Statement by Deputy Permanent representative of Ukraine Khrystyna Hayovyshyn on UN Security Council meeting on 31 July 2023

Statement by Deputy Permanent representative of Ukraine Khrystyna Hayovyshyn on UN Security Council meeting on 31 July 2023

Mr. President,

Distinguished members of the Security Council,

I also recognize here the representative of Russia in the permanent seat of the Soviet Union.

Let me thank Deputy USG Mr. Gregorian for his briefing.

The Security Council has gathered today to address threats to international peace and security.

Ukraine firmly reaffirms its unwavering commitment to safeguarding global peace and security, which we have consistently demonstrated, including over the past nine years since the start of Russia’s aggression.

We fearlessly confront the Russian aggressor state, whose actions pose a substantial threat to stability in the region and worldwide.

It is crucial to remember that Russia's testing of international law long predates its invasion of Ukraine in 2014. Lack of the world’s adequate response to Russia’s invasion in Georgia back in 2008 only encouraged Moscow to escalate further, based on thisdangerous precedent.

This historical example underscores the importance of not allowing illegal actions to go unpunished, as they tend to recur with greater force. Indecisiveness or delays in addressing such misconduct pose a genuine risk to international peace and security.

The world's failure to restrain Russia then was due to misguided beliefs in its power and the myth of the “world's second army”. Today, Ukraine dispels these myths, proving that evil can only be stopped by force, not mere talk.

Distinguished members of the Security Council,

Russian aggression against Ukraine presents the gravest threat to international peace and security. But as dangerous is reluctance of the world to employ force and accountability mechanisms to stop the aggressor.

Ukraine remains steadfast in its pursuit of liberating its sovereign territory within internationally recognized borders and freeing our citizens from the horrors of Russian occupation. This endeavor is not just a right but also a duty – an obligation to protect fellow UN members from similar ordeals.

Working in collaboration with the UN structures, the ICC and other esteemed international bodies, Ukraine will keep gathering evidence of Russian crimes.

All those responsible for the crime of aggression, war crimes and crimes against humanity will be held accountable. It is a matter of primary interest and responsibility of the international community.

In recent days, the aggressor state has been stubbornly attacking peaceful cities, shelling civilian objects and housing. This morning regions of Ukraine were shelled again. Kryvyi Rih, Kherson. Residential buildings, a university building, a crossroads were hit. Among killed people a 10-year-old girl. This is terrorism against peaceful cities and people.

As President Zelenskyy said “… But this terror will not frighten us or break us. We are working and saving our people… Each new Russian act of terror increases only the amount of reparations that Russia will pay for its crimes, not the chances of the occupiers to stay on our land”.

Mr. President,

When evil faces defeat, it behaves exactly like the representative of the Russian delegation in this Chamber. It often resorts to manipulation, trying to portray itself as a victim. It persistently mocks the mandate and procedures of the Security Council.

All this – because the Russian Federation is losing the war that it has launched against a sovereign, independent, and democratic country that stands firmly in defending itself and will do so as long as needed for a victory in the war, which means liberation of our entire territory from Russian occupiers, full restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty within internationally recognized borders, and return of all Ukrainian citizens captured by Russia.

Ukraine exercises its inherent right of self-defense under the Article 51 of the UN Charter. The delegation of Ukraine has officially stated this at the Security Council meeting on 25 February 2022 and notified the United Nations of this statement, circulated further as the Security Council document S/2022/183.

Distinguished members of the Security Council,

These days we are commemorating the victims of Olenivka – brave prisoners of war who tragically lost their lives at the hands of Russia on the solemn day of July 29th, just a year ago. As we reflect on the lives lost, we are reminded that there can be no other course of action but to ensure the aggressor is held accountable and brought to justice. Their memory inspires us to seek the rightful retribution and find the appropriate punishment for those responsible.

Recognizing evil's weakness is crucial, and we must resist the temptation to extend a hand of compromise. If evil is pardoned or inadequately punished, it will resurface with even greater ferocity, seeking revenge for its perceived humiliation. We cannot afford to display weakness or stop halfway. Russian Federation will face full and just punishment.

Thank you.

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