UNSC discusses the Ukrainian crisis amidst calls for Russian isolation
The UNSC convened following the Russian strike that targeted an arsenal depot on Monday but turned into a breach of protocol that accused Russia of terrorism.
The Russian envoy to the UN Security Council said Tuesday that Russia has not targeted civilians and did not strike a shopping center, but it rather targeted an arsenal depot intended by the Ukrainian army to target the Donbass region and its people, making it a legitimate military target.
Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said “in reality, there was no strike on the mall,” and that the location of the arms stockpile was near the Kredmash factory. The Amstor Mall, where a fire was reported by Ukrainian sources on Monday, is right next to it. Moscow argued that the Western-supplied munitions detonated and caused a fire at the shopping center, which was no longer operating. Moreover, Polyanskiy added that the arsenal was intended for shelling civilians in Donbass and that “the Russian strike stopped that.”
The UNSC was also criticized by the Russian envoy for permitting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to speak to the council virtually, while in the past they had refused such a request from the Central African Republic, showing hypocrisy.
"We are seriously concerned over the stance of the Albanian Presidency with regard to the participation of President Zelensky of Ukraine in this meeting. There have been no consultations with all Council members on this issue. The delegations were confronted with this fact at the last moment. This violates the existing practice and working methods of the Security Council," said the Russian Envoy in his critique of the protocol violation at the UNSC.
Polyanskiy emphasized that Ukrainian media had shown photographs of intact goods inside the "Amstor" retail complex as well as windows of surrounding homes that had not been broken. He said that the explosions at Kredmash from the munitions provided by the West started the fire.
Kinda strange footage of Interior Minister aide Geraschenko in Kremnetchug/Kremenchuk where a shopping mall - as Ukraine claims - was hit by a Russian— Russian Arms Control Delegation in Vienna (@armscontrol_rus) June 27, 2022
Pay attention to the glass bottles on the shelves standing still and intact while concrete roof collapsed pic.twitter.com/MX7D56ZE6b
Moscow's representative criticized Ukraine for running a propaganda war and relying on fabrications and falsehoods like "Snake Island 13" and the "Ghost of Kiev" to push for additional Western financial and military support. The Ukrainian military, which deploys near residential areas and uses citizens as human shields, seems to be the only group that civilians in Donbass solely blame, according to their own testimony.
The UNSC session held on Tuesday was convened by Albania, a NATO state chairing the council through the end of June. The initial cause for the council convening was a result of the incident that took place on Monday, in which Ukraine said it allegedly targeted a mall – despite Ukrainian media disclosing, with images, the destruction of the industrial facility near the mall.
Rosemary DiCarlo, a US diplomat who is presently the UN's under-secretary-general for political and peacebuilding affairs, gave the opening remarks. She claimed that Russian forces "leveled" entire cities in Ukraine, and called Monday's assault in Kremenchug, based on the Ukrainian narrative, "one of the conflict's most shocking attacks."
See more: The West arms Ukraine
The Ukrainian president made an appearance via video link, which Polyanskiy objected to as being out of bounds. Zelensky called on the UN to label Russia a "terrorist state," expel it from the Security Council and the General Assembly and establish an international tribunal similar to the one for the Rwandan genocide.
“Deprive the terrorist state of its powers!” Zelensky said in his address to the UNSC.
Support for Zelensky and Ukraine was expressed by representatives of Poland, Estonia, and the UK. Russia, according to Polyanskiy, started its military action to stop the West from using Ukraine as an anti-Russian weapon.
“Until these goals are achieved, our operation will continue,” adding that "the Security Council should not turn into a platform where President Zelensky, though remotely, can angle for more NATO weapons," Polyansky concluded.
The UNSC gave Zelensky the opportunity to call for further isolation of Russia, which is not only an act of aggression against a permanent member of the council but also a break of UNSC protocol.