It was expected that, by convening a UN Security Council briefing on February 18, Russia wasn’t doing this out of pure enthusiasm, but with certain intent, aimed to play by the elaborated scenarios. The attack by the occupation forces in Donbas on Ukraine Army defense positions on Tuesday made it clear that such a scenario was to subsequently accuse Ukraine at the UNSCC platform of violation of Minsk agreements. And that’s what happened.
Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and the UN Security Council, Vasily Nebenzya, accused Ukraine of the latest escalation in Donbas, also mentioning Russophobia and the other standard messages usually voiced by the Krelmin’s “talking head”. Speaking at the UN Security Council briefing, the Russian envoy said: “[T]he Ukrainian law enforcers are persistently trying to take up positions of self-defence forces in the so-called grey zones where there should be no military forces at all.”
Acting Deputy Permanent Representative at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, U.S. Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet noted: “In 2014, Russia occupied Crimea and fueled the conflict in eastern Ukraine that has killed more than 13,000 people, displaced millions, and precipitated an alarming humanitarian crisis. Russia’s ongoing aggressive actions are an affront to international norms and a threat to our common security.”
The U.S. deputy UN mission chief also stressed that while Ukraine and President Volodymyr Zelensky remain committed to the peaceful settlement of the conflict and the implementation of Minsk agreements, Russia hasn’t shown similar willingness to fulfill its obligations under the Minsk accords. The attack by pro-Russian forces near Zolote, which led to casualties on the Ukrainian side, was carried out on the fifth anniversary of the seizure by Russian proxy forces of the strategic railway hub of Debaltseve, in direct violation of Minsk agreements, approved just a week earlier.
A joint statement by EU states, current members of the UN Security Council – Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany and Poland – contained absolute support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. The statement said: “We condemn the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol and the destabilization of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.”
In fact, the Russian side has received absolutely no support in the Security Council, while its attempt to accuse Ukraine of the latest escalation in Donbas failed. Deputy Foreign Minister Serhiy Kyslytsya particularly noted the attempts of the Russian Federation to play a game of shifting blame for own crimes on others.
“As it has happened before, Russia tries to present the victim of its aggression as a perpetrator, which is one of the hallmarks of its information war against Ukraine. Such vain attempts to twist the truth could have been viewed as pathetic and even laughable — if it were not a cynical insult to the memory of thousands of my compatriots who have lost their lives defending their land, to the memory of those protesters, who were gunned down in cold blood in Maidan six years ago on the night of 18 February, which is now often called the Night of the Apocalypse…” said Serhiy Kyslytsya, adding that in the current situation the dialogue with Moscow would be a path to nowhere, or just a trap.
Russia’s total failure of Russia at the UN Security Council was, in fact, predictable. To be honest, I predicted this briefing to be the way it ultimately turned out to be, as seen by the widest audiences – major humiliation of the Russian envoy almost by every speaker. But this rather predictable and expected result still can’t undo the very fact of violent aggression and deaths of Ukrainian troops.
This proves that Russian provocations these days don’t place the key bet on being efficient in the international arena. It is important for them, through this show of strength and permissiveness, to create appropriate, chaotic moods within Ukraine and at least provoke an internal crisis.
So, yes, Russia’s ever-lying envoy was once again publicly smashed at the UNSC session hall, which de facto means that Russia, too, was humiliated, but the Kremlin doesn’t seem to care. Also, they couldn’t care less about a dozen lives of their troops that their latest foiled offensive on Ukrainian positions took. Neither of these is, especially the latter, constitutes any losses in the Kremlin’s perception. It’s precisely this inhumane and immoral approach, which has nothing to do with the policies of a civilized state, that should be most alarming to the international community.
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