Russia Declares War on Ukraine, Envoy tells UN

Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya has told the UN Security Council that Russia had declared war on his country, calling on the Council to stop Russian troops from attacking Ukraine.

The 15-member body met on Wednesday night in the second emergency Security Council meeting on Ukraine in three days.

Kyslytsya said that most of his statement was “useless now” after the Russian Ambassador had stated openly from the floor of the Council that President Vladimir Putin had “declared war on my country”.

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He welcomed the intention of some Council members to submit a resolution condemning the aggression against Ukraine, saying “there is no purgatory for war criminals. They go straight to hell”.

Kyslytsya asked the Russian Ambassador to clarify whether Ukraine was being bombed “at this very moment”.

“It’s too late to speak about de-escalation. Too late. The Russian President declared a war. Should I play the video of your President? You declared a war. It’s responsibility of this body to stop the war,” Kyslytsya said, directing his comments to Russian Ambassador Nebenzya.

Considering this “delectation of war” the Ukrainian Ambassador said that the Russian Federation should “relinquish the responsibilities of Council President and transfer them on to a responsible member of the Council who respected the Charter”.

Moreover, he continued, the Security Council should pause the session to consider all resolutions and recommendations to stop the war.

“I call on every one of you to do everything possible to stop the war,” he said.

Russian Ambassador Vasily Alekseevich Nebenzya, who is serving as the President of the Council for February, said that after listening to the statements tonight and in recent days, it was difficult to explain intensification of shelling by the Ukrainian regime of civilians in Donetsk and Luhansk.

All the speeches and speakers seemed not to care for those people “who are living in basements. They seemed not to care about the refugees are fleeing to Russia,” he said, as if “those four million people simply don’t exist”.

“We tried yesterday and the day before to explain the logic by which Russia recognised the regions in the Donbas, but you just didn’t want to hear it; then or now.

“The people of the Donbas have been living in fear for the past eight years under Ukraine’s shelling and aggressions,” he said.

The Russian Ambassador stated that “the root of today’s crisis around Ukraine is Ukraine itself, which has for years been undermining the Minsk Agreements and calls for de-escalation”.

He went on to say that he had just learned that President Putin had declared a special military operation in the region, but that was all he knew and would need more time to gather specific information.

“I will keep you appraised of the situation,” he said and added that “occupation of Ukraine is not in our plan, our plan is to protect the people from the genocide perpetrated by the regime in Kyiv”.

Before the end of the meeting, several members of the Council took the floor a second time to condemn President Putin’s announcement of Russia’s so-called “special military operation” in areas of eastern Ukraine.

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