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31 Dec, 2023 07:30

Kiev seeking to kill ‘as many Russians as possible’ – Moscow

Ukraine’s attack on Belgorod has claimed the lives of at least 24 people, and wounded 108 more
Kiev seeking to kill ‘as many Russians as possible’ – Moscow

Kiev’s brutal attack on Belgorod, which left numerous civilians dead, including several children, is evidence that Ukraine is trying to kill as many Russians as possible, Vassily Nebenzia, Moscow’s permanent representative to the UN, has said.

The envoy made the remarks at a UN Security Council meeting on Saturday after a Ukrainian strike hit the center of Belgorod, including a skating rink and a sports facility where children were present. According to Russian officials, at least 24 people, including four children, died in the attack, with 108 injured.

Nebenzia rejected the narrative in the West that the tragedy could have been avoided if Moscow had not launched its military operation against Kiev in February 2022. “That’s a lie… We launched a special military operation to stop what the Kiev regime was doing in Donbass – bombarding its cities and towns with impunity for eight years, which went completely unnoticed on your part,” the diplomat said, addressing his Western counterparts.

The attacks on civilians in Russian regions “testify to the agony of [President Vladimir] Zelensky’s neo-Nazi regime mired in terrorism, lawlessness, corruption and cynicism,” Nebenzia claimed, adding that Kiev, “in its impotent anger, seeks to kill as many Russian people as possible to please its Western masters.”

The envoy added that Kiev’s British and American advisers – who he said “regularly incite the authorities of present-day Ukraine to commit bloody crimes” – were directly involved in orchestrating the “terrorist attack” on Belgorod, with EU countries also bearing responsibility.

According to Nebenzia, these tragedies can only be prevented by “defeating this terrorist regime [in Kiev], which openly brags about using terrorist methods against both its own and Russian citizens.” He added that Moscow was “surprised” by the silence of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, describing the comments by his office as “impersonal.”

Earlier, the office of the secretary-general called the shelling of Belgorod “a violation of international humanitarian law” which must be stopped immediately, while stopping short of assigning blame.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev commented on the attack in Belgorod, suggesting it was triggered by Ukraine’s inability to change the situation on the front line. Earlier this month, Russian troops captured the key Donbass stronghold of Maryinka near the city of Donetsk. While Kiev has not acknowledged that it lost the town, it said it has withdrawn its troops to the outskirts.