Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC Briefing on Maintenance of Peace and Security in Ukraine
Before I start, let me make the following remark.
We are seriously concerned over the stance of the Albanian Presidency with regard to participation of President Zelensky of Ukraine in this meeting. There have been no consultations with all Council members on this issue. The delegations were confronted with this fact at the last moment. This violates the existing practice and working methods of the Security Council.
President Zelensky was once given an opportunity to address the Council by means of exception and, as Great Britain in its capacity as President of the Council claimed, without creating any precedent. We see no reason why such an exception should be made again. We all repeatedly reiterated our understanding that representatives of states willing to address the Council need to be physically present in the Security Council chamber.
The Security Council should not turn into a platform where President Zelensky, though remotely, can angle for more NATO weapons. This erodes the authority of the Council as a body responsible for collective decision-making in the interests of maintenance of international peace and security. The Ukrainian side, supported by our Western colleagues, seeks to undermine this authority and use UNSC members as audience at its performances.
Let me also underscore than a week ago Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Central African Republic was denied an opportunity to address the Council via VTC. Security Council must not use double standards, acting in the interests of the Ukrainian side and its Western sponsors and discriminating African states. No exceptions must be made here.
From the early days of the special military operation that is called to put an end to the 8-year-long war that the Kiev regime has been waging on peaceful people of Eastern Ukraine, we saw that the situation on the frontline was not the main concern of Ukrainian authorities. They were rather interested in other aspects, namely the situation on the information front, to which they got down (together with Western PR, propaganda, and staging experts) with great devotion.
If one sets a goal of counting all Ukrainian fakes, those will be numerous enough to make a heavy printed volume, or even a series of them. Suffice it to mention an appealing yet totally fake story about courageous defenders of Zmiinyi Island refusing to surrender to a Russian navy ship and paying the ultimate price for that. President Zelensky awarded them with titles of Heroes of Ukraine post mortem. It turned out later though that the entire Ukrainian garrison of the island stayed alive, having surrendered to Russian troops. No one bothered to rewrite the legend, so in Ukraine one can still come across post stamps praising this patriotic story.
Another fake is the famous ace “The Ghost of Kiev” who allegedly struck fear into Russian air forces, having downed dozens of Russian jets. The fact that his acts of heroism were illustrated with fragments from video games or old footage from the web did not seem to disturb anyone. Later even Western journalists had to acknowledge reluctantly that it had been a made-up story. Yet some Ukrainian propaganda makers still exploit this “ghost legend”.
Video clips is a separate topic. At the initial stage of the special operation, density of Ukrainian video fakes on the Internet was so high, that it terrified even the British BBC. As time went by, BBC and other Western media started to take those fakes easy and even make some of their own, pretending that buildings in Donbas that had been destroyed by the Kiev regime were actually located in Kiev.
Ukrainians and their Western sponsors realized quickly that in a digital era, the developments on the ground do not matter. What does matter is how those developments are covered in Western Media. Making use of the voluntary retreat of Russian troops from the Kiev and Chernigov Regions, Kiev’s and Western propaganda experts carried out a provocation in Bucha, which was monstrous by both scale and performance. Despite flagrant irregularities, many in the West still believe in it, as we heard today, and the Kiev authorities take all foreign guests to the spot where the provocation was enacted, which is only a short ride from Kiev. They use this ominous marketing tool to push their sponsors to deliver more weapons to Ukraine. As far as Western military deliveries, Bucha was a game changer, which is exactly what Ukrainian authorities had wanted. They admitted to it themselves. As Foreign Minister Kuleba said in an interview to BBC on 4 April, “the Bucha massacre should remove any kind of hesitation and reluctance in the West to provide Ukraine with all necessary weapons”.
Once warmed up, those Kiev-based successors to the “White Helmets” endeavored to do something just as big. This is when they came up with an idea of targeting a railway terminal in Kramatorsk which was supposed to convince the global community that Russian troops committed terrible atrocities. Yet this fake was so uncouth and unconvincing that it is rarely recalled these days. The involvement of Ukrainian Armed Forces was far too obvious.
After that, Ukrainian propaganda got inspired by Goebbels-style methods and started instilling in public conscience an image of Russian soldiers as barbarians, rapists, and pillagers – the way fascists did at the final stage of WW2. And then Russian soldiers went around pillaging, raping, and terrorizing everyone with their unthinkable cruelty – so the story goes according to Ukrainian propaganda. We all remember too well a representative of the Kiev regime sitting at this very table and making a point about our soldiers stealing Ukrainian washing machines and toilets – something they had never had in their households back in Russia. His supporters went even farther and modified this ridiculous story. Now they say that Russians steal electric kettles, but leave behind their power bases, not knowing how to use those. Lies about stolen Ukrainian grain, which we also heard today, fits into this logic perfectly well.
And many in the West believed in that, and they felt pity for Ukrainians, and they wholeheartedly hated Russians. And they did not hurry to double check on facts. And they accurately supplied Kiev with much-wanted weapons.
But at some point everything went off the rails. On social media, there appeared more evidence and more reasons to blame Ukrainian soldiers and neo-Nazis for committing atrocities and war crimes, pillaging, tortures, rapes, purposeful shelling of residential quarters and deploying heavy weapons there, as well as using civilians as a human shield. Such testimonies did not come in dozens, but rather in hundreds and thousands, and spread quickly on social networks. In particular, this is how the legends about Russian troops bombarding a maternity hospital and a drama theatre in Mariupol collapsed. Then more than 2,500 Azov nationalists, who have already been elevated to the rank of martyrs and heroes, surrendered and had to let go of hundreds of civilian hostages who shared the truth about what they had been through.
