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9 Nov, 2023 00:05

Russia will hold West responsible for Kiev’s crimes – UN envoy

The US supplied rockets used to strike civilians in Donetsk, Vassily Nebenzia has said
Russia will hold West responsible for Kiev’s crimes – UN envoy

Repeatedly targeting civilians and first responders in Donetsk with US-made HIMARS missiles is a deliberate crime, for which both the Ukrainian government and its Western sponsors will be held accountable, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzia told the Security Council on Wednesday.

“Yesterday’s attacks killed six and injured 55 people, including three children,” Nebenzia said at the emergency session of the UN body, calling it “yet another flagrant violation by the Kiev regime of the norms of international humanitarian law and further evidence of its purposeful actions to destroy the civilian population of Donbass.”

The Russian diplomat laid out evidence that the Ukrainian strike amounted to a premeditated terrorist attack. The first strike hit the social services building in Donetsk at 4:25pm local time. The second followed 15 minutes later, after first responders showed up, while the third came at 6:27pm, targeting journalists that had come to report from the scene, the diplomat said.

A doctor, a paramedic and a police officer were among the dead, while 23 first responders were among the wounded. 

“No doubt this is a deliberate tactic,” Nebenzia told the Security Council. As further proof, he brought up the October 31 attack on another district of Donetsk, when Ukrainian troops fired US-made HIMARS missiles to start a fire and then targeted first responders with US-supplied cluster munitions, killing two and injuring 15 more people. A third strike targeted journalists, but did not cause any casualties.

“These are conscious and cynical crimes that have no statute of limitation,” the Russian diplomat said, adding that Moscow will hold responsible not just the “Kiev regime” but also “Western countries who flood Ukraine with weapons and – as we are well aware – also approve targets of the strikes.”

Nebenzia described these attacks as “strikes of despair” that make no sense from a military standpoint but represent frustration with battlefield failures and hatred of the former fellow citizens, which the Kiev government considers subhuman.

There have been more than 25,000 artillery attacks on the Donetsk People’s Republic since February 2022, with over 145,000 projectiles striking Donetsk city alone, the Russian diplomat told the UN Security Council. During that period, the Ukrainian bombardment has killed 4,755 civilians – including 140 children, and wounded over 5,300 people. 

That is not counting more than 20,000 civilian casualties of Ukraine’s crackdown on the Donbass since 2014, after the local population “did not accept the unconstitutional Maidan coup d'état in Kiev and stood up to defend their rights and freedoms,” Nebenzia noted.