country. “Large-scale influx of weapons and ammunition into any armed conflict situation raises significant concerns for peace, security and stability, including due to diversion and proliferation risks,” he observed.
Measures to address such risks, including enhanced marking practices, comprehensive pre-transfer diversion risk assessments and end-user certificates, are essential for preventing further instability and insecurity in Ukraine and beyond, he continued. To this end, he cited key arms control instruments such as the UN Register of Conventional Arms and the Arms Trade Treaty and looked forward to the General Assembly’s endorsement of a new Global Framework for Through-life Conventional Ammunition Management, and its subsequent operationalization.
Garland Nixon, a political analyst and journalist, pointed out that, since February 2022, the United States Government has injected over $100 billion in arms and assistance to the conflict, including many handheld weapons with incredible destructive capabilities. Some of these armaments could easily take down a civilian passenger aircraft or be used with devastating effect on a convoy of civilian vehicles, as the ones that many diplomats in the Council chamber routinely use to cross their respective nations. “The injection of these military grade weapons into an environment as unstable as Ukraine is beyond irresponsible,” he stressed. Western countries must stop contributing to the influx of arms, he said, warning of dire consequences if such powerful weapons landed in the hands of criminal elements in Europe and beyond. “In the instance of the European Union, it may end up being suicidal for many of its citizens.”
In the ensuing debate, many Council members voiced concern over the mounting toll of the war on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, as well as its fallout beyond the country’s borders. Speakers, however, varied in their emphasis on how the conflict should end: through de-escalation, diplomacy, or the withdrawal of Russian troops.
The Russian Federation’s delegate criticized Western countries for hypocritically calling for the conflict to end, while pumping Ukraine with weapons. “I underscore Russia is countering not the Ukrainian army, whose resources are almost depleted, but the collective military machine of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries and the military-industrial complex,” he stressed. Pointing to emerging evidence that control over arms flowing into Ukraine is weak or non-existent, with high levels of corruption surrounding military supplies, he cited a recent statement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said that such weapons appeared on his country’s borders this summer. While weapons manufacturing companies profited from this scenario, “Ukrainians are the pawns in this geopolitical game,” he added.
The United States’ delegate, however, countered that the Russian Federation’s convening of today’s meeting on the prolonged war in Ukraine was “farcical”: Moscow could end the war “by simply withdrawing its troops”. It is “the height of hypocrisy” for a permanent Council member, which invaded another Member State in violation of the United Nations Charter, to raise questions about that State’s inherent right to self-defence upheld by the Charter. In fact, it is the Russian Federation’s continued weapons procurement from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Iran, in violation of relevant Council resolutions, that posed “the real threats to international peace and security this Council should be discussing”, he stressed.
In a similar vein, the United Kingdom’s representative stressed that international assistance to Ukraine, including by his country, is not what is prolonging the war, which has already caused immense human suffering. However, the Russian Federation’s procurement of arms from heavily sanctioned States such as Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea poses a serious risk to international peace and security and violates multiple Council resolutions, for which Moscow itself voted.
The representative of Japan was among several speakers drawing a distinction between the two countries involved in the war of aggression, observing that, while Ukraine is exercising its right to self-defence, “one country is a rule breaker and the other is a rule defender.” No support, including arms transfers, should be given to the Russian Federation, she said. As the only country to have suffered atomic bombings during war, she reiterated Japan’s commitment towards realizing a nuclear weapons-free world and voiced concern over Moscow’s announcements about possibly revoking its ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
Rounding out the discussion, Ukraine’s delegate refuted the Russian Federation’s assertion that arms from Ukraine had been transferred to the Middle East, calling it fake information, without any credible evidence. He reiterated his gratitude to all nations that have helped Ukraine to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity to “save our people from extermination”. He pointed out that such solidarity, while critical for his country, was in defence of the UN Charter, “whose principles are now under crash test in Ukraine”.
