Zelensky denounces an “absurd” presidency of the UN Security Council for Russia
The Ukrainian leader reacted furiously to Russia’s month-long presidency of the United Nations Security Council, saying it was “obviously absurd and destructive” for the post to move to Moscow as it continued its invasion.
Russia is due to chair a Security Council meeting on Monday for the first time since the full-scale war in Ukraine began nearly 14 months ago. The role is largely ceremonial, played for a month at a time in alphabetical order by each of the 15 council members.
He arrived in Moscow weeks after President Vladimir V. Putin was charged with war crimes by the International Criminal Court. The situation is a reminder that Ukraine and its allies, notably the United States and Europe, have not always succeeded in isolating Russia economically and politically to punish the Kremlin for the war.
“Yesterday the Russian army killed another Ukrainian child – a 5-month-old boy named Danylo,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his late night speech on Saturday. “And at the same time, Russia chairs the UN Security Council. It is difficult to imagine anything obvious that proves the complete bankruptcy of such institutions.
Three of the current 15 members of the Security Council – China, India and the United Arab Emirates – have avoided openly blaming Russia for the war, instead calling on both sides to cease hostilities. Mr. Zelensky implored these countries to change tactics.
“It matters when states that are neutral in the political-military sense nevertheless take a clear moral stance toward Russian terrorism, toward Russia’s destruction of the rules-based global order,” Zelensky said.
Western officials said there was no legal way to remove Russia from its permanent seat on the Security Council, which set up Moscow’s presidency for April.
Ukrainian officials say more than 450 children were killed during the war and almost twice as many injured. They also accuse Russia of forcibly moving nearly 20,000 Ukrainian children into its territory.
Last week, Ukraine’s allies announced that they would task the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, an intergovernmental group, to formally investigate the numerous forced deportations of children, which were also a key to the International Criminal Court’s charges against Russia. .
“This crime committed by Russia is one of the most cynical and anti-human crimes of our time,” Zelensky said.
The baby Mr Zelensky relied on died in a Russian attack on Avdiivka, a town in eastern Ukraine that has recently come under increased bombardment. Russian troops have been engaged in a week-long offensive across a broad front in eastern Ukraine. On Saturday, they continued their attacks, targeting areas around Lyman, Bakhmut and Avdiivka, according to Ukrainian officials.
In Avdiivka and Druzhkivka, another town in the eastern Donetsk region, Russia fired ballistic missiles at civilian targets, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in its morning update early Sunday. He said the attacks resulted in civilian casualties. Reports cannot be independently confirmed.
“Having no desired results on the battlefield, the enemy cynically continues to wage war on civilians,” the Ukrainian update reads.