‘It will embolden the fight’ Russian diplomat lashes out at UN condemning Ukraine invasion

Ukraine: Resolution would 'embolden Russia' says Nebenzia

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In an emergency UN General Assembly session, members were asked to vote on whether the UN should condemn the invasion of Ukraine which saw overwhelming majority support. However, before the vote was held, Vasily Nebenzya warned members that to support the amendment would “embolden” Ukrainian nationalists and would further bloodshed as he claimed Russia was only there to resolve the issue of “neo-Nazism”. But Mr Nebenzya’s speech fell on deaf ears with 141 of the 193 member states voting for the resolution, 35 abstained and five voting against.

Mr Nebenzya told his United Nations colleagues: “Russia would ask for this draft resolution to be put to the vote.

“And we call on you not to support this draft.

“However, we know about the unprecedented pressure that our Western partners are exerting on a large number of countries urging them to vote as they see fit.

“This is not something that we can call pressure, it was open and cynical threats and we know about it.

“This document will not allow us to end military activities, it could embolden Kyiv radicals and nationalists to continue to determine the policy of their country at any price.

“Holding peaceful civilians hostage, but not in the figurative sense of the term, but in the literal sense of it.

“That is what is happening in a series of cities in Ukraine where people are being used as human shields.”

Mr Nebenzya then claimed that citizens of Mariupol were not being allowed to leave the city and suggested Ukraine was attacking itself to blame Russia.

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The UN representative added weapons and military hardware was being distributed freely and said: “The responsibility for this fully lies with Ukrainian authorities, much like for the irresponsible and criminal distribution to weapons to anyone who wants one.

“Including those who have been released from prison.

“This has already led to many cases of robbery, murder and plundering.”

Mr Nebenzya then said refusing to vote on the amendment would lead to a peaceful Ukraine “free from radicalism and Nazism” which he says is the aim of the Russian “special military operation.”

He added Ukraine was seeing “rampant neo-Nazism” and Russia was simply there to demilitarise the region.

The UN resolution said the UN “deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine”. 

It also called for “the Russian Federation immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine” and “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces”.

Russia claims that peace talks will be held later this week in Belarus following unsuccessful discussions on Monday.

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