Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine at the UN Security Council meeting on “Threats to international peace and securit"

Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine at the UN Security Council meeting on “Threats to international peace and securit"

Madam President, distinguished members of the Security Council,

I also recognize here the representative of russiain the permanent seat of the Soviet Union.

Following the missile strike on Odesa on 23 July his ministry of war claimed that they had targeted "facilities where terrorist acts against Russia were being prepared". If we believe this, it turns out that these terrorist acts against Russia were prepared in the Transfiguration Cathedral – the main cathedral of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Odesa, which Russia pretends to protect. It was among the targets hit by Russian missiles that night.

This church was founded in 1794. The original cathedral was demolished by the Stalin regime in 1936 and then rebuilt in independent Ukraine.

Today’s successors of Stalin have damaged this church for the second time. Cynically, just three days later they make the Security Council listen to their feigned concerns over the rights of the Church whose cathedrals they destroy with missile strikes. A very unusual way to protect – as if a maniac expressed concerns over a victim’s rights in the process of killing them.

The cathedral in Odesa has been added to the list of nearly five hundred religious sites and buildings destroyed, damaged, or looted by the Russian occupiers in Ukraine. This list includes churches and prayer houses, synagogues and mosques as well as religious educational institutions and memorials. Over a hundred of them have been totally ruined.

We regret that Russia persists in misusing the Council’s platform to substantiate its propaganda narratives aimed at legitimizing the invasion of Ukraine. We also regret that the Russian delegation has again disregarded the Council members’ time by bringing as briefers persons who currently have no connection to the institution that Russia is going to discuss.

At the same time, Metropolitan Agafangel, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the diocese of Odesa, wrote in his letter following the attack.

[I quote] “… a russian missile following an instruction of the leadership of the Russian Federation hit the spiritual heart of the peace-loving city of Odesa – its Transfiguration Cathedral… Since February 24, 2022, Russia has launched a large-scale military aggression against our native Ukraine. People are dying, human blood is being shed, cities and villages, churches and monasteries are being destroyed. Whatever the goal of the so-called shameful “special military operation” is, it cannot justify killing and violence, destruction and forced displacement. We still do not understand: who do they want to liberate us from? From life? It is a real genocide of the Ukrainian people… The country that considers itself an Orthodox cannot pay lip service to God’s law and at the same time do evil and darkness…”.

These are the questions from a person who Moscow had seemed to trust and listen to, based on the fact that putin himself awarded Metropolitan Agafangel with the Order of Honour and the Order of Friendship some years ago.

We are all interested in getting an answer to this question that the Russian delegation has so far failed to provide.

Instead, this delegation persists in mocking the mandate and procedures of this UN body. Recently it circulated in the Chamber schizophrenic hallucinations about war mosquitos and dirty bombs. Now it demands the Security Council determine the canonicity or heresy of various religious denominations.

Let me conclude by repeating the question asked by Metropolitan Agafangel, – “Whom do you want to liberate us from? Why do you commit a genocide of the Ukrainian people? When will your government stop paying lip service to God’s law and doing evil and darkness?”

I thank you.

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