Children are a deliberate target for russians, given the bombardment of the Mariupol Drama Theater – a shelter for hundreds of local residents, mostly women and children, Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Sergiy Kyslytsia, said in a statement at the UN Security Council meeting.
Mister President, distinguished members of the Security Council, Madam Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo, Director-General, Assistant High Commissioner, I also recognize the representative of the Aggressor State present here in the permanent seat of the Soviet Union.
“The operation is developing successfully and in strict accordance with plans that have been previously approved”. Said by putin yesterday, three weeks after the unprovoked and unjustified russian invasion of Ukraine started.
Over these weeks the international community has wrestled with the question “Why?” Why has the russian Federation decided to cosplay the Nazi Third Reich by attacking the peaceful neighbouring state and plunging the region into war? What are the reasons and what is the plan?
And yesterday we got the answer. Killing Ukrainian children. One hundred eight innocent souls so far. “Success, in strict accordance with plans”, according to putin. Children are a deliberate target, given yesterday’s bombardment of the Mariupol Drama Theater – a shelter for hundreds of local residents, mostly women and children. Despite the big signs “Children” painted on the road on both sides of the building being clearly visible, russian pilots dropped an aerial bomb. The building was fully damaged but the shelter fortunately withstood. It did not turn into one more mass grave, as putin’s plan probably envisaged.
Of course, putin’s plan does not limit murders to children only. All civilian Ukrainians and foreign citizens are under threat. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights recorded 726 confirmed cases of killing of civilians, while believing that the real figures are considerably higher. They are, indeed.
Just yesterday in the city of Chernihiv 53 civilian residents were killed by russian bombs and shells. On the same day in Merefa, Kharkiv region, 21 people were killed following russian shelling that destroyed the local school and residential buildings.
The plan is also to raze Ukrainian cities to the ground. Kharkiv, Sumy, Volnovakha, Okhtyrka, Izyum. And Mariupol – pain for Ukraine and the entire world and an eternal shame for russia. Almost 2400 confirmed victims among the civilian population. 90% of the city’s infrastructure has been destroyed. russian troops seized one of the hospitals, gathered 400 civilians there and use the building as a military position, hiding behind civilians as a human shield. “The sufferings of Mariupol must not become the future of Ukraine.” Said by Peter Mauer, the ICRC President, who is currently in Ukraine.
The plan of putin is to violate the agreements on ceasefire and safe passage for the civilian population from the temporarily occupied territories. Yesterday russian troops shelled a convoy of civilian vehicles headed from Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia. Five people were killed, many injured including children. And the plan is to terrorize local residents who remain in the territories seized by russian troops.
Small villages, where the russian soldiers stay, suffer the most. russians break into houses, throw people out into the streets, take their food. Eyewitness’ reports of tortures, abductions of local officials and even extrajudicial killings come from across the occupied territories. Enforcing Ukrainians to flee their homes as refugees has also been a part of this Barbarossa-style plan. Almost 3.2 million refugees have left Ukraine so far.
Against the backdrop of the increasingly aggravated humanitarian situation, russia has dared to table a draft “humanitarian resolution” of the Security Council. An appeal by a serial killer to the UN members to co-sponsor this most egregious hypocrisy is outrageous. They may like to think twice before they dive into the blood of children and adults executed by the russian military in Ukraine. Let me quote St. Patrick in this regard: “Never trust a dog to watch your food”.
At the same time, there is no doubt that action on the humanitarian front in the UN is urgently required and I encourage all responsible nations to support the relevant efforts in the General Assembly. I also encourage all to join the Group of Friends of Accountability following the Aggression against Ukraine, co-founded by Albania, Colombia, Denmark, the Marshall Islands, the Netherlands and Ukraine. This Group will act as a forum among UN Member States for the discussion and promotion of accountability measures in Ukraine, following the russian military aggression.
Distinguished members of the Security Council,
Yesterday, the International Court of Justice delivered its Order on provisional measures in the case concerning Allegations of Genocide Under the Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. russian Federation). The Court ordered that the russian Federation shall immediately suspend the military operations that it commenced on 24 February 2022 in the territory of Ukraine. Despite the order being binding on russia under the UN Charter, today the kremlin has openly and blatantly disregarded it, stating that they “cannot take this order into account” because there is no “agreement between the sides”.
Should it be surprising for us? I don’t think so as from the very first instance of russia’s presence in the UN it was in contempt of the UN Charter. That was the case when russia was allowed to occupy the Soviet seat in the UN and the Security Council. That was the case in Georgia, in Syria, as well as in Ukraine’s Crimea and Donbas in 2014.
I encourage the Security Council members to exercise their duties, envisaged by the Article 94.2 of the UN Charter, to make recommendations or decide upon measures to be taken in the case of russia’s failure to comply with the obligations incumbent upon it under the judgement rendered by the Court.
Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress (PITS) is a form of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Its symptoms are caused by being an active participant in causing trauma. Sufferers of PITS may be found in many roles, such as soldiers or executioners, where they are expected to cause trauma, including death. But diplomats? Especially here in the United Nations? Compared to the more well-known and understood PTSD, there appears to be greater severity and different symptom patterns for those affected by PITS.
The case of the military aggression of russia against Ukraine and the mass atrocities perpetrated by the russian Army, ordered by putin, and defended by russian diplomats will be examined by scholars and scientists including in the areas of sociology, history, psychiatry, philosophy and theology.
Today, however, I would like to finish with a quote from ‘Into the Abyss’, a documentary about executioners of the death penalty. One guard began crying and shaking uncontrollably when “the eyes of all the inmates he had executed began flashing before him.” Ambassador, do the eyes of Ukrainian children, women, and elderly killed by the russians flash before you? If they do, we may consider how to sponsor a decision to help you deal with Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress. But now have some decency and stop the egregious manipulation of the Security Council. It is obscene.
I thank you.