Another failure came from Ukrainian Ombudsperson Denisova, who went too far savoring and depicting rapes allegedly committed by Russian soldiers. By the way, our Western colleagues caught up on what she had said and eagerly repeated it, i.a. in this room. Once fired, she had to admit that the had lied on purpose – to make sure that Ukraine kept being weaponized. And then it turned out that Western states had no proofs other that Denisova’s lies.
Add to this video footage coming from the liberated cities of Donbas that were caught under heavy bombardments, where people said that they only blamed Ukrainian forces and Western sponsors who had supplied Ukraine with long-range artillery that could reach previously unavailable areas. Add to this military failures, caused i.a. by incompetence and treachery of Ukrainian commando leaving behind soldiers (including newly admitted recruits) nearly armless, and not letting them surrender to save their lives, because anti-retreat units would prevent them, or else – shoot them in the back. Such video reels made by Ukrainian soldiers have lately become very numerous. And there have been hundreds if not thousands those willing to surrender.
This was getting harder to conceal from the Ukrainian and global audience, especially as thousands of soldiers got trapped in a “cauldron” around Severodonetsk and Lisichansk. Then a NATO summit was just around the corner, where Ukrainian officials knew the issue of further arms deliveries to Ukraine would be raised. They also knew that those arms could be used in combat, but also sold to third parties and then written off as military losses.
It became clear that if Ukraine wanted the already fading attention of the global community back, it needed a new provocation “a la Bucha”. The problem was, Russian troops had not been retreating anywhere. So planting some dead bodies or shooting civilians was not an option – it would have made sense only in territories won back by the Kiev regime.
Apparently, this is when Kiev came up with an idea of a new style of a provocation – alleged strike on a shopping mall in Kremenchug. In reality, the mall had not been hit. Russian troops launched a high precision strike against warehouses with American and European arms and ammunition that were located next to the Kremenchug road-building machinery plant. Those arms and ammunition were going to be dispatched to the Ukrainian troops in Donbas, where they would target residential areas of Donetsk, Lugansk, and other cities. Russian strikes prevented it. Long-range artillery that the West delivers to Ukraine gives UAF an opportunity to hit rear areas of Donbas without any combat logic – just for the purposes of revenge and intimidation of local people. On 15 June, UAF launched such strikes from 155-mm Caesar howitzers that had arrived from NATO. Those strikes killed 6 civilians and injured 30 more. Dozens of deaths and injuries add to this statistic weekly. Yesterday was the first time the UAF used M142 HIMARS systems against the city of Pervalsk in the LPR. Neither Ukrainian nor Western colleagues mentioned these attacks on civil facilities and population of Donbas today. You do not care about it, as you did not care all those 8 years during which Ukrainian troops have been systemically annihilating the people of DPR and LPR.
Back to Kremenchug. The strikes did not impact Amstor shopping mall that stands at some distance. Footage from CCTV cameras proves this. If a missile had hit the mall, it would have been completely destroyed. Videos shot by Ukrainian bloggers show that the blast wave did not even damage the goods that were on sale in Amstor. Everything remained in its places without even falling to the floor. Adjacent buildings were not affected either, even windows remained intact. This is only possible when a projectile explodes at a considerable distance. Ammunition that was stored in the warehouses detonated upon impact, starting a fire which then spread to the mall.
Dear Western colleagues,
I provided a detailed account of the work of Ukrainian propaganda machine hoping you would realize how clumsy and unconvincingly you look when spreading the Ukrainian propaganda narrative, which includes not only fakes and staged provocations that I mentioned, but also claims that Russia allegedly prevents Ukrainian grain exports. The only thing Kiev wants from you is your money and your weapons. You must realize that the arms you deliver, as we warned you from the very start, are our legitimate military targets, just like mercenaries coming from our countries. Facilities where those weapons are stored and mercenaries deployed also become our legitimate military targets. The warehouses at the Kremenchug road-building machinery plant were exactly such targets. The Kiev regime deliberately stores weapons in central areas of Ukrainian cities, next to residential quarters, putting lives of civilians at risk and turning people into a human shield. And you try to not notice it, and in doing so, you depreciate the values you claim to be promoting.
No matter how hard you try to prove the opposite, we did not and do not target civil and non-military facilities. If you do not trust us – look at testimonies of eye-witnesses, and listen to opinions of military experts. They will confirm that the residential building in Kiev that was mentioned today had not been hit by a Russian cruise missile but had been damaged by two Ukrainian air defense units that downed Ukrainian surface-to-air missiles right above this building. Your unwillingness to recognize this does not change the truth.
By supplying your weapons, you only prolong the agony of the criminal Kiev regime that is ready to sacrifice its own population. The sooner you realize this, the sooner Ukrainian leadership comes to a negotiations table with a realistic position rather than pompous slogans and phantom pains.
We started a special military operation in order to put an end to bombardments of Donbas by Ukraine, and also to make sure that this country (that Western states helped to turn into an anti-Russia) and its nationalist leadership stop posing a threat to both Russia and people living in Ukraine’s southern and south-eastern areas. The special operation will continue until these goals are achieved.
In response to the representative of Great Britain:
I won’t take much of our time. Let me just say that such claims sound very “convincing” when pronounced by someone representing a country that introduced to the world such provocations as “the Skripals case” and “the Litvinenko case”, as well as many other cases that made it to the world’s annals and handbooks as examples of blatant provocations and false-flag operations. Please keep this in mind next time you decide to give us a lecture.