(Original text preserved)

Madam President, distinguished members of the Security Council, Under-Secretary-General Griffiths,

I also recognize the representative of putin’s regime in the permanent seat of the Soviet Union.

We meet to address the russist war against my country after one of the lowest periods in the history of this Council – the April Presidency of the aggressor state – which inflicted yet another blow on an already compromised principal body of the United Nations.

This April alone the russian occupiers committed 6,139 war crimes. These crimes led to the death of 207 Ukrainian civilians, including 11 children.

On 28 April russia again launched a missile strike on a multistory apartment building. This time in Uman, Cherkasy region. As a result, 23 residents were killed, including 6 children.

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Many of you have seen the heartbreaking video footage from Uman, where people desperately waited for hours near the rubble for their loved ones to be retrieved. In Russia the TV audience watched this footage on the state propaganda channel “Russia-1”. Meanwhile, the russist ministry of war posted on social media, ‘Right on target!’.

Indeed, since day one of the russian invasion, regardless of the torrent of lies from the russist representative in the Council, innocent civilians have been a deliberate target for russian weapons and a permitted object for russian crimes. Russism and its disciples, including in this Chamber, have defied logic, all laws of non-contradiction, and all semblance of decency.

8 Dead, Including 2 Children in Russian Overnight Attacks on Dnipropetrovsk Region
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8 Dead, Including 2 Children in Russian Overnight Attacks on Dnipropetrovsk Region

A Russian attack hit Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, Snelnykove, and Ukrainian National Railways (Ukrzaliznytsia) infrastructure. The Ukrainian Air Force shot down a TU-22M3 bomber that was part of the attack.

Two days later, on 1 May, another Ukrainian child, a 14-year-old boy, was killed in the village of Lyzunivka, Chernihiv region, by a Russian air bomb that also destroyed the local school.

This attack was another case of the cowardly and despicable terror tactics that the russist army applies widely against the northern Ukrainian regions, liberated a year ago – air bombing of Ukrainian border settlements from russian air space. Just like any other terrorist, the russist servicemen do not care where these bombs finally fall, the main thing is that they must sow death and destruction.

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Terror against the liberated areas has become a hallmark of the russist army. On 3 May, in Kherson region alone, russia killed 23 people. Forty-nine were wounded. In a store, railway station, gas station, their homes.

On 7 May, a russist missile strike damaged a mobile hospital in Mykolaiv region which also belonged to the Red Cross of Ukraine. Since the beginning of the full-fledged russist invasion, 25 facilities of the Red Cross of Ukraine have been damaged or destroyed.

On 9 May a massive barrage of 25 missiles slammed into Ukrainian cities.

The day before, on 8 May, Ukrainian Air Forces were able to down all 35 Iranian drones launched by russia. Also on 8 May, Russian missiles completely destroyed a warehouse of the Red Cross of Ukraine in Odesa alone with all the humanitarian aid there. One employee was killed. As a result of the attack, Odesa branch of the Red Cross of Ukraine was compelled to suspend the provision of humanitarian aid and the implementation of a number of humanitarian projects.

We are grateful to our friends and allies who literally save the lives of Ukrainians by helping us to reinforce our air defense. This enabled us to shoot down 23 out of 25 missiles.

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Yet, more needs to be done to fully protect our skies and civilians.

This weekend, Ukrainians also had to spend their time with air raid sirens sounding in the background as russia launched massive new attacks using dozens of Iranian drones, cruise missiles and S-300 rockets. The cities of Khmelnytskyi, Ternopil, Mykolayiv, Kharkiv and Kostyantynivka in Donetsk region suffered human casualties and serious damage to civilian infrastructure.

Colleagues,

In addition to the immediate harm caused to millions of Ukrainians by the russian war, the long-term effects of displacement, trauma, and poverty will be felt for years to come.

The most vulnerable suffer the most. russia is violating the fundamental principles of child protection in wartime. As a result of the russist aggression, 480 children have been killed, and 967 injured.

To date, 13 cases of sexual violence against children have been verified by the Office of Prosecutor General of Ukraine in Donetsk, Kyiv, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Chernihiv region. The real numbers are definitely higher and our law-enforcement continues the investigation.

russist attacks have damaged 3,185 educational institutions, of which 330 were destroyed. In total 1,412 healthcare objects and 577 healthcare facilities have been damaged, of which 258 facilities were destroyed.

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According to UNICEF country team report, education for an estimated 5.7 million children has been disrupted. One and a half million children face mental health issues.

