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Stand-Off at U.N. Security Council

February 28, 2022

In a tense United Nations Security Council meeting today following an Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly, Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of Russian Federation to the United Nations and the President of the Security Council for the month of February, and Ukraine Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya faced off over the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Ambassador Nebenzia claimed that there had been "no evidence of the death of civilians caused by the Russian military," and said media reports contain "a huge number of fakes, the kinds of fakes that people are trying to place on us the blame for what is being done by Ukraine itself." In response, Ukraine Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya said the invasion of Ukraine by Russian Federation forces "violates the conscience of the world." "Russia is attacking hospitals, mobile medical aid brigades, and ambulances. This is not the action of a state with a legitimate security concern, this is the action of a state determined to kill civilians. There is no debate. These are war crimes," said Ambassador Kyslytsya. "Do not listen to Russian lies. Listen to Ukrainian cries. We need your help." Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said, "We are truly in a period of a fog of war, a fog that obscures the futures of so many people of Ukraine," adding "We will, in time, I am quite sure, discover who did what, and who broke which requirements of international humanitarian law."

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