It is already half a year ago – on 28 February – that this Council first took up the issue of the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
The aggression started through military occupation and annexation of a huge part of Ukraine’s sovereign territory – the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
Then it went on by waging a hybrid war against Ukraine through sponsoring terrorism, supplying arms and mercenaries to the illegal armed groups in the east of our state, as well as intensive artillery shelling from the Russian territory and regular violation of Ukrainian airspace by military aircraft, helicopters and drones.
It was followed by downing by terrorist groups with Russian-supplied surface-to-air missile system of a civilian airplane MH17, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board.
The next red line was illegal crossing of Ukraine’s state border by so-called “humanitarian convoy” dispatched by Russia without authorization from Ukrainian Government and in violation of international agreements and procedures.
Russia has been pulling its troops along the border with Ukraine. As of now, over 45,000 military, about 160 tanks, 1360 armored battle vehicles, 390 artillery systems, 150 “Grad” systems, 192 military aircraft and 137 helicopters are deployed in the vicinity to our border.
Now the situation has dramatically changed. Russia has launched direct military invasion of the mainland of Ukraine by its regular Armed Forces.
Last night two military convoys crossed the Ukraine’s state border and moved in the directions of:
After shelling on the positions of Ukrainian forces from the territory of Russian Federation and from the district Obryv - Sedovo, the Russian troops seized the town of Novoazovsk.
More than 10,000 civilians have been held hostages by Russian invaders. The citizens of Ukraine are exerted psychological pressure; threats of physical violence are heard.
On August 24, 2014, two Battalion Tactical Groups of Airborne Forces of the Russian Armed Forces, reinforced by tank units (up to 1 thousand troops, 18 tanks, and 60 airborne combat vehicles, trucks KamAZ) crossed the state border of Ukraine near village Berestove, Donetsk region (0.5 km from the Ukrainian State Border)
Reportedly all Russian military equipment was without license plates, some of combat vehicles were painted with two white stripes like Ukrainian combat vehicles in counter-terrorist operation zone. The troops wear Russian Army Combat Uniform with no insignia.
Currently, the above mentioned combat units, which crossed the Ukrainian border, have occupied several villages in Donetsk region: Pobieda, Glinka, Amvrosievka, Telmanovo, Granitne and Sontseve, and are constructing fortified strongholds.
On August 25, Ukrainian armed forces detained near the town of Dzerkalny (Donetsk region) 10 soldiers of the regiment 331 of the Svir Airborne Division 98 of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. All their identities were revealed. We have serious doubts that the Russian troops, being fully armed, could have lost their way penetrating 25 km. into territory of Ukraine.
We poses numerous evidences, including photo- video proofs, and now detained Russian soldiers, as well as Russian battle armored vehicles and tanks with all documentation proving that they belong to Russian military forces, which leaves absolutely no doubt about Russian direct invasion into Ukraine.
We see the Russian Federation fully responsible for everyday death toll among Ukrainian civilians and military as well as for the humanitarian breakdown in Donbas.
We demand the Russian Federation to immediately recall all its troops the Ukrainian territory to save lives of Ukrainians and Russians.
We demand Russia to establish effective control over the Ukrainian-Russian border, under the control of the OSCE, which would exclude illegal supplies of military equipment, weapons and militants to Ukraine.
We demand Russia to release all Ukrainian who are held hostages.
e have been open to all diplomatic initiatives and have participated in every negotiations format.
President of Ukraine offered his Peace Plan for de-escalation, which Russia deliberately undermined.
While demonstrating its full readiness for peace negotiations with Russia during the meeting in Minsk, President Poroshenko made it clear that sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as the European aspirations of Ukrainian people are not negotiable.
In view of the open Russian military aggression Ukraine reserves its right to act in accordance with article 51 of the UN Charter, which empowers every UN member state with “the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations”.
We call upon the international community to provide effective assistance to Ukraine to resist Russian aggression.
Will the international community keep witnessing silently as the fundamental principles of the international law are being grossly disrespected, the entire democratic world is being challenged, and the actual world order is being destroyed – or, will it finally speak with one voice and act?
The choice is not tactical. The choice is fundamental. The world is challenged by a military nuclear might ignoring universal principles and craving an absolute power.
How many more red lines are to be crossed before this challenge is addressed?
We call upon this Council to fulfill its Charter responsibilities and take the urgent measures to stop the aggression against a sovereign UN member state.
I thank you for your attention.