At UNSC meeting, Zelenskyy demands ‘accountability’ for Russia ‘crimes’

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, sparking outrage across the world and displacing millions of Ukrainians.

Updated - April 05, 2022 09:03 pm IST

Published - April 05, 2022 08:04 pm IST - United Nations

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks via remote feed during a meeting of the UN Security Council at United Nations headquarters, in New York on April 5, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks via remote feed during a meeting of the UN Security Council at United Nations headquarters, in New York on April 5, 2022. | Photo Credit: AP

Ukraine's President Volodymr Zelenskyy demanded "accountability" at the UN Security Council on Tuesday for Russian "crimes" carried out during Moscow's invasion of his country.

People "were killed in their apartments, houses... civilians were crushed by tanks while sitting in their cars in the middle of the road, just for their pleasure," Mr. Zelenskyy told the Council, including Moscow's envoy, describing alleged atrocities in Ukraine's Bucha.

"Accountability must be inevitable."

Mr. Zelenskyy added that "hundreds of thousands" of Ukrainians had also been deported to Russia.

Zelenskyy calls for Russia to be expelled from UN

Mr. Zelenskyy urged the United Nations to "act immediately" on President Vladimir Putin's invasion of his country, calling for Russia to be expelled from the UN security council.

Mr. Zelenskyy called on the 15-member council, which aims to ensure international peace and security, to "remove Russia as an aggressor and a source of war, so it cannot block decisions about its own aggression, its own war."

"The United Nations can be simply closed. Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready to close the UN? And the time of international law is gone? If your answer is no, then you need to act immediately," he added in his video address.

To press for tougher sanctions

A United Nations Security Council meeting on Russia's invasion of Ukraine began on Tuesday, with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy addressing the members including Moscow's envoy to press for tougher sanctions on Vladimir Putin's regime.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened the meeting by warning of the global fallout from the conflict, with soaring food, energy and fertilizer prices affecting up to 1.2 billion people in 74 countries.

"The war in Ukraine must stop — now," Mr. Guterres told the Council, after calling it "one of the greatest challenges ever to the international order."

"We need serious negotiations for peace, based on the principles of the United Nations Charter," he said.

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths is also due to update the body after his recent visit to Moscow.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, sparking outrage across the world and displacing millions of Ukrainians.

A top UN official told the 15-member Security Council including Moscow's envoy of "credible" claims Russia has used indiscriminate cluster munitions two dozen times in populated parts of Ukraine.

United Nations human rights body "OHCHR has received credible allegations that Russian forces have used cluster munitions in populated areas at least 24 times," UN undersecretary-general for political and peacebuilding affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, told the meeting on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

She said the global body was "gravely concerned by the persistent use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area," saying such weapons are causing the most civilian casualties in the war.

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