Ukrainian leader: the future of the world is decided in Ukraine
“There are traces of Russian war criminals everywhere and we must all unite and act decisively as soon as possible so that there are no more traces of Russian missiles and no more cities burned down by the Russian army – so that there is no threat of the radioactive catastrophe ever, ever again,” he said.
Zelenskyy addressed the UN’s most powerful body not only on the anniversary of the invasion but also on Ukraine’s independence day, stressing the crucial link between what takes place during the war and the future security and geopolitical architecture of the world.
As his country celebrates its independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991, “everyone can see how much the world depends on our independence,” Zelenskyy said.
He stressed the sovereignty and territory of all countries and demanded that Russia withdraw from all Ukrainian territory it has captured and end its territorial ambitions.
Zelenskyy claimed Russia ‘rewarded murderers and encouraged executioners’ and told council members his government would introduce a resolution to the UN General Assembly to hold Russia accountable for the crime of aggression against Ukraine. .
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a “Future Summit” next year and Zelenskyy said it would be symbolic to hold it in Ukraine because “it’s on the territory of the Ukraine decides the future of the world, if we are going to have a future at all.
Zelenskyy spoke via video despite objections from Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, who said council rules require leaders to be present in the council chamber at UN headquarters in New York to deliver a speech. He said the Ukrainian leader had already been allowed to give video addresses twice due to special circumstances and should not be allowed a third time.
The overwhelming majority of the 15-member council disagreed — 13 countries voted in favor of another Zelenskyy video speech, Russia voted against and China abstained.
António Guterres called the sixth anniversary of the Russian invasion a “sad and tragic milestone”, with no end in sight for the war.
He spoke of thousands of civilian casualties, serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, millions of Ukrainians who have lost their homes and are displaced or refugees, and rapidly increasing humanitarian needs in approach of winter.
“The consequences of this senseless war are felt far beyond Ukraine,” said António Guterres. “We are seeing new vulnerabilities emerging in a global environment already worn down by conflict, inequality, pandemic-induced economic and health crises and climate change – with a disproportionate impact on developing countries.”
Guterres warned that accelerating already high food, fertilizer and energy prices “triggered a global crisis that could push millions more into extreme poverty.”
US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield addressed Zelenskyy, saying the United States stands with Ukraine “today and every day, and every Russian bomb that falls only strengthens our resolve to support your sovereignty and independence.
Six months after the invasion, she said, “Russia’s goal is clearer than ever: to dismantle Ukraine as a geopolitical entity and erase it from the map of the world.”
Nebenzia again blamed “the Kyiv regime” which came to power in 2014 – the year Russia invaded and annexed Crimea – for what many council members called “the catastrophic consequences” of six months of hostilities.
To Western nations claiming that Russia is threatening Ukraine’s independence, Nebenzia said “the only threat to Ukraine’s independence is the current government in Kyiv”, which he says is not taking any major decisions without consulting Western advisers.
He also accused the Ukrainian government of suppressing the opposition, persecuting people for reading the news in Russian and imprisoning them for accepting humanitarian aid from Russia.
After the meeting, Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya read a statement on behalf of 55 countries and the European Union denouncing Russia for its “large-scale and illegal invasion” and deploring its failure to comply with Assembly resolutions General of the United Nations calling for an immediate end to its use of force against Ukraine.
With diplomats from many countries on side, the statement read by Kyslytsa reaffirmed their solidarity with Ukraine, condemned the Russian missile strikes that killed civilians and destroyed civilian buildings, and reiterated their demand for a ceasefire. immediate fire and withdrawal of Russian forces.
A reporter asked Nebenzia if the media would be back for a one-year anniversary.
“I’m not a fortune teller,” he replied.