Statement by the Permanent Representative of Ukraine H.E. Mr. Sergiy Kyslytsya at the 11th emergency special session of the UN General Assembly

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General,

For the first time since the United Nations was born, there is a full-fledged war in the center of Europe. Everyone in this hall and everyone in the world knows that Russia – and Russia alone – started this invasion. This war was not provoked – it was chosen by someone who is now sitting in the bunker. We know what happened to the person who sat in the bunker in Berlin in May 1945. Before I continue with my formal statement, I would like to switch to Russian. I would like to read from the screenshot of a smartphone of a killed Russian soldier. It’s an actual screenshot from someone who is dead already.

- Лёш, ты как? Почему так долго не отвечаешь? Вы точно на учениях? – спрашивает мать убитого солдата (в моменты перед тем, как он был убит).

- Мама, я уже не в Крыму. Не на учениях.

- А где? Папа спрашивает, можно ли тебе послать посылку?

- Та какую посылку, мам?! Что ты говоришь такое?

- Что случилось?

- Мама, я на Украине. Тут настоящая война. Мне страшно. Мы бъём по всем городам подряд, даже по мирным жителям. Нам сказали, что они нас будут приветствовать, а они кидаются под нашу технику и не дают проехать. Называют нас фашистами. Мама, мне очень тяжело.

In several minutes he was killed.

If you wanna just visualize the magnitude of the tragedy, you have to imagine next to you, next to every name plate of every single country in this GA more than 30 souls of killed Russian soldiers already. Next to every name of every single country in this Assembly 30+ killed Russian soldiers. Hundreds of killed Ukrainians. Dozens of killed children. And it goes on and on, and on…

So, just imagine those killed people next to you, when you will listen to my formal statement.

Big militarized power, seeking for geopolitical greatness, has launched a full-fledged military offensive against a smaller neighbour, aimed at invading the country.

Deadly airstrikes dropped on civilians’ heads across the entire country and the Russian troops crossed Ukraine’s borders from the territory of Russia, Belarus and the occupied parts of Ukraine’s Donbas and Crimea.

Does it remind you of something, doesn’t it? Indeed, very clear parallels could be drawn with the beginning of the Second World War. And the Russia’s course of action is very similar to what their spiritual mentors from the Third Raich employed on the Ukrainian land 80 years ago.

Just one, the most recent example. Example of human sufferings. Example of a war crime. As all of us were on our way to the General Assembly today, the Russian Army shelled with Grad multiple rocket launcher systems the residential areas of the city of Kharkiv – the second biggest in Ukraine. Innocent civilians have been killed and wounded; their exact number is still to be assessed.

We therefore express our gratitude for overwhelming support that made this decision on the emergency session possible. We are grateful to the President of the General Assembly for his taking care of this idea well in advance. We appreciate the engagement of the UN Secretary General, who has taken a strong stance in support of peace, in support of the UN Charter.

We have been prompted to call for an emergence special session as the level of threat to the global security has been equated to that of the Second World War times. Or even higher following Putin’s order to put on alert Russian nuclear forces.

The Security Council addressed the issue of the Russian war against Ukraine and the decision was not adopted due to the obvious reason. The country, attempting to occupy Ukraine since 2014, has occupied the seat of a Council’s permanent member since 1991. Therefore, we do not accept the Russian logic, that the Security Council was unable to act due to one-side and unbalanced approach. In fact, it is Russia’s misuse of its permanent seat.

Distinguished delegates,

Russia uses all its military potential to attack Ukraine and has begun redeploying reserve units on the border with Ukraine. It fires cruise and ballistic missiles at cities, attacks with aviation, tanks and artillery, sends subversion and reconnaissance groups, which mark residential buildings in preparation for the air attacks.

Russia's missiles are now aimed at destroying the infrastructure objects: they targeted the radioactive waste disposal site near Kyiv, the fuel base in the town of Vasylkiv that is effectively a Kyiv suburb. The objects of logistic infrastructure, including bridges, airports and water reservoirs remain among the targets.

Such towns as Schastya and Stanytsia Luhanska near Luhansk are now nearly destroyed, as well as residential buildings in and around Kyiv and Kharkiv. The Russian forces seized the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Station and a part of southern Kherson region including the North Crimean Canal. Due to the active moving of Russian heavy militaries through the Chornobyl exclusion zone the radiation level has increased rapidly.

In the Black Sea Russian war ships deliberately attacked two civil vessels under the flags of Panama and Moldova, approaching Ukraine. This constitutes a flagrant violation of the international law of the sea.

Russians keep attacking kindergartens and orphanages, thus committing war crimes and violating the Rome Statute. Hospitals and mobile medical aid brigades are also targeted by the Russian shellfire and the sabotage groups, working in Ukraine's cities and towns. The Russian military fired on ambulance crews in the areas of Zaporizhzhia and Kyiv. In Okhtyrka district of Sumy region, Russian tanks shot down a bus with civilians. Later, the Russian military does not allow ambulances on the spot.

As of today, 352 people including 16 children were killed and 2040 people, including 45 children, wounded in Ukraine during five days of the Russian invasion. And this number is growing non-stop, I have already told about morning’s shelling in Kharkiv.

In response, Ukraine has activated its right for self-defence according to the Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. The Russian troops are suffering losses: aircrafts, helicopters, tanks, trucks, personnel. The aggressor forces have already lost more than 5000 in manpower during first day of aggression.


The General Assembly should be vocal in demanding from the Russian Federation to stop its offensive against Ukraine; in recognizing Russian actions as an act of aggression against a sovereign and independent state; in demanding from Russia to immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw its forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders; in demanding from the Russian Federation to reverse the decision related to the status of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine; in demanding full compliance with the provisions of international humanitarian law.

The General Assembly should also be clear with regard to the treacherous role of Belarus and its involvement in aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.

Distinguished members of the General Assembly,

What is happening now in Ukraine has already had the security and humanitarian implications for all of you. Immediately – for Europe. A bit later – for the rest, including in terms of food security, energy security, financial markets, collapse of the economies.

Last September, my President said, while delivering his statement at the high-level segment of the 76th session of the General Assembly: “I understand that criticism of the UN is often heard. But we criticize ourselves.”

If we fail to respond now, we will face much more than criticism. We will face oblivion. It must not happen.

Now it is time to act. Time to help Ukraine, which is now paying the ultimate price for the freedom and security of itself and of the world.

If Ukraine does not survive, international peace will not survive. If Ukraine does not survive, the United Nations will not survive, have no illusions. If Ukraine does not survive, we cannot be surprised if democracy falls next. Now we can save Ukraine, save the United Nations, save democracy, and defend the values we believe in and that Ukrainians are fighting for and paying for with their lives.

The Russian delegate will speak shortly. Putin has done everything to delegitimize the Russian presence in the United Nations. But I wonder if the Russian Federation’s presence in the United Nations has ever been legitimate.

I wonder if this hall, this Assembly ever voted in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article 4 on the admission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations either in December 1991 or in January 1992 or at any time thereafter.

I want to ask the delegates whose countries voted for the admission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, please, raise your hand if your country voted in the formal session of the GA in reply to the letter of Yeltsin in December24, 1991, when he told the UN that Russia would like to be the continuator state of the demised Soviet Union.

Anyone? Shall I put on my glasses? Maybe my vision fails me and I don’t see any hand raised. ontry? Noone voted for Russian membership?

I’ll leave you with that. And think about it when you listen to the Russian delegate.”

I thank you.