THREATS TO INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY
ADEDEJI EBO, Director and Deputy to the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, said that since the High Representative’s last briefing on the topic a month ago, military assistance to Ukraine’s armed forces has continued in the context of the full-scale invasion of that country, launched by the Russian Federation on 24 February 2022 in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law. Citing information on Governments’ transfers of weapons systems and ammunition to the Ukrainian armed forces, ranging from heavy conventional weapons to remotely operated munitions, he said such transfers had expanded over the past months. He took note of reports related to the transfer of depleted-uranium tank ammunition to the Ukrainian forces and of transfers and planned transfers of weapons to the Russian armed forces, reiterating that they must take place within applicable international legal frameworks, including relevant Council resolutions.
“Reports related to the use of anti-personnel landmines and the use and transfer of cluster munitions in Ukraine are deeply concerning,” he said, and called for “an immediate end to the use of these inhumane and indiscriminate weapons which has severe and lasting humanitarian impacts”. Landmines and explosive weapons have resulted in widespread contamination in Ukraine, posed a threat to civilian lives, and rendered land unsafe for agricultural use. States that are not yet parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, and to the Convention on Cluster Munitions should accede to these conventions, he said. States must also abide by their obligations under the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects (and Protocols).
“Large-scale influx of weapons and ammunition into any armed conflict situation raises significant concerns for peace, security and stability, including due to diversion and proliferation risks,” he said. Measures to address these risks — enhanced marking practices, comprehensive pre-transfer diversion risk assessments and end-user certificates, among others, — are essential for preventing further instability and insecurity in Ukraine, the region and beyond. Such measures call for supply chain transparency and cooperation and information exchange between importing, transit, and exporting States, he added, citing the UN Register of Conventional Arms as a key tool to this end. He cited other arms control instruments, such as the Arms Trade Treaty, the Firearms Protocol, looking forward to the General Assembly’s endorsement of a new Global Framework for Through-life Conventional Ammunition Management, and its subsequent operationalization.
Turning to the impact of the intensifying war, he noted that between 24 February 2022 and 8 October 2023, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 27,768 civilian casualties in Ukraine and that “the actual figures are likely to be considerably higher”. Most casualties resulted from the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects, he said, reiterating the Secretary-General’s call for parties to conflict to avoid the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. As well, all Member States must support and implement the Political Declaration on Strengthening the Protection of Civilians from the Humanitarian Consequences Arising from the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas. He condemned the systematic and relentless attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure and services across Ukraine. “Attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure must stop immediately,” he said, adding: “Those responsible for attacks targeting civilians must be held accountable”.
GARLAND NIXON, a political analyst, said he is a retired police official, journalist, and “in my opinion, a representative of the working-class citizens of the United States”. He recounted that, “in February 2022, Russia elected to enter the military conflict in Ukraine, and average working-class citizens were provided by our media with an assortment of shallow, simplistic, and often conflicting reasons for that action.” He also recalled that in 2019, Oleksiy Arestovych, a close adviser to President Zelenskyy, was quoted as saying: “With a probability of 99.9 per cent, our price for joining NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] is a big war with Russia.” “Notwithstanding the ahistorical claims of Russian expansion or President Vladmir Putin's hostility towards democracy, we find ourselves today in an extinction level crisis that can, and must, be resolved through diplomacy,” he added.
Since February 2022, the United States Government has injected over $100 billion in arms and other forms of assistance to the conflict, with a significant portion in the form of small, but powerful armaments, he said. Many of these handheld weapons possess incredible destructive capabilities, he pointed out, adding that man-portable air-defence systems — or MANPADS — can easily take down a civilian passenger aircraft and anti-tank rockets that could be used with devastating effect on a convoy of civilian vehicles, as the ones that many diplomats in the room routinely use to cross their respective nations. “The injection of these military grade weapons into an environment as unstable as Ukraine is beyond irresponsible,” he stressed, warning: “In the instance of the European Union, it may end up being suicidal for many of its citizens.”
