UN Secretary-General calls Ukraine war ‘evil’ and ‘absurd’ in Kyiv visit 2022-04-28 20:12:42


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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visited Ukrainian towns on Thursday where he accused Russian forces of war crimes, condemning the “evil” war he said had paid civilians “the highest price”.

In Kyiv, he also met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – two days after the UN Secretary-General met with Russian President Vladimir Putin – and pledged to “strengthen our efforts in all areas” to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukrainians.

“When I see those destroyed buildings, I have to say what I feel. I imagined my family in one of those ruined and black houses now,” the Secretary-General She said Reporters in Borodinka, one of the three war-torn towns he visited. “I see my granddaughters running away in panic, and part of the family is finally killed.”

“War is a silliness in the twenty-first century,” Guterres said. “War is evil.”

in Borodinka, where Washington Post Correspondents We witnessed scenes of mass destruction caused by the Russian air strikes, Guterres wire To the district governor, who told him that although residents had returned, some were still searching for bodies in homes.

On his return to Kyiv from his visit to the devastated suburbs, he was “visibly touched – personally affected by them,” said Chris Janowski, the UN spokesperson in Ukraine, Tell United Nations News.

“Wherever there is war, civilians pay the biggest price,” Guterres said in Irbin, northwest of Kyiv. Speaking from the devastated Erbinsky Lipki apartment complex, he said everyone should remember that “innocent civilians were living in these buildings. They were paying the highest price for a war to which they had not contributed at all.”

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, in his statements at a press conference with Zelensky, emphasized that the Russian invasion was a violation of its territorial integrity and the UN Charter. He said he visited Ukraine to focus on ways the United Nations can “expand its support for the people of Ukraine, save lives, reduce suffering, and help find a path to peace.”

Guterres called on the United Nations Security Council, which is tasked with ensuring international peace and security, to “fail.”[ing] To do everything in their power to prevent and end this war. This is a source of great disappointment, frustration and anger.”

However, he said many across the United Nations are working to help Ukraine. Guterres said the United Nations is expanding its cash assistance to distribute $100 million a month to reach 1.3 million people by May.

He said, “This is not a typical UN humanitarian operation in a developing country, with a lot of governance problems and a lot of difficulties. Ukraine is a country that has a government and a support system for its citizens, so the role of the UN is not to replace that system, it’s to support the government to support the people of Ukraine.”

He reiterated his call for an end to the war, saying that while efforts to stop the fighting were unsuccessful, “we will not give up.”

“In many ways, we are at ground zero for the world we need to build — a world that respects international law, the Charter of the United Nations and the power of multilateralism, a world that protects civilians, a world that advances human rights, and a world where leaders are committed to the values ​​they have promised to uphold.”

In his evening speech, Zelensky said that five Russian missiles were fired at Kyiv “immediately after the end” of talks in the capital with Guterres.

“This says a lot about Russia’s true attitude towards global institutions, about the efforts of the Russian leadership to humiliate the United Nations and everything the organization stands for,” Zelensky said. “It requires a strong response.”

Two days ago, Guterres met with Putin in Moscow to confirm the position of the United Nations on the situation in Ukraine. UN spokesman Eri Kaneko said the purpose of the two visits was to discuss immediate steps to stop the fighting and ensure everyone’s safety.

Putin agreed “in principle” after Tuesday’s meeting to allow the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross to take part in the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal iron and steel plant in the besieged city of Mariupol. After meeting with Zelensky, Guterres said there were “extensive discussions to move forward with this proposal to make it a reality.”

When pressed by a reporter for more information about negotiations with Putin over Mariupol, Guterres replied sternly, “What do you want? Do you want to save people, or do you want me to say something that will be an obstacle to that rescue? For now, I can only tell you.” We are doing everything we can to make it happen… I will not enter into any comment that would undermine that possibility – because my first and only priority is the people who are suffering.”

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During his trip around Ukrainian towns, Guterres visited an Orthodox church in Bucha, where the pictures show Mass graves and corpses Lying on the side of the road after the Russian troops first left the town It sparked calls for a war crimes investigation. He said the visit made him feel how important it was [to have] Comprehensive investigation and accountability.

“I am happy that the International Criminal Court is presented with the situation and that the Office of the Prosecutor is already here,” he said. “I appeal to the Russian Federation to accept cooperation with the International Criminal Court. But when we talk about war crimes, we cannot forget that the worst crimes are the war itself.”

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, said Wednesday evening, in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York, that it was time to act. International law cannot be a passive bystander. It cannot be stable. It needs to move with caution and protect and insist on accountability.”

Khan opened an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity on March 2.