Volodymyr Zelensky: Ukraine’s president detailed alleged Russian atrocities in harsh UN speech

Zelensky’s speech came a day after his visit to the Kyiv suburb BuchaShocking pictures of dead bodies surfaced in the streets over the weekend.
On Tuesday, talk about the effects Russia’s withdrawal from the city in terrifying details, describing entire families murdered, people thawed, women raped and murdered in front of their children. Zelensky said that Russia’s actions are no different from those of a terrorist group, except that Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Then the Ukrainian leader criticized the body, asking the representatives in blank: “Where is the security that the Security Council needs to ensure? It does not exist, although there is a Security Council.”

Zelensky added: “It is clear that the main institution in the world designed to combat aggression and ensure peace cannot function effectively.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to remind you of Article 1, Chapter 1 of the Charter of the United Nations. What is the purpose of our organization? Its purpose is to maintain peace and to ensure that it is adhered to. Now the Charter of the United Nations is violated literally starting with Article 1. So what is the point of all Other articles?” he asked.

At the meeting, citing updated figures from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, a UN official said at least 1,480 civilians were killed and at least 2,195 wounded in Ukraine between the start of the Russian invasion on February 24 and April 4. Rights (Office of Human Rights). The latest figures for the number of Ukrainian civilians in the conflict have “more than doubled” since the last UN Security Council briefing on March 17.

in Bucha, Bodies scattered in the streets In the basements, they were found by human rights groups and documented by independent journalists. Satellite images indicate that some of the bodies have been there since at least 18 March.

In his damning speech, Zelensky said that “there was not a single crime ‘that the Russians would not commit'”, claiming that Russian forces had ‘searched for and deliberately killed anyone who served our country’.

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“They shot and killed women outside their homes when they tried to contact someone … They killed entire families, adults and children, and tried to burn the bodies,” Zelensky said.

“I am addressing you on behalf of the people who honor the memory of the deceased every day and commemorate the civilians who died, who were shot in the back of the head after being tortured,” he told the UN Security Council. .

“Some were shot in the streets, others were thrown into wells, so they died there suffering. They were killed in their apartments and homes, blown up with grenades. Civilians were crushed by tanks as they sat in their cars in the middle of the road.” The way is only for their happiness.” “Women were raped and killed in front of their children. Their tongues were only removed because the assailant did not hear what they wanted to hear from them.”

A Security Council session has been called to consider Ukraine's allegations of mass killings of civilians in the town of Bucha by Russian soldiers.

Zelensky also warned that the atrocities found in Bucha would be repeated in other cities across Ukraine. Demanding accountability, he called for any Russians who issued and “executed criminal orders to kill our people” to appear in court, similar to the Nuremberg trials that took place after World War II when the Nazis were put on trial.

UN: Civilians have been targeted

Meanwhile, the United Nations said on Tuesday that the horrific photos from Bosha showed “all the evidence” that civilians were “directly targeted and killed”.

In a virtual press briefing, OHCHR spokeswoman Liz Throssell said reports from Bucha and other areas were “extremely worrying developments”.

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She specifically referred to “disturbing” images of people with their hands tied behind their backs and images of partially nude women with their bodies burned as further evidence indicating direct targeting of individuals.

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“We’ve been talking about war crimes in the context of bombing, bombing, artillery attacks. Now they need to be investigated. But you could say there’s a military context, for example, of a building being bombed. It’s hard to see what is the military context of an individual lying in the street with a bullet in the head or burn their bodies,” Thrussell continued.

While the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is currently trying to reach Boucha, she has not had “accurate information” to share regarding the situation on the ground.

Throssell also praised the “critical role” journalists play in documenting these scenes, noting the “multiple teams” involved in “reporting, analyzing, and sending videos.”

Russia’s response

Russia has repeatedly denied the alleged atrocities, despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Vassily Nebenzia, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, responded to Zelensky’s comments, calling the accusations leveled at the Russian military “baseless.”

“We place on your conscience the baseless accusations against the Russian army, which were not confirmed by any eyewitnesses,” Nebenzia said in translated statements.

The ambassador recalled Zelensky’s election to Ukraine’s presidency in 2019, noting that hopes that Zelensky would end the fighting in Ukraine’s Donbas region “have not been fulfilled.”

The United States will announce a new package of sanctions against Russia on Wednesday

Nebenzia also reiterated earlier allegations that “a tremendous amount of lies about Russian soldiers and army” continues to spread.

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Addressing Nebenzia Zelensky directly, he concluded his remarks by saying that Russia “came to … Ukraine” to bring peace, and not “to conquer territories.”

Nebenzia’s words echoed those of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier on Tuesday, who called the allegations “not only baseless, but … a well-organised tragic show” and “a falsification in order to try to discredit the Russian military.” .

CNN’s Niamh Kennedy, Laura Lee, and Anna Chernova contributed to this report.

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