As weapons from the conflict enter Africa via the black market, European nations are most likely already inundated with dangerous military hardware, he said. When the conflict ends, the most violent and criminal elements in Europe and beyond, will possess the ability to threaten the internal stability of any nation. “Who amongst us would be comfortable taking a commercial flight if criminal or terrorist actors shoot down a civilian plane in Paris, London, or Brussels?” he asked, imploring Council members to push for a peaceful resolution and expansive project to locate and gather up the brutal weapons “that will surely threaten the lives and livelihoods of the hard-working citizens of the European continent and beyond”. “Recent statements and advertisements by United States supporters of this conflict make it clear that they are unconcerned with the human consequences of their decisions and clearly demonstrate a reckless disregard for the lives of the Ukrainian people,” he added, recalling that United States Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina recently stated that Russians dying is “the best money the United States has ever spent”.
“It is critical that we consider the economic health of the hard-working people of Europe,” he urged, warning that should the current Middle East crisis metastasize, a winter without Russian energy would result in the immediate and precipitous demise of the European economic bloc. Western nations must immediately cease contributing to the influx of weapons, and secure the lives of the front-line Ukrainian troops by offering a unilateral ceasefire with a guarantee wherein non-aligned nations such as those in Africa and Latin America are authorized to ensure that this agreement is not compromised, he said. He urged the Security Council to: “Stop the flow of weapons into the Ukrainian theatre, push for an end to hostilities, and work for a resolution of European security that takes into account the security of the European nations, the Russian Federation, and the overall threat that this conflict presents to the existence of humanity.”
VASSILY A. NEBENZIA (Russian Federation) criticized Western countries for hypocritically calling for an end to the conflict, while pumping Ukraine with weapons. They offer no practical proposals for peace, he said. Among examples, he cited a report of Kyiv becoming the largest importer of weapons and military equipment from Germany. He added that at least 13 foreign private military companies and nine paramilitary proxy groups fight alongside Ukraine. “I underscore Russia is countering not the Ukrainian army, whose resources are almost depleted, but the collective military machine of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries and the military-industrial complex,” he said. There are ongoing irresponsible statements about the future of Ukraine in NATO, which would only deepen the European security crisis. He accused Western countries of trying to prevent public questions over how Ukraine is using the weapons it is receiving and said that more evidence is emerging that control over the arms is weak or non-existent, with high levels of corruption surrounding military supplies in Ukraine.
He noted that a few days ago Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that weapons transferred from the West to Ukraine appeared at the borders of Israel in the summer of 2023. Western arms manufacturers welcome increased profits from this situation, and Ukraine is a testing ground for new military hardware and technology. “Ukrainians are the pawns in this geopolitical game,” he said. Money spent by Western countries on arms for Ukraine could go towards development projects in Ukraine or to help finance countries of the Global South. He added that as its counteroffensive fails, Ukraine resorts to openly terrorist methods, trying to strike civilian facilities in the Russian Federation. Western intelligence services have been involved in these events, including the United Kingdom, with saboteurs blowing up the Crimean Bridge. He said that nobody was threatening Ukraine, and the Russian Federation wants Ukrainians to live in peace.
JOHN KELLEY (United States) took issue with the Russian Federation’s convening today’s meeting as part of its repeated cynical use of the Council as “a pulpit for its growing disinformation campaign”. It is “the height of hypocrisy” for a permanent Council member, which invaded another Member State in violation of the United Nations Charter, to raise questions about that State’s inherent right to self-defence upheld by the Charter. He took issue with the Kremlin’s irresponsible nuclear rhetoric, and its procurement of arms from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Iran, in violation of relevant Council resolutions, as well as its continued threats to global food security. He said today’s meeting on the prolonged war in Ukraine is “farcical”, as Moscow could end the war “by simply withdrawing its troops”. He voiced concern over that country’s continued weapons procurement, calling them “the real threats to international peace and security this Council should be discussing”. On that, he pointed to the publication last week, by a think tank, of satellite imagery showing 73 railcars in a town in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea bordering the Russian Federation, recalling that Council resolutions prohibit all Member States from procuring arms from the former. He called on Moscow to abide by all its Council obligations and to immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine.
