Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

Ukraine President Asks UNSC to Either “Unite for Peace” or “Dissolve Itself”

The Russian representative, Vassily Nebenzia underlined the country's efforts to set up humanitarian corridors
April 6, 2022

Nearly six weeks after the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the UN Security Council (UNSC) met on Tuesday to take stock of the situation of the Ukraine and Russia war. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky joined the meeting via videoconference.

“I will never forget the terrifying images of civilians killed in Bucha. I immediately called for an independent investigation to ensure effective accountability,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres told Council members, referring to images of the bodies lying in the Ukrainian town of Bucha which were discovered after the withdrawal of Russian troops.

During his intervention by videoconference, the Ukrainian President affirmed that the Russian objective is to kill as many civilians as possible. According to him, Russian troops deliberately destroy entire towns, starve populations and target convoys of civilians seeking to flee hostilities and blow up shelters. The President of Ukraine called on the UNSC to act in favour of peace.

The Representative of Russia to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, underlined the efforts made “every day” by his country to set up humanitarian corridors, accusing the “Ukrainian side” of not complying with its obligations. He claimed that because Russia is sparing civilians in order to save as many lives as possible, it is not moving as fast as many had hoped.

Also Read: UN Chief Calls for Probe into Killings in Ukraine’s Bucha

Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of wanting to “turn Ukrainians into silent slaves” and openly stealing everything, “starting with food and ending with gold earrings that are pulled out and covered with blood”.

These tactics, he said, are no different than those used by terrorist group Da’esh – except that they are now being perpetrated by a permanent member of the Security Council.  “Where is the security that the Security Council must guarantee?” he implored.

The town of Butcha, a small town about 30 km northwest of Kyiv, was occupied by Russian forces during the siege of the capital, which lasted several weeks. Images of corpses littering the streets spread after Russian troops withdrew and redeployed to eastern Ukraine.

Meanwhile, these images showing bodies with their hands tied or burned could indicate that the attackers were deliberately targeting these civilians, which could increase the seriousness of the violations if confirmed.

According to United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, the UN is extremely concerned about reports of arbitrary arrests and forced disappearances of people who oppose the Russian invasion. Thus, the Office for Human Rights documented the possible forced disappearance of 22 journalists and activists in the Kyiv, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions. In areas taken under the control of Russian forces, 24 representatives of local authorities were detained, and 13 of them were later released. It is also known about the death of seven journalists and press workers since the beginning of hostilities. Another 15 people, as the UN representative noted with reference to the Office for Human Rights, were attacked, and nine were injured.

The UN chief described the Ukrainian crisis, caused by the Russian invasion, as “one of the greatest challenges ever to the international order and to the architecture of world peace, based on the United Nations Charter United”.

To date, the Russian offensive has displaced more than 10 million people in just one month, the fastest forced population movement since World War II, Guterres said. Of that number, more than 4.2 million have crossed into Ukraine, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.

Given the urgency of the situation, the UN chief explained that he had instructed the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, to travel to Russia and Ukraine to secure a ceasefire -immediate humanitarian fire.