‘Wagner’s march to Moscow showed us just how quickly Russians can leave Ukraine when they choose to’: UK statement at the Security Council

Thank you, President, and I thank USG Nakimitsu and Dr Radchenko for their briefings.

I’d like to make three points.

First, the UK government has been clear about the military support that we have provided for the defence of Ukraine.

The bravery and endless determination of Ukrainians is their own, but we are proud to support them in their fight to be free.

We are not just providing weapons.

Around 17,000 Ukrainian soldiers have received training in the UK since the start of Russia’s invasion.

We will also support Ukraine, when peace is won, to rebuild their country, as we did at the Ukraine Recovery Conference last week, where the international community made over $60 billion worth of commitments.

Colleagues, Ukraine continues to need our support. For them this is a war of survival. For Russia, this is a war of choice.

Second, let’s remind ourselves how Russia has decided to fight its war of choice. Shelling civilian homes. Human wave attacks, ordered forward at gunpoint. Atrocities left in the wake of its retreating forces. Hundreds of civilians arbitrarily detained, over 90% of them reporting torture or ill-treatment by Russian captors.

On Tuesday, Russian missiles struck a pizza restaurant in Kramatorsk, taking ten more innocent lives. Among those killed in the attack were two twin sisters – Yuliya and Anna Aksenchenko. They were just 14 years old.

This week the Secretary-General published his report on Children Affected by Armed Conflict. Russia is part of its working group and knows that this reporting system is among the most rigorous used by the UN.

The report is shocking. A permanent member of this Council listed alongside terror groups such as Al Shabaab and Islamic State for committing grave violations affecting children in situations of armed conflict.

Russian forces have been responsible for killings, abductions, rapes of children as young as four.

Ninety times, Russian forces used children as human shields.

Every Russian should feel shame at what their army has done in Ukraine.

But the Russian Army doesn’t fight alone – Putin has poured tanks, rockets, anti-aircraft missiles and every kind of heavy weaponry into the hands of unaccountable mercenary forces, recruited from the ranks of gangsters and convicts.

A year ago, Russia denied the Wagner group’s existence. Now, Yevgeny Prigozhin’s rebellion has publicly destroyed Putin’s case for the war in Ukraine.

Wagner’s march to Moscow showed us just how quickly Russians can leave Ukraine when they choose to.

Third, without doubt, diplomatic efforts will be essential for peace and we note the various ongoing efforts towards peace, including the African leaders’ recent visit to Kyiv and Moscow this month. The UK fully supports President’s Zelensky’s 10-point peace plan.

The only path to a sustainable peace is for Putin to withdraw his troops and end the bloodshed now.

We will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine as they win a just and sustained peace that respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, in line with the UN Charter.

Thank you.

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button