Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the Security Council on Tuesday (April 5) that Russian troops are not targeting civilians in Ukraine, dismissing accusations of abuse as lies.
Russia says it is carrying out a “special military operation” that aims to destroy Ukraine’s military infrastructure and “denazify” it, and denies attacking civilians. Ukraine says it was invaded without provocation.
Russia’s Nebenzia said Moscow was trying to bring peace to Ukraine’s breakaway eastern Donbas region and was not trying to “conquer lands” in Ukraine.
“We are not shooting against the civilian targets in order to save as many civilians as possible. This is precisely why we’re not advancing as fast as many expected,” Nebenzia told the Security Council.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said responsible world powers and global leaders need to “show backbone – and stand up to Russia’s dangerous and unprovoked threat against Ukraine and the world.”
“No one can be a shield for Russia’s aggression,” she said as Washington pushes to suspend Russia from the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council. The 193-member U.N. General Assembly in New York is likely to vote on the move to suspend Russia on Thursday, diplomats said. A two-thirds majority is needed.
The United Nations said some 11 million Ukrainians — more than a quarter of the population — have fled their homes. More than 4 million of those people have left Ukraine.
(Production: Roselle Chen)