The forceful deportation of children is nothing, but a well-planned Kremlin policy aimed at aggressive indoctrination, ethnic identification change and the deprivation of Ukraine of its future generation.

To date, the Ukrainian authorities have identified 19,393 children deported or abducted to the russian federation or to the territories of Ukraine temporarily occupied by russia. Nearly 4,390 of them are orphans or children without parental care. It has been possible to return only 364 children.

We note with concern that russia has reportedly intensified its deportation and abduction practices in the occupied territories under the guise of so-called “evacuation”. Like many of you in this Council, we reiterate that it is only the russist troops that must be “evacuated” from the territory of Ukraine. As soon as this happens, the atrocities of war will be over.  

We welcome the well-founded conclusions of the reports by the Commission on Inquiry on Ukraine established by the Human Rights Council, and by the OSCE Moscow Mechanism that have reconfirmed the enormous scale of violations and crimes committed by the russist occupiers, in particular against children.

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We call on the Secretary-General and the Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict to give a proper assessment of the gravity of violations against children in Ukraine by the russist government forces in the upcoming annual report. We believe that this report should contribute to ensuring accountability for perpetrators and justice for Ukrainian children – victims of the russist aggression. The invasion of the Soviet permanent seat in the Security Council should give neither immunity nor amnesty to war criminals. 

Madam President,

We have already brought to the Council's attention the critical situation with mine contamination of Ukrainian lands. According to preliminary estimates, 170-180 thousand square kilometers of Ukrainian territory are contaminated with mines and other explosive ordnances. Our primary task today is to accelerate the demining process as much as possible, increase the number of demining teams and equip them with special equipment.

Unfortunately, those people who risk their lives to clear Ukrainian territory from mines and restore safety for people are also a target for the russist troops. Most recently, on 7 May in Kherson region, 9 members of a demining team were killed by russian shells while on duty. 

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The mine contamination in Ukraine is an issue for global food security as more than 4,700 square kilometers of contaminated areas are agricultural lands. In such extraordinary circumstances, Ukraine continues to act as a reliable contributor to global food security by implementing its agreement with the UN under the Black Sea Grain Initiative and advocating for expanding its geographical scope by including new Ukrainian ports.

As of the beginning of May Ukraine exported 29.8 million tons of grain and foodstuffs. This number includes 600 thousand tons of grain shipped by vessels chartered by the World Food Program in support of its humanitarian operations in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Yemen.

This volume could have been significantly higher if russia did not resort to impeding practices. We are concerned that since 1 May the inspection rate has dropped to an average of 2.9 inspections per day, compared to 6.6 in the period of August 2022 – April 2023. As a result, in April we were able to export through the grain corridor less than 3 million tons, which is only a half of our agricultural export capacities.

Together with the UN and Türkiye, Ukraine strives for the extension of the Initiative without any delay and disruption to shipments. According to experts, if it is blocked by russia, the global food prices could increase substantially again. This grim perspective should be taken seriously.

It is disgusting that russia still pretends to be on the losing side of the deal. I will not even remind the Council of the immorality of such complaints from the aggressor state, which has been and remains the only threat to food shipments in the Black Sea. Let us just turn to the data that clearly shows the benefits for russia from the deal. The data indicates that russian wheat export in January-February 2023 nearly doubled from the same period a year earlier.

We therefore consider these speculations to be an attempt to whitewash russian deliberate practices to weaponize food supplies and we urge the international community to give a resolute response.

Madam President,

A week ago, we paid tribute to the victims and heroes of the Second World War, marking the end of this war in Europe. Atrocities of this war prompted our predecessors to commit themselves “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”.

Now in Ukraine russia reminds us that our commemoration slogan “Never again” is still a goal to be achieved.

The lessons of the Second World War teach us that just and lasting peace can only be possible if evil is defeated and is not able to continue its aggression. Any attempt to appease the aggressor at the expense of its victim will only protract and broaden the scope of the tragedy. 

As my President said on 8 May, when Ukraine, along with the entire world commemorated the victory over Nazism, “we in Ukraine give meaning to these words [Never again]. Not only to remember, but also to protect. Not only to value life, but also to do the utmost to ensure that everyone who threatens life, everyone who brings aggression, everyone who resorts to terror against other nations, every such evil loses.”

Ukraine has committed to stop this modern evil of russism. We are guided by the supreme principle of morality that is a categorical imperative since it is not conditional upon one’s preferences.  

I thank you.

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