Volodymyr Zelensky: Ukrainian president details alleged Russian atrocities in forceful UN speech

Volodymyr Zelensky: Ukrainian president details alleged Russian atrocities in forceful UN speech
Zelensky’s speech came a day after he visited the Kyiv suburb of bearingwhere shocking images of bodies in the streets emerged over the weekend.
On Tuesday he recounted the aftermath of Russia’s withdrawal from the city in horrific detail, describing entire families murdered, people with their throats cut, and women raped and murdered in front of their children. Zelensky said that Russia’s actions were no different from those of a terrorist group, except that Russia is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

The Ukrainian leader then criticized the body, asking the representatives directly: “Where is the security that the Security Council must guarantee? It is not there, although there is a Security Council.”

Zelensky added: “It is obvious that the world’s key institution designed to combat aggression and ensure peace cannot function effectively.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to remind you of Article 1, Chapter 1 of the UN Charter. What is the purpose of our organization? Its purpose is to maintain and ensure that peace is respected. And now the UN charter is violated literally starting with Article 1. So what is the point of all the other Articles?” she asked her.

At least 1,480 civilians have been killed and at least 2,195 injured in Ukraine between the start of the Russian invasion on February 24 and April 4, a UN official said at the meeting, citing updated figures from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Human Rights (OHCHR). The latest figures on the number of Ukrainian civilians in the conflict have “more than doubled” since the last briefing to the United Nations Security Council on March 17.

in buca, bodies scattered in the streets and in basements they were found by human rights groups and documented by independent journalists. Satellite images suggest some bodies had been there since at least March 18.

In his damning speech, Zelensky said that “there was not a single crime” that the Russians “would not commit”, claiming that Russian troops had “purposefully sought out and killed anyone who served our country”.

“They shot and killed women outside their houses when they were just trying to call someone… They killed entire families, adults and children, and tried to burn the bodies,” Zelensky said.

“I am writing to you on behalf of the people who honor the memory of the deceased every day and in memory of the civilians who died, who were shot to death in the back of the head after being tortured,” he told the press. UNSC. .

“Some of them were shot in the streets. Others were thrown into wells, so they died suffering there. They were killed in their apartments, houses, blown up with grenades. Civilians were crushed by tanks while sitting in their cars in the middle of the road, just for your pleasure,” he continued. “The women were raped and murdered in front of their children. Their tongues were ripped out just because the assailant did not hear what he wanted to hear from them.”

The Security Council session was called to consider Ukrainian allegations of mass killings of civilians in the city of Bucha by Russian soldiers.

Zelensky also warned that the horrors found in Bucha would be replicated in other cities in Ukraine. Demanding accountability, he called for any Russian who has given “criminal orders” and “carried them out by killing our people” to be brought to justice, similar to the Nuremberg trials that occurred after World War II when the Nazis they were judged.

UN: Civilians were attacked

Separately, the United Nations said Tuesday that Bucha’s shocking footage showed “all the signs” that civilians were “directly targeted and killed.”

In a virtual press conference, OHCHR spokeswoman Liz Throssell said the reports emerging from Bucha and other areas were “very disturbing developments”.

She specifically referred to “disturbing” images of people with their hands tied behind their backs and of partially nude women whose bodies have been burned as further evidence suggesting that people are being directly targeted.

Analysis: In Russia's military, a culture of brutality runs deep

“We have been talking about war crimes in the context of bombing, shelling and artillery attacks. Now they need to be investigated. But you could argue that there was a military context, for example when a building was hit. It’s hard to see what the military context of an individual lying in the street with a bullet in the head or a burned body,” Throssell continued.

Since OHCHR is trying to gain access to Bucha, she did not have “exact information” to share about the situation on the ground.

Throssell also paid tribute to the “crucial role” journalists play in documenting these scenes, mentioning the “multiple teams” involved in “reporting, analyzing and submitting video footage”.

Russia’s response

Russia has repeatedly denied the alleged atrocities, despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Vassily Nebenzia, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, responded to Zelensky’s comments, calling the accusations against the Russian military “baseless.”

“We put on your conscience the baseless accusations against the Russian military, which are not confirmed by any eyewitnesses,” Nebenzia said in translated remarks.

The ambassador recalled Zelensky’s election to Ukraine’s presidency in 2019, stating that hopes that Zelensky would end the fighting in Ukraine’s Donbas region “did not materialize.”

The United States will announce a new package of sanctions against Russia on Wednesday

Nebenzia also repeated earlier claims that “a huge number of lies about Russian soldiers and military” continue to proliferate.

Addressing Zelensky directly, Nebenzia concluded her remarks by stating that Russia “came to…Ukraine” to bring peace, not to “conquer land.”

Nebenzia’s words echoed those of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov the previous Tuesday, who called the accusations not only “unfounded, but… a well-organized tragic show” and “a falsification to try to denigrate the Russian army”.

CNN’s Niamh Kennedy, Laura Ly and Anna Chernova contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.