The Security Council is convening an urgent meeting regarding the recent acts of aggression in Belgorod, Russia.
During a briefing to the Council, Khaled Khiari, Assistant Secretary-General in the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (UN DPPA), reported that the recent attack on Belgorod resulted in the death of at least 18 civilians and left over 100 others injured.
Russia had called for the emergency meeting following reported attacks on Belogorod. Located about 40 km north of the Ukrainian border, Belgorod is home to more than 300,000 residents.
Less than 24 hours after the Council called a meeting to discuss the attacks by Russia on Ukrainian towns and cities, an emergency session was held.
We strongly denounce any form of attack.
“We unequivocally condemn all attacks on cities, town and villages, in Ukraine and in the Russian Federation,” Mr. Khiari said. “Attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure violate international humanitarian law, are unacceptable and must end now.”
As the Council convenes today, he mentioned that there are new reports of air raid warnings emerging from various regions in Ukraine such as Kharkiv, Sumy, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Cherkasy, Poltava, and Dnipropetrovsk.
According to him, there was an attack in the city of Kharkiv a few hours ago, causing harm to innocent civilians and damaging civilian structures.
Region, Rostov Oblast, and Krasnodar Krai in 2020
In 2020, there were fatalities among non-military individuals in the regions of Belgorod, Rostov, and Krasnodar in Russia.
According to Mr. Khiari, there were reports of attacks on various locations in the city center of Belgorod. These attacks caused damage to civilian structures, such as the regional government office and the medical college of Belgorod State University.
He stated that the strikes were some of the most lethal cross-border assaults on Russia since their complete invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The invasion was carried out in defiance of the UN Charter and global laws.
Simultaneously, he mentioned that the Russian military officials documented distinct incidents of Ukrainian drone strikes in the Bryansk, Oryol, Kursk, and Moscow regions of Russia during the night.
In the meantime, he stated that Ukrainian officials have reported fresh drone strikes by Russia in the Kherson region that occurred during the night.
He stated that as the conflict persists, there will be an increase in the number of Ukrainian and Russian civilians who are killed or wounded. Safeguarding civilians should be the primary concern. The violence and loss of life must stop, and the war needs to be resolved.
Russia accuses the EU of being involved in a ‘terrorist attack’.
Vassily Nebenzia, the Russian Ambassador, reported that Belgorod’s downtown area was hit by missiles and banned cluster munitions, as well as Vampir missiles made in the Czech Republic. The targets of these attacks included a sports center, ice skating rink, and a university.
“This is a deliberate act of terrorism,” he said, requesting Czechia and other Western States to account for where their assistance is going.
“He stated that there is no point in pretending otherwise, as the European Union nations are involved in the offenses carried out by the Kyiv gang.”
The council members have stated that violence should not be directed towards civilians.
The council members strongly denounced the acts of violence directed towards innocent civilians.
The UAE Deputy Ambassador, Mohamed Issa Abushahab, stated that schools should be secure places for children.
He stated that it is essential to safeguard civilians and not to target civilian facilities during attacks.
The French Ambassador, Nicolas de Rivière, reiterated a statement made by various Council members, stressing that without Russian troops present on Ukrainian territory, “we would not be having this meeting today”.
There have been pleas for Russia to cease their involvement in the ongoing conflict in Syria.
Thomas Patrick Phipps, spokesperson for the United Kingdom, stated that Russia is attempting to compare the recent Council meeting to Friday’s meeting, which focused on Russian attacks on cities and towns in Ukraine.
According to him, Russia initiated the war and has the power to stop it.
Numerous speakers voiced their agreement, urging Russia to remove its forces from Ukrainian land and cease all aggressive actions.
John Kelly, the representative of the United States, stated that Russia bears sole responsibility for initiating this conflict, which goes against the principles of the UN Charter.
He stated that the US will continue to back Ukraine in their defense as long as Russia remains involved. He also urged Moscow to stop the war immediately and ensure the safety of all civilians involved in any conflict.
Geng Shuang, China’s representative, expressed great worry about the prolonged crisis in Ukraine.
He restated China’s commitment to finding a peaceful resolution, stating that conflict does not lead to any winners.
Ukraine is currently in the process of recovering from the devastating attacks carried out by Russia.
According to Serhii Dvornyk, Ukraine is currently in the process of recovering from the devastating attacks that occurred on Friday.
“Recently, Russia once again attacked Kharkiv with S-300 missiles, causing damage to a residential building and a hotel,” he reported. “Throughout the day, multiple cities and towns in Ukraine have been targeted by Russian aggression.”
They include Dnipro, Nikopol and Vyshetarasivka in Dnipropetrovsk region, Kharkiv, Vovchansk, Kupyansk and Velyka Shpakivka in Kharkiv region and Antonivka and Tomina Balka in Kherson region.
“The meeting of the Security Council took place yesterday and will reconvene today. You should be prepared for a meeting tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, as long as the Russian aggression towards Ukraine persists,” stated the speaker. “The ongoing war, initiated by the authoritarian regime in the Kremlin, will only result in further loss of life and suffering.”
According to him, once the conflict known as “Russia’s bloody war” has ended, there will be an end to human suffering and civilian casualties in Europe, and there will no longer be a need for Security Council meetings on this matter.
View the meeting here, and check out UN Meetings Coverage for complete recaps of this and other UN meetings, available in both English and French.