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The US and Russia dispute responsibility for the missile

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The United States and its Western allies clashed with Russia at the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday over responsibility for a deadly missile strike in Poland near the Ukrainian border, an event that the U.N. political chief called “a dire reminder of the absolute necessity prevent further escalation” of the nine-month war in Ukraine.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the council: “This tragedy would never have happened if not for Russia’s unwarranted invasion of Ukraine and its recent missile strikes on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure.” Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vasyl Nebenzia, responded by accusing Ukraine and Poland of trying to “provoke a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.”

Last week, the US and Albania called on the council to update the situation in Ukraine, and the meeting was dominated by a missile strike in Poland on Tuesday that killed two farm workers.

Nebenzia drew attention to the statements of the President of Ukraine and Polish officials, who initially pointed to Russia’s responsibility. The NATO chief and Poland’s president said on Wednesday there was no indication it was a deliberate attack and it was likely a Soviet-era projectile launched by Ukraine as it fought back against Russian missiles and drones that knocked out its power grid and hit residential buildings.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo told the council that it was Russia’s “most intense bombing” since its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, and the effects “can only get worse in the coming winter months.”

She reiterated that attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure are prohibited by international law, noted that “heavy fighting continues” in eastern Donetsk and Luhansk, and told council members that “there is no end in sight to the war.” She also warned that “as long as this continues, the risks of potentially catastrophic impact remain all too real.”

Thomas-Greenfield, the US representative, called the barrage of more than 90 missiles that hit Kyiv and other cities and targeted devastating civilian infrastructure a “deliberate tactic” by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“He seems to have decided that if he cannot seize Ukraine by force, he will try to freeze the country into submission,” she said.

Poland’s ambassador to the UN, Krzysztof Szczerski, told the council that “these innocent people would not have been killed if there was no Russian war against Ukraine.” And the British ambassador to the UN, Barbara Woodward, said: “We must clearly realize that this is a tragedy, undoubtedly, connected with the illegal and unjustified invasion of Russia. And this is an inhuman attack on the civilian population throughout Ukraine.

But Russia’s Nebenzia said he wanted to remind those who blame Russia that what Moscow calls its “special military operation” would not have been necessary if the Minsk accords, which followed the 2014 turmoil in Ukraine, required a degree of autonomy for Russia. – supported by the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in the east were implemented and did not lead to an eight-year war.

Addressing the West, Nebenzia also said that there would be no military action “if you had not intervened and supplied Ukraine with weapons and ammunition” and called on Ukraine “to strive for peace on realistic terms, and not to fuel your feverish fantasies about the possibility of victory.” over Russia, for the sake of which Zelensky’s regime senselessly throws tens of thousands of its soldiers into the meat grinder.”

Regarding the missile strikes, Nebenzia said: “If you had reacted to the terrorist actions of the Ukrainian special forces against Russia, we would not have been forced to launch high-precision strikes on the infrastructure.”

“But since you act the way you do, and the Kiev regime ascribes non-existent military power to itself, we are forced to achieve the goals of the special operation at the expense of weakening the military potential of Ukraine,” he said. said.

The British Woodward categorically disagreed with this, telling the council: “We have no doubt that Ukraine will win in the face of Russian aggression.”

Drawing attention to Russia’s withdrawal from the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, she said: “The liberation of Kherson shows the strength, courage and determination of the Ukrainian people in defending their right to sovereign equality and territorial integrity guaranteed by the UN Charter.”

“This is and remains a war of choice, a pure act of unprovoked aggression and an attempt to seize territory. This war must end, not expand, and Russia started it, Russia must put an end to it,” Khoja said.


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