Ukraine War

United Nations Security Council to hear from Zelenskyy

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. (Photo: Reuters)

On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will address the United Nations Security Council for the first time since Russia invaded his country and streets strewn with corpses of what appeared to be civilians were discovered in the suburbs of Kyiv, eliciting worldwide outrage and condemnation.

The UK is the Security Council's President for April, and it announced on Monday via Twitter that Zelenskyy will virtually address Tuesday's Security Council meeting on Ukraine following his visit to the Kyiv suburb of Bucha.

This will be Zelenskyy's first address to the Security Council since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Russia is a permanent member of the Council with veto power.

The General Assembly and the Council both met several times, including a rare Emergency Special Session of the 193-member Assembly, to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

"The UK's Council Presidency will ensure that the truth about Russia's war crimes is heard. We will reveal the true nature of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's war," the UK Mission to the UN stated.

Images and videos of people lying dead in the streets of Bucha, some with their hands tied behind their backs, drew widespread condemnation and calls for an investigation and stricter sanctions against Russia.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed "deeply shocked" over images of civilians being killed in Bucha.

"It is essential that an independent investigation leads to effective accountability," he stated.

Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said she is "horrified" by images of civilians lying dead on the streets and in improvised graves in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.

"Reports emerging from this and other areas raise serious and disturbing questions about possible war crimes as well as grave breaches of international humanitarian law and serious violations of international human rights law," she said, adding that all bodies must be exhumed and identified so that victims' families can be notified and the precise causes of death established.

Bachelet stated that all measures should be taken to preserve evidence.

"It is vital that all efforts are made to ensure there are independent and effective investigations into what happened in Bucha to ensure truth, justice and accountability, as well as reparations and remedy for victims and their families," she added.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told reporters in Bucharest, Romania, that Washington will seek Russia's suspension from the UN Human Rights Council in close coordination with Ukraine, European countries, and other UN partners.

"A hundred and forty United Nations Member States have already condemned Russia for its unprovoked war and the humanitarian crisis on the Ukrainian people.

"My message to the 140 countries that have bravely united is straightforward: the images coming out of Bucha and the devastation wreaking havoc across Ukraine require us to now back up our words with action. We cannot continue to allow a Member State that violates every principle we hold dear to sit on the United Nations Human Rights Council," Thomas-Greenfield stated.

She referred to the United Nations Member States that voted in favor of General Assembly resolutions condemning Russian action and urging Moscow to withdraw its forces and halt hostilities immediately.

"We should not allow Russia to hold a position of authority in that body, nor should we allow Russia to use its membership on the Council as a propaganda tool to imply a legitimate concern for human rights.

"In fact, we see heartbreaking reports every day, including yesterday, about how little they care about human rights. Russia's Human Rights Council membership is a farce. It erodes the Council's and the UN's broader credibility. And it is patently false. That is why we believe the time has come for the United Nations General Assembly to suspend them," she stated.

According to Thomas-Greenfield, the US expects the General Assembly to act "as soon as possible – this week, and possibly as early as Thursday." Russia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, accused the Kyiv regime, with active support from Western sponsors, of promoting "fake news" about alleged "atrocities" committed by Russian military forces in a press briefing at the UN headquarters on the situation in Bucha.

"From the start, it has been clear that this is nothing more than another staged provocation aimed at discrediting and dehumanizing the Russian military to increase political pressure on Russia.

"While few of you are familiar with the Russian military, I can assure you that it is not guilty of the charges leveled against it, most notably 'cruel atrocities' against the civilian population. This is not true. It never was and never will be," he stated.

The Russian envoy stated that Moscow possesses "factual evidence" demonstrating this point and intends to present it to the Security Council as soon as possible "so that the international community is not misled by the false narrative promoted by Kyiv and its Western sponsors." He stated that there were no reports of atrocities committed by the Russian military in Bucha before the town's capture by the Ukrainian army.

"Four days after the Russian military withdrew from Bucha, no sign of 'atrocities' remained. "I repeat – there is no mention of it anywhere," Nebenzia stated.

"On April 3, the infamous video depicting bodies on city streets was released. It is riddled with inconsistencies and outright fabrications. According to the video's creators, the bodies had been lying on the roads for at least four days when the video was shot.

"However, the bodies remain flexible. How is this conceivable? It is contrary to natural law. The bodies do not exhibit any signs of decomposition that forensic experts are aware of, such as cadaver stains. "There is no blood in the wounds," the Russian ambassador added.

Publish : 2022-04-05 12:49:00

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