Moscow says western media and UN officials have fallen short of being impartial in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, citing backstage stunts in a humanitarian resolution and a deadly attack in Donetsk that did not appear in mainstream news media.
Vasily Alekseevich Nebenzya, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, called a press stakeout on Tuesday to discuss a humanitarian resolution on the situation in Ukraine, saying Moscow would present its own draft “with clear humanitarian provisions.”
Nebenzya accused the UN ambassadors of France and Mexico of unprecedented practices, saying they were trying to bypass the Security Council by telling media the body was unable to adopt a humanitarian resolution because of Russia.
'We'll see whether the Security Council can or cannot fulfill its mission to adopt a resolution on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine with clear humanitarian provisions'
“As I said, we made it clear that we would be prepared to adopt a humanitarian resolution,” Nebenzya said, adding that a failed draft contained paragraphs that were not humanitarian.
Russia’s ambassador said Moscow would put forward their own draft, which would “call for negotiated ceasefire, evacuation of civilians, respect for the international humanitarian and human rights law, condemnation of attacks against civilians and civilian objects, safe and unhindered passage, unhindered access of humanitarian assistance, etc.”
“We'll see whether the Security Council can or cannot fulfill its mission to adopt a resolution on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine with clear humanitarian provisions,” Nebenzya said.
The ambassador went on to say western media were not covering events in Ukraine impartially, citing a deadly attack on Monday after a missile was intercepted over an urban center in Donetsk.
“Yesterday, there was a barbaric attack of the Ukrainian armed forces who used cluster munitions in which Russia is accused based on sources which cannot be identified but they used cluster munitions in the center of Donetsk, 21 persons died, 30 plus wounded,” he said. The number of dead was later revised to 23 by some media.
“No comments, I was looking through news including western media today and I didn't come across a single article on that barbaric attack,” the ambassador said.
But Nebenzya also criticized UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ response to a question on the Donetsk attack, saying Moscow was “very much concerned” how UN officials were viewing the war in Ukraine and accusing Russia of indiscriminate attacks.
During a media stakeout on Monday the UN Chief was asked for comment by a journalist who said Donetsk authorities reported the attack was carried out by Ukrainian forces who fired a Tochka-U missile with cluster munitions inside the warhead.
“I was following the Security Council but I haven’t heard anything about this, is the UN aware of this incident?” a male reported asked.
“I’ve seen the news about this incident and I have to say that our position is very clear. Any attack on civilians or civilian infrastructure is regrettable if accidental and condemnable if done on purpose,” Guterres said.
“But let’s be clear,” the UN chief added, “the overwhelming majority of civilian causalities and overwhelming majority of civilian infrastructure destructed was done in the context of the war by Russian forces.”
Nebenzya criticized Guterres for comparing two events saying it appeared the UN chief was “implying the attack [in Donetsk] did not deserve condemnation.”
Ukrainian authorities have denied Russia’s accusations but did not provide further details, with military officials saying it was “unmistakably a Russian rocket.”