US

Zelenskyy tells UN it must act now to stop Putin as Russia ‘deliberately destroys Ukrainian towns’

The United Nations – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the United Nations Security Council Tuesday that Russian troops invading his country had “killed entire familiesadults and children, and they tried to burn the bodies. He made it clear that he believed the United Nations had failed to end the brutal attack on his country and needed to change to serve its purpose of maintaining peace in the world.

Zelenskyy addressed the UN’s most powerful body – of which Russia is a permanent member with veto power – amid growing outrage around the world. rapid emerging evidence that Russian forces deliberately killed civilians Ukraine.

The Biden administration backed Zelenskyy’s accusation that Russia is commit war crimes in Ukraine, but he still does not agree with his assertion that Putin’s forces are guilty of the specific crime of genocide.

Zelenskyy accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of acting like a brutal coloniser. He said that without changes to prevent Russia from using its veto power to block Security Council action, the United Nations and the entire global security system it represents could become obsolete. The Ukrainian leader called on the UN to expel Russia or change the council’s rules.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks via remote video to the UN Security Council
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from a distance during a meeting of the UN Security Council on April 5, 2022 at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

John Minchillo/AP


“Ukraine has the moral right to propose reform of the global security system,” he said. “We have proven that we help others… now we need Security Council decisions for peace in Ukraine.”

“The United Nations system must be reformed immediately so that [Security Council] veto is not the right to die,” Zelenskyy said.

Suggesting that other atrocities had yet to come to light, he accused Russia of “deliberately destroying Ukrainian cities”.


Residents react to alleged massacre by Russian forces in Bucha

04:14

“Now the world can see what they did to Bucha,” he told the Security Council. “But the world has yet to see what Russia has done in other regions.”

“Russian troops deliberately burn down Ukrainian towns with artillery and airstrikes. They deliberately block towns, creating mass starvation. They deliberately fire on columns of civilians on the road trying to escape hostilities They even deliberately blow up shelters where civilians are hiding in airstrikes,” Zelenskyy said.


Biden says Putin should be tried for war crimes

02:20

CBS News has witnessed first-hand clear evidence of atrocities in towns and villages around Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. Bodies were found littering the streets of Bucha, and dozens more were thrown into hastily dug mass graves.

The horrific scenes left behind by Vladimir Putin’s invading forces have led to calls for tougher sanctions against the Kremlin, including a complete cut off of gas and oil imports from Russia. Germany and France responded by expelling dozens of Russian diplomats, suggesting they were spies. US President Joe Biden has said Putin should be tried for war crimes.

Bodies of civilians lie on the street amid Russian invasion of Ukraine in Bucha
The body of a man with his hands tied behind his back, who locals say was shot by Russian soldiers, lies on the street amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Bucha, Ukraine April 3, 2022 .

ZOHRA BENSEMRA/REUTERS


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened Tuesday’s Security Council session, lambasting Russia for “senseless loss of life, massive devastation of urban centers and destruction of civilian infrastructure” in Ukraine.

“I will never forget the horrific images of civilians killed in Bucha,” said António Guterres.

He spoke indirectly about Russia’s vetoes and veto threats that have so far prevented Security Council action on the war in Ukraine. In several cases, the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as allies, have took votes to the General assembly after Russia prevented the Council from even taking action under consideration.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia has denied the allegations, but was frustrated on Monday when Britain, which currently holds the Council’s rotating presidency, blocked its country from calling a Council meeting over what it called Bucha’s “fake news”.

Emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in New York
Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia addresses the United Nations Security Council during a meeting, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, April 5, 2022.

ANDREW KELLY/REUTERS


“I deeply regret the divisions that have prevented the Security Council from acting not just on Ukraine, but on other threats to peace and security around the world,” Guterres said Tuesday.

Returning from a visit to Moscow to broker a humanitarian ceasefire, Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, told diplomats that “Ukrainian civilians are paying too high a price for war”.

“Nearly 11 million people have been forced to flee their homes, of whom more than 4.2 million are now refugees in generous neighboring countries and beyond,” Griffiths said. “In total, more than a quarter of the Ukrainian population has fled.”

“The horror deepened last weekend as shocking images emerged of dead civilians, some with their hands tied, lying in the streets of Bucha,” said Rosemary DiCarlo, UN Under-Secretary-General for political affairs and peacebuilding.

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