Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UN Security Council open debate on the Protection of civilians in armed conflicts

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UN Security Council open debate on the Protection of civilians in armed conflicts

Madam President, distinguished members of the Security Council,

I also recognize the representative of Putin’s regime in the permanent seat of the Soviet Union.

Ukraine aligns itself with statements made by the EU and by Switzerland on behalf of the Group of Friends of the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict.

I would like to thank the US for organizing this important debate as well as all briefers for their presentations.

Dear colleagues,

Civilians and their rights are among the first to be hit by any war. Now in Ukraine millions of civilians, Ukrainians and foreigners, are struggling not just for their rights, but rather for their lives.

Russian troops continue indiscriminate attacks on Ukrainian cities with missile strikes and heavy artillery. Dozens of thousands of civilians lost their lives, many more were wounded. Nearly 220,000 people lost their homes.

Millions of Ukrainian citizens were forced to flee occupied or war-affected areas. 8 million have become IDPs and 6.5 million left Ukraine as refugees.

This is the worst refugee crisis in Europe since the end of the Second World War. And we have no doubt that in russian war strategies this refugee crisis was envisaged as one of the welcoming outcomes. As well as food crisis by the way.

What russia underestimated was the readiness to help, hospitality and commitment by our neighbours and other friends. We reiterate our gratitude to all of them.

We appreciate “good offices” of the Secretary-General on humanitarian assistance and evacuation of civilians from the war-affected areas.

Civilian population of Ukraine in the occupied and war-affected areas remains extremely vulnerable to the war crimes and crimes against humanity, committed by russian troops on the regular basis.

Killings, torture and illegal detention, forcible deportation, deprivation of property rights, alarming human rights violations in the occupied territories, attacks against civilian infrastructure throughout Ukraine, expropriation of grain from local farmers – this is not a complete list of russian crimes against civilians in Ukraine.

Abduction of at least 230 thousand Ukrainian children, among 1.4 million of Ukrainian citizens forcibly deported to Russia, is a crime aimed at destroying the Ukrainian nation by depriving it of young generations, which is a modern manifestation of colonialism.

Madam President,

Russia attacks Ukrainian civilians deliberately as a part of its Nazi-style war strategy. At the same time, these atrocities are committed by individuals and every one of them has a name.

The day before yesterday the Ukrainian court sentenced Russian serviceman Vadim Shishimarin to life imprisonment for killing of an unarmed civilian in Sumy region.

Yesterday the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine announced five Russian servicemen and three members of the paramilitary “Wagner” group were identified as suspects of abduction, torture and killing of head of the village of Motyzhyn, Kyiv region, Olga Sukhenko, her husband and son.

We reiterate that those ordered, committed and whitewashed crimes against civilians will not escape justice.

We call upon all Member States to engage actively in the process of ensuring justice for all the civilians, suffered by Russia’s atrocities.

I thank you.