MICHEL XAVIER BIANG (Gabon) voiced concern about the intensification in recent weeks of bombings and other attacks against the civilian population and infrastructure, and essential infrastructure, among them grain storage units. “Whether offensive or counteroffensive, indiscriminate strikes do not spare children, women or older persons, as seen in recent attacks in the village of Hroza,” he stressed. He voiced concern about the reconfiguration of alliances and military rapprochement, as well as certain countries’ changes with respect to their arms policies. The international community must respond to the Secretary-General's call asking States to apply new international rules with respect to autonomous weapons systems, which blindly attack their targets and lead to a great number of civilian victims, including after conflicts. He called on the warring parties to honour their obligations under international humanitarian law. He further called on all parties to redouble efforts to prevent the effects of mass circulation of conventional weapons by intensifying measures for tracking and marking.
DOMINGOS ESTÊVÃO FERNANDES (Mozambique) acknowledged every nation's sovereign right to self-defence but said it was imperative that “all applicable protocols and international arms control agreements be respected” to ensure global peace and security. This is crucial to prevent the unregulated transfers of arms which lead to the unintended proliferation and illicit trafficking of weapons, he said. Arms transfers can extend the duration and intensity of the conflict, diminish hopes for peace and negatively affect broader international efforts to maintain peace and security. He argued that a diplomatic and negotiated resolution is the sole avenue to conclude this conflict, and that all avenues, peace initiatives, and confidence-building measures be given a chance for this end. When trust is re-established, the pathways to peace will naturally emerge, he added. He urged relevant parties to immediately halt hostilities, return to direct negotiations in good faith, and embrace a positive, inclusive, and results-driven strategy.
SHINO MITSUKO (Japan) said “today we are again hearing the same claims by Russia,” when it is the country violating the Charter of the United Nations in this war of aggression. While Ukraine is exercising its right to self-defence, “one country is a rule breaker and the other is a rule defender,” she stated. No support, including arms transfers, should be given to the Russian Federation, while its attempts to mislead the international community have failed — as the overwhelming majority of Member States intend to uphold the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, and understand the root causes of the global negative effects of the conflict. As the only country to have suffered atomic bombings during war, she reiterated Japan’s commitment towards realizing a world without nuclear weapons — voicing deep concern over Moscow’s announcements about possibly revoking its ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and the possibility of military cooperation with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
GHASAQ YOUSIF ABDALLA SHAHEEN (United Arab Emirates) noted that armed conflict and the chaos that so often accompanies it create a set of conditions that could lead to unforeseen and unfortunate consequences. She therefore urged all parties to mitigate the risks associated with arms transfers, storage and deployment, particularly in the situations of armed conflict. Ultimately, she stated “the most effective way to address those risks associated is to bring the conflict to a definitive end”. Urging all parties to the conflict in Ukraine to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law, she reiterated that the protection of civilians and civilian objects is paramount. While the numbers of deaths, casualties, and displacement of civilians provide a stark reminder of the cost this war has wrought on the people of Ukraine, “the invisible trauma and long-lasting impacts on the population will also leave their indelible mark”, she said.
NICOLAS DE RIVIÈRE (France), recalling the Council’s meeting four days ago following the Russian Federation’s air strike in the Ukrainian town of Hroza, claiming the lives of 52 civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law, said that today’s meeting is an attempt by Moscow to divert attention from the crimes it is committing. “No one is buying the argument that support to Ukraine is the cause of the conflict, or the reason for its extended duration,” he stressed. Reiterating that the attack on Ukraine disregarded the Charter of the United Nations, he said that, therefore, countries including France were lending support to Ukraine’s right to self-defence, in line with Article 51. France is lending political, humanitarian and military assistance to help Ukraine defend itself against indiscriminate strikes on critical infrastructure and civilians. He voiced concern over the Russian Federation’s acquisition of weapons in violation of Council resolutions, and echoed the International Court of Justice’s 6 March call on that country to withdraw its forces from Ukraine.
