‘War criminals’ go straight to hell, Ukrainian UN ambassador tells Russia
Speaking during an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday night, Kiev’s envoy Sergey Kislitsa had some choice words for his colleague Vassily Nebenzia.
“About 48 minutes ago, your president declared war on Ukraine,” he said, calling on him to “say on the record that, at this very moment, your troops do not shell and bomb Ukrainian cities, that your troops do not move into the territory of Ukraine.”
“There is no purgatory for war criminals,” he said. “They go straight to hell, Ambassador.”
In response, Nebenzia insisted that Moscow was “not being aggressive against the Ukrainian people, but against the junta that is in power in Kiev,” and that the meeting would be adjourned.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he had ordered Moscow’s military to conduct a special operation in the Donbass after the leaders of the breakaway republics demanded military assistance in response to what they claimed was an uptick in “Ukrainian aggression.”
“Circumstances require us to take decisive and immediate action,” the order reads. “The People’s Republics of Donbass turned to Russia with a request for help. In this regard, in accordance with Article 51, part 7 of the UN Charter, with the sanction of the Federation Council and in pursuance of the friendship treaties ratified by the Federal Assembly and mutual assistance with the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, I have decided to conduct a special military operation,” Putin declared.
According to the president, Moscow has “no plans to occupy Ukrainian territory.” Shortly after the address, a series of explosions hit sites across the Eastern European nation, including military instillations and airfields. Blasts were also heard around major cities, including the capital, Kiev.
The move comes after the Kremlin affirmed the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. The two regions declared their autonomy from Kiev’s control in 2014, following the events of the Maidan, when violent street protests toppled the elected government in Ukraine.
Putin claimed that the move to recognize their sovereignty came as a direct result of the failure of the Minsk agreements, designed to put an end to the bloody conflict in the country’s east. “They are not interested in peaceful solutions – they want to start a Blitzkrieg,” he claimed. “Every day they are amassing troops in the Donbass.”
Western officials have been warning for months that Moscow’s armed forces are amassing at the Ukrainian border with the goal of invading the country. Russia has so far denied that it plans to attack, and insists its actions in the Donbass will be defensive.
US President Joe Biden said last week that the sharp uptick in hostilities in the Donbass may be the beginning of a “false flag” operation, giving Moscow’s troops an “excuse to go in” and invade.