Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, addressing the UN Security Council on Tuesday, highlighted the apparent massacre of civilians by Russian forces in and around Kyiv and other major cities as he pleaded for charges of crimes of war against Russian leaders.
Zelenskyy reiterated that Ukrainian forces who recaptured towns found mass graves, revelations of atrocities and infrastructure destroyed by Russian forces.
“They killed whole families, adults and children, and they tried to burn their bodies,” Zelenskyy said of the Russian invaders.
Zelenskyy urged the UN to provide security guarantees to Ukraine.
“What is the purpose of our organization? Its purpose is to keep the peace,” Zelenskyy said. “And now the Charter of the United Nations has been violated, starting with Article 1. What are all the other articles for?”
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► Zelenskyy said it was imperative that the UN Security Council take action against Russia to show other potential war criminals “how they will be punished if the greatest is punished”.
► He also called on members of the Russian military who savagely attacked civilians – and those who gave the order – to be tried for war crimes.
► The Russian army killed “everyone who served our country”, Zelenskyy said on Tuesday. Women have been shot outside their homes as they search for friends and loved ones, he said. in front of their children,” he said.
Human Rights Watch: Russia Uses Banned Mines
Russian forces are using banned landmines as they withdraw from cities in Ukraine, according to a report by Human Rights Watch. The report was followed this week by the discovery of the bodies of more than 400 civilians around kyiv, some in mass graves. Russia uses a device known as the Pom-3 Medallion, a mine capable of killing people within a radius of 50 feet, Human Rights Watch said.
The 1997 International Mine Ban Treaty prohibits the manufacture and use of anti-personnel mines. Ukraine is one of 164 nations that have signed the treaty. The United States and Russia have not signed it.
“They are exploiting all this territory,” Zelenskyy said in a video address. “Mining house, equipment, even the bodies of those killed. Too many tripwire mines, too many other dangers.” Learn more here.
– Janet Loehrke and George Petras
1.2 billion citizens of the world made vulnerable by the disruptions of war
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also addressed the Security Council in front of Zelenskyy on Tuesday, saying the world “is facing a full-fledged invasion” in violation of the UN Charter.
Result: more than 10 million people fled their homes and more than 4 million of them fled the country.
The victims of war, Guterres said, also include more than 1.2 billion citizens of developing countries struggling with rising prices and other economic problems aggravated by war.
“It is more urgent day by day to silence the guns,” said António Guterres.
EU plans to ban all coal imports from Russia
The European Union is considering a ban on all coal imports from Russia in what would be the first sanctions aimed at Moscow’s lucrative energy revenues for its war in Ukraine.
“Today we are proposing a 5th sanctions package. Taking a clear position is crucial for the whole world,” the European Commission said in a message on Twitter. “A clear position against Putin’s war of choice. Against the massacre of civilians.”
Europe is determined to tighten sanctions against Russia in light of new evidence of massacres of Ukrainian civilians by Russian invading forces, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday. The Mayor said there was “total determination” from the 27 European Union countries for tougher sanctions targeting oil and coal.
Europe’s reliance on Russian oil, natural gas and coal had sidelined energy sanctions as the whole continent feared it was slipping into recession.
Website connects Ukrainian refugees with hosts around the world
A group of Harvard University students have created a website to help Ukrainian refugees find housing around the world.
Ukrainetakeshelter.com, created by Avi Schiffmann and Marco Burstein, encourages anyone with space in their home to post an ad. Refugees and hosts must provide identity verification through a government-issued ID card or passport. More than 18,000 potential hosts have registered on the site. Recently, Burstein and Schiffman registered 800,000 users.
Burstein said he, Schiffman and Irish software engineer Daniel Conlon were “blown away” by the response.
“We’ve heard all kinds of amazing stories from connected hosts and refugees all over the world,” Burstein said. “We have hosts in almost every country you can imagine, from Hungary and Romania to Poland, Canada and Australia.”
State Department Calls Atrocities ‘Broader, Disturbing Campaign’
Credible reports of torture, rape and civilian executions in Ukraine are unlikely to be by rogue soldiers, State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday.
“They are part of a larger, troubling campaign,” he told a State Department briefing.
Price said the world was shocked by “the horrific images of Kremlin brutality” in Bucha and other towns near Kyiv. Civilians, many of whom had their hands tied, were reportedly executed in the streets.
Others were thrown into mass graves. As they retreated, the Russians also left behind landmines and booby traps to injure more Ukrainians and slow their recovery, Price said.
The apparent atrocities will be one of the topics of discussion when Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets his NATO counterparts in Belgium this week.
Allies are already discussing additional penalties and ways to help Ukraine document war crimes for criminal prosecution, Price said. The United States provided both money and manpower to help Ukraine’s attorney general prepare a case.
Atrocities near Kyiv fuel global outrage. Will this be a tipping point in the war?
German president admits mistakes with Russia
The German president admits policy errors towards Russia in his former post as foreign minister. President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has served as foreign minister twice, most recently from 2013 to 2017, and has continued dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin to cultivate energy ties. Russia supplies Germany with about a third of its oil and gas and more than half of its coal.
Ukrainian and Polish officials criticized Steinmeier for being too close to Russia. The Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin boycotted a peace concert with Russian artists organized by Steinmeier. Steinmeier told ZDF television on Tuesday that “we have failed on many counts”, including efforts to encourage Russia towards democracy and respect for human rights.
Contributor: The Associated Press