GENG SHUANG (China) called on all relevant parties to the Ukrainian crisis to take a responsible attitude, pay heightened attention and make every effort to prevent the risk of proliferation of weapons and ammunitions, especially to prevent them from falling into the hands of non-State actors. His country has repeatedly stated that dialogue and negotiation is the fundamental way to stop the fighting and restore peace, he said, stressing that strengthened dialogue and exchanges with all parties play a positive and constructive role in promoting a political settlement of the Ukrainian issue. Pointing to more conflict and “flames of war” from Asia to Africa and from Ukraine to the Middle East, he said that the deep-seated reasons behind this warrant serious reflection. He called on the international community to adhere to “the concept of common, integrated, cooperative and sustainable security” and advocate peaceful coexistence and dialogue, to fundamentally defuse conflicts and problems, and achieve lasting peace and common security.
ADRIAN DOMINIK HAURI (Switzerland) noted the meeting followed the one held earlier this week in the wake of the deadly attack in Hroza. A large majority of Council members recalled that civilians and civilian infrastructure are protected by international humanitarian law. The Russian Federation can put an end to the conflict at any time, he stated, and thus eliminate the risks associated with the arms deliveries it is concerned about. “Never confuse the aggressor with the aggressed,” he stressed, rejecting any attempt at justifying the deflection of responsibility for the conflict’s consequences. Like all States, Ukraine has the right to ensure its security and defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty. He further voiced deep concern over the erosion of the arms control architecture, whether through the illegal transfer of drones from Iran to the Russian Federation, or the alleged transfer of arms and munitions from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the same recipient.
DARREN CAMILLERI (Malta) said that through this meeting the Russian Federation is cynically attempting to shift responsibility for the war. He underlined Ukraine’s right to self-defence and said that the Russian Federation continues to be responsible for violations of international law and human rights, noting missile attacks on Ukraine by the Russian Federation a few days ago. He called for this not to become part of “the new normal”. The humanitarian situation on the ground has widened, including impacts on infrastructure, health care, and education. He stressed “the parties’ obligations to protect civilians, facilitate the flow of humanitarian assistance, and immediately stop the campaign of targeting civilian objects”. He was deeply concerned by the Russian Federation’s announcement recently regarding its possible reconsideration of its ratification of the CTBT.
FERGUS JOHN ECKERSLEY (United Kingdom) said that, while the Russian Federation has told many lies in the Council about what its illegal war of aggression was supposed to achieve, almost 600 days into its special operation, its plan for peace is quite clear. Recalling President Vladimir Putin’s statement, last week, that the Ukrainian economy and military would collapse within a week without the assistance of other States, he said: “This is the ‘resolution’ that Russia is striving for: the complete destruction of a United Nations Member State.” The war continues to cause immense human suffering, he said, pointing to more than 100,000 incidents of alleged war crimes committed during the conflict. He said that the sham referenda demonstrated that, to Moscow, “a people’s right to self-determination is found only at the tip of a Russian bayonet”. In this context, he stressed that international assistance to Ukraine, including by his country, is not what is prolonging this war. However, the Russian Federation’s procurement of arms from heavily sanctioned States such as Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea poses a serious risk to international peace and security and violates multiple Council resolutions, for which Moscow itself voted.
ANDRÉS EFREN MONTALVO SOSA (Ecuador), voicing concern about the continued increase in harmful nuclear rhetoric and accompanying specific actions, called on all Member States to strengthen the international disarmament architecture and to ratify or to join the existing treaties. Addressing the signatory States or the States Parties to those treaties, he urged that those instruments, including the CTBT, not be weakened, and urged their entry into force. Recalling the 9 October Council meeting convened at Ukraine’s request, he once again condemned the attacks in Hroza and Kharkiv and pointed to the role that anti-air weapons systems can play in protecting the civilian population. Joining other speakers, he expressed concern about the escalation of violence and conflict in the world and stressed that the Russian Federation must cease attacking residential or densely populated areas and put end to the invasion.
