The political affairs chief cautions against using language that could escalate the already perilous conflict in the Ukraine.
Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, informed the ambassadors in the Security Council that Russia and Ukraine are each conducting their own investigations into the incident. Additionally, Kyiv has requested for an international investigation to take place.
According to Russia, all passengers aboard the military transport plane that crashed in the Belgorod region near the Ukrainian border on Monday have unfortunately perished. The plane was carrying 74 individuals, with 65 of them identified as Ukrainian soldiers who were being exchanged as prisoners of war (POWs).
According to news reports, Moscow alleges that the plane was hit by a Ukrainian missile. However, Ukraine has denied being informed about safeguarding the airspace, as has been done in the past during prisoner exchanges.
In a statement on the social media platform X, previously known as Twitter, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of “manipulating the lives of Ukrainian prisoners of war.” He demanded a thorough investigation to uncover all details and called for an international inquiry.
Unable to verify
Ms. DiCarlo acknowledged that the United Nations is unable to confirm the reports or details surrounding the crash. However, she stated that it is evident the incident occurred during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and ongoing conflict.
In order to prevent the situation from getting worse, we strongly advise all involved parties to avoid taking actions, using inflammatory language, or making accusations that could intensify the already hazardous conflict.
Casualties ‘rapidly rising’
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reports that since Russia’s invasion in February 2022, 10,312 civilians have lost their lives and an additional 19,530 have been wounded.
“The number of casualties resulting from recent strikes is still increasing at a fast pace,” Ms. DiCarlo stated.
“The Secretary-General has made it clear that all attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, regardless of their location, are condemned. These actions are not allowed under international law and must cease immediately,” she stated.
Worries for soldiers who are captured by enemy forces.
The high-ranking representative from the United Nations expressed great worry about prisoners of war from all parties and their loved ones.
She stated that the recent event in the Belgorod region serves as a reminder of the struggles faced by prisoners of war, as it is believed to be connected to a potential prisoner exchange.
“Despite the events of yesterday’s occurrence, the use of POWs should not be manipulated. We implore both sides to persist in seeking exchanges of war prisoners,” she stated.
“A war of option”
According to Ms. DiCarlo, the conflict in Ukraine is a deliberate decision rather than an inevitable occurrence.
She expressed that the evident outcomes of this are devastating. The longer it continues, the greater the loss of life and damage it inflicts, and the more it deteriorates the standards put in place to guarantee and uphold a peaceful and safe world.
The origin of the information is from the United Nations’ news organization.