Russia slams Ukraine Armys atrocities Wests biased war coverage at Arria Formula meet

At the ‘Arria Formula’ meeting in presence of representatives of all UN member states, the members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), journalists, and Russian diplomats on Friday, May 6 presented the evidence of Ukraine’s “unlawful acts” committed by their troops and far-right nationalist groups that they claimed hindered the evacuations. The meeting was titled “Systematic and mass grave violations of the international humanitarian law, as well as other war crimes committed by the Ukrainian military personnel & militia, discovered in the course of the ongoing special military operation of the Russian armed forces”. 

Moscow questions Western media’s biased coverage

Speaking in the ECOSOC Chamber, Russia’s ambassador Vasily Nebenzya provided evidence of “violations of international humanitarian law” committed by Ukrainian authorities and military forces. Nebenzya also questioned Western media’s biased coverage of violations committed by the Ukrainian forces, according to the concept note published by the UN Security Council. 

Ukrainian authorities have long been involved in systemically subverting the interests of ethnic ‘Russian minorities’ living in Ukraine, particularly the contentious eastern Donbass region. Russia has repeatedly accused Kyiv’s government of committing “genocide” against the Russian speaking population, Moscow’s diplomats said. 

“The purpose of this operation [invasion of Ukraine] is to protect people who, for eight years now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kyiv regime,” Russia’s President Vladimir Putin had asserted. 

Nebenzya asked his foreign counterparts to pay attention that it was the Ukrainian army that repeatedly deployed heavy weapons in the residential areas, as well as used civilians as a human shield, such as in Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks. 

#Nebenzia:We have reasons to believe that #IHL principles-no usage of civilian infrastructure for military purposes; no placement of heavy weapons in residential areas; no use of civilians as human shield, dignified treatment of PoWs-are systematically violated by🇺🇦army & militia

— Russia at the United Nations (@RussiaUN) May 6, 2022

“We have enough reasons to believe that all these principles are systematically violated by the Ukrainian army and paramilitaries. There are many eye-witness accounts of how the Ukrainian army uses civilians as hostages and a human shield,” he told the meeting. 

Russia highlighted that Ukraine Army used “tactics” of creating fire emplacements inside apartment buildings and civilian infrastructures. “Military tanks and other armoured vehicles are placed on the ground floors, and snipers, man-portable missiles and heavy weapons stationed on the roof, and civilians literally sandwiched between them,” Nebenzya said. 

Russian diplomats reiterated Putin’s allegations that Ukraine’s military, whom Moscow officials label as “neo-Nazis” have been targeting – and killing – Russian speakers and ethnic minorities in eastern Ukraine, that constitute a predominantly Russian-speaking population. Russian-backed rebel separatists have been fighting against the Ukrainian government since 2014 in the industrial heartland since the annexation of Crimea.

👉 Learn more about the crimes of the Kiev regime – from 2014 to 2022 – ranging from war to crackdown on the Russian language and media. Hard facts & testimonies that the “collective West” & the Kiev regime prefer to hush up…


— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) April 25, 2022

Moscow has shifted focus of its war to eastern Ukraine, in eastern regions of the Luhansk and Donetsk Putin had earlier declared as ‘independent.’ Russian diplomats accused Ukrainian nationalist fighters of committing atrocities against tjhe statelets created by Moscow-backed proxies. Apart from Donbass the Russian military operation is focusing on capturing the southern region of Kherson, north and west of Crimea, and part of Zaporizhzhia. 

Ukraine’s far-right ‘neo-Nazi’ nationalists Azov Battalion ‘violating international human rights law’: Russia 

Russia’s diplomats on Friday accused Ukraine’s militias and far-right neo-Nazi nationalists Azov Battalion of “violating international human rights law,” adding that the Western countries and international mechanisms such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission are “wilfully ignoring these violations.” Moscow also launched an attack on Ukraine’s treatment of its prisoners of war [POWs] at the meeting yesterday, which follows the 27 April’s Arria-formula meeting on “Ensuring accountability for atrocities committed in Ukraine” organised by Albania and France. At that meeting, the briefers had outlined Russian war crimes in occupied areas in northern Ukraine, including Bucha, Irpin and Motyzhyn.

Oct. 17, 2014 file photo. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, right, talks to Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, as they meet with then German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center back to camera, and French President Francois Hollande, center face to camera, in Milan, Italy. Ukraine discusses conflict with Russia, its ambition of joining the EU and NATO indefinitely stalled. Credit: AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, met with local residents and veterans at the historical memorial the Malakhov Kurgan (Malakoff redoubt) in Sevastopol, Crimea. Credit: AP

Russian soldiers were accused of indiscriminately killing and torturing Ukraine’s civilians, targeting civilian infrastructure such as schools and hospitals, committing sexual and gender-based violence, deporting civilians–including unaccompanied children to Moscow, and illegally detaining local government officials and journalists in various parts of Ukraine. Council members demanded “accountability” and appealed to all parties to cooperate with the ICC and other national and international investigations into alleged war crimes. Moscow, though, rejected such allegations of atrocities committed by its troops in Ukraine. 

On 44th Session of the General Assembly’s Committee on Information, Russia said that it is the target of a vast “anti-Russian” disinformation campaign, and Russophobia, and biased media coverage. Russian diplomats lashed out at UN, asserting that the international agency was “itself complicit and compromised.” 

#Nebenzia at SC briefing on #Ukraine: Western Media & politicians deliberately create an impression that #Ukraine & UN talked Russia into opening a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians from #Azovstal. However🇷🇺side opens such corridors regularly. They’re open today as well

— Russia at the United Nations (@RussiaUN) May 6, 2022

“UN structures and agencies as well as UN Secretariat officials, it argued, rely on false data obtained from unreliable, often discredited sources or from biased NGOs in their reports,” Russian diplomats asserted.

#Nebenzia: We repeatedly raised our #security concerns. The West dismissed it, assured themselves of #NATO’s defensive nature, while shifting its boundaries close to🇷🇺borders. We made proposals regarding global & indivisible security architecture – you waived them off arrogantly.

— Russia at the United Nations (@RussiaUN) May 6, 2022

Other member states criticised Russia for its media censorship and weaponisation of disinformation to justify its invasion of Ukraine. “Russia has muzzled dissent at home, shuttered independent media outlets and blocked access to social media and independent information about the war in Ukraine,” the United States asserted. 

“We collectively condemn Russia’s invasion of and continuous aggression against Ukraine, its sovereignty and territorial integrity by the Russian Federation. The actions of the Russian Federation violate international law and the common UN, OSCE, ItACHR and ACHR commitments and the very principles on which our organisations are based,” the UK stated at the meeting. 

Britain told Russians that the propaganda for war and national hatred which constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence are profoundly harmful and prohibited under article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. “We call on the Russian Federation to immediately refrain from these unlawful practices,” the British diplomats stated. 

Representatives and rapporteurs on the freedom of expression from various international organisations, including the UN, the African Commission of Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights and the OSCE, also expressed concerns about Russia’s disinformation in a joint statement following the meeting. Journalists and media workers in Ukraine “are being targeted, tortured, kidnapped, attacked and killed, or refused safe passage from the cities and regions under siege” and expressed concern about the safety of journalists, media workers and associated personnel in Ukraine, who are “at a very high risk,” they iterated. 

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