Geneva: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday challenged the United Nations (UN) to “act immediately” or “dissolve yourself altogether” during his virtual address in which he showed a harrowing video of dead bodies that he claimed were victims of Russian atrocities.
Zelensky called on the 15-member council to expel Russia “so it cannot block decisions about its own aggression, its own war.”
Russia, as one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, has a veto, which it has repeatedly wielded to block resolutions and negotiations on the global stage.
“If there is no alternative and no option, then the next option would be to dissolve yourself all together,” Zelensky said.
He further said, “Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready to close the UN? And the time of international law is gone? If your answer is no, then you need to act immediately.”
“They were killed in their apartments, houses, blowing up grenades, civilians were crushed by tanks while sitting in their cars in the middle of the road, just for their pleasure. They cut off limbs… slashed their throats,” he said.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday said the war in Ukraine was “one of the greatest challenges ever” to the “international order and the global peace architecture” founded on the UN charter.
The war has led to ‘senseless’ loss of life, massive devastation in urban centres and destruction of civilian infrastructure, The Guardian reported Guterres as saying, while addressing the UN Security Council in New York. Guterres said he was “equally shocked by the personal testimony of rapes and sexual violence” emerging from the conflict.
About the disturbing images from Bucha, northwest of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Guterres said, “I will never forget the horrifying images of civilians killed in Bucha.”
India on Tuesday also condemned the civilian killings in Ukraine’s Bucha city and supported the call for an independent investigation.
Raising a strong statement in the UN Security Council, India’s ambassador TS Tirumurti said, “The recent reports of civilian killings in Bucha are deeply disturbing. We unequivocally condemn these killings and support the call for an independent investigation.”
India also reiterated its call for an immediate cessation of violence and an end of hostilities. Mass graves and bodies of apparently executed civilians discovered in the Russia-occupied town have set off outrage across the world.
United States President Joe Biden on Monday demanded war crime trials over the alleged atrocities against civilians in Ukraine’s Bucha city. Biden also said he wants more sanctions imposed on Russia. He had called Russian President Vladimir Putin “a war criminal” and the killings “a war crime.”
At least 300 people, whose bodies were recovered following the withdrawal of Russian troops from Bucha, have been buried in mass graves, the city’s mayor told AFP Saturday.
“In Bucha, we have already buried 280 people in mass graves,” mayor Anatoly Fedoruk had told AFP by phone.
Bucha is a commuter town in the northwest of Ukraine’s capital city Kiyv. Amid destroyed buildings with gaping holes and roads spewed with crushed cars, the town’s streets are littered with corpses, he had said.
India Blooms News Service