CAROLYN ABENA ANIMA OPPONG-NTIRI (Ghana) noted the deterioration of humanitarian conditions in Ukraine and the effect on peace and security worldwide of the conflict. Civilians and civilian infrastructure continue to be attacked in Ukraine despite prohibitions of this under international law. It is clear to us that the use of force “is not the most strategic choice for advancing individual or the collective interests of States”, she said. The conflict can only be resolved through dialogue, but this seems to be lacking. The different raging conflicts globally have put the international system and the Council under immense pressure, she said, adding that urgent action is required to prevent conflicts and bring about cooperation. She urged an intensification of diplomatic efforts to forge dialogue between the parties and relevant stakeholders, and she encouraged the reactivation of engagement by regional bodies that are part of European security architecture.
ARIAN SPASSE (Albania) pointed out that, on the heels of the Council’s recent meeting on the attack on Hroza in Ukraine, which killed 52 civilians, the Russian Federation is calling for another meeting on weapons supply, an issue that has been discussed many times before. In this context, he stressed that, while the Russian Federation is using its weapons to kill the people of another country in disregard of international law and the Charter of the United Nations, Ukraine is using them for self-defence, in line with both. “This is why Russia should be condemned and Ukraine should be supported,” he said. Article 51 of the UN Charter provides a clear legal basis for States to assist a country exercising its right to self-defence, he said, noting however that Moscow is using Iranian drones in breach of Council resolution 2231 (2015), and allegedly procuring weapons from another sanctioned State, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. He called on the Russian Federation to withdraw its troops from Ukraine and engage in negotiations.
NORBERTO MORETTI (Brazil), Council President for October, speaking in his national capacity, pointed to the massive transfers of arms and munitions, introduction of increasingly more destructive weapons, as well as extensive mining of land and potential diversion of weapons to criminal or terrorist organizations. Those considerations should encourage a reflection on the current dynamics of the war in Ukraine, he said, stressing: “It is our responsibility as Council members to encourage de-escalation and the establishment of negotiations either directly between the parties or through the good offices of neutral third parties or international institutions.” Voicing support for efforts to prevent diversion of arms and munitions and to increase transparency and accountability of international transfers, he urged all Member States to adhere to the Arms Trade Treaty and uphold the UN Register of Conventional Arms, as well as to refrain from any transactions that may constitute a violation of relevant Security Council resolutions.
SERHII DVORNYK (Ukraine) refuted the assertion by the Russian Federation that arms from Ukraine had been transferred to the Middle East, saying that this was fake information, provided without any credible evidence. He said, “solidarity is critical for my country. At the same time, it is solidarity in defence of the UN Charter, whose principles are now under crash test in Ukraine.” He reiterated his gratitude to all nations that have helped Ukraine to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity to “save our people from extermination”.
He said that the Russian Federation has genocidal aspirations in his country and plans to bring to it “as much destruction and pain as possible”. He added that in targeting schools and killing children, the Russian Federation tries to deprive Ukrainians of their future, “the future that we build together in the interest of the entire humankind — prosperous, safe, based on effective multilateralism, and free from wars, poverty and hunger”. He said every success of his country on the ground brings this vision of its future closer to reality, giving the example of the strengthening of Ukraine’s naval capacities being successful in deterring the Russian Federation’s Black Sea fleet from approaching the Ukrainian shore and enabling the unblocking of grain exports by allowing temporary corridors for civilian vessels to and from Ukrainian ports. Russian President Vladimir Putin fears his imminent defeat in Ukraine and this fear prompts him to instruct his army to be senselessly cruel and cling on to the stolen lands at any cost.