Russia, US clash over Western weapons for Ukraine

Russia has dismissed claims that modern Western weapons supplied to Ukraine could lead it to victory as ’empty fantasies’, insisting on Thursday that the Russian military is destroying Ukraine’s old and new weapons and “end” the war as President Vladimir Putin has promised.

The United States has accused Russia of having “the gall to blame other countries for refusing to stand down as it seeks to destroy another UN member state”. The Biden administration has said it is committed to supporting the people of Ukraine “as they defend their lives, their freedom and their democracy.”

The clash came during the third consecutive meeting of the UN Security Council on Ukraine.

On Tuesday, the council held a meeting at Russia’s request to learn about the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine, where Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of bombing Israel. installation and threaten a possible nuclear disaster.

On Wednesday, at the request of the United States and Albania, the council discussed what the United States said was the forced deportation of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to Russia.

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia convened Thursday’s meeting to discuss threats to peace caused by foreign governments supplying arms and military goods to Ukraine.

He told the council that the consequences of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his ‘entourage’ claiming that Western weapons and the ‘so-called miracle war’ would turn the tide of the six-month conflict and bring victory to Ukraine are “very sad for Ukraine. ”

“We are still very far from the end of this destructive process,” Nebenzia said. “Let me say immediately, however, that Western weaponry does not play a decisive role on the battlefield, regardless of what the Ukrainians and their vassals say.”

“The Russian army is constantly destroying, with minimal risk to its soldiers and civilians, not only old weapons of Soviet models, which the countries of Eastern Europe are unloading, but also modern NATO weapons “, did he declare.

Nebenzia conceded that “several minor villages have been taken” recently, leading Western media to claim a Ukrainian counter-offensive, but he said most military experts agree the new weapons won’t shift the balance forces “and will only prolong the agony of the Zelenskyy regime”. .”

UN disarmament chief Izumi Nakamitsu, who briefed the council, said there had been “widespread and independently verified reports of the transfer of major conventional weapons systems to armed groups premises in Ukraine, including artillery rocket systems”. She did not say where they came from, only raising general concerns about the diversion.

Nebenzia claimed that “a significant proportion” of Western weapons end up in the hands of smugglers and could end up in the hands of terrorists in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

US Deputy Ambassador Richard Mills called Thursday’s meeting a “transparent attempt” by Russia to distract Wednesday’s meeting from the forced displacement of Ukrainians. He noted that the UN Under-Secretary-General for Human Rights had said her office had reports of torture “in conjunction with Russia’s heinous use of ‘filtration camps'”.

Mills said Russia’s claims that the United States and the West are escalating and prolonging the war in Ukraine “are false.”

“These are cynical attempts to distract from Moscow’s role as the sole aggressor in what is a needless and brutal war, for which the world is paying a collective price,” he said.

Mills asked all council members to think about what they would do if they were invaded by a bigger neighbor and what they would ask of the international community.

“None of us here would simply allow our country’s history and identity to be attacked, our cities burned to the ground, our people killed, our territory taken,” he said. “We would appeal for international support in the face of such naked aggression.”

Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya recalled that former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev wrote in his memoirs that Hitler would not have been defeated without the help of the United States, and that today Ukraine and the States United States and its other allies are “doing their best to secure such a response” against Russia.

“The liberation of Ukrainian territories which is well under way in the Kharkiv and Kherson regions is the best proof of the effectiveness of our efforts,” he said. “We will fight against the occupiers until all the Russian soldiers who entered Ukraine to kill these people are defeated.”

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Christi C. Elwood