The US and its Western allies clashed with Russia in the UN Security Council on Wednesday over responsibility for the missile strike in Poland.
On Tuesday, a rocket hit a Polish village near the border with Ukraine, killing two people. On the same day, dozens of Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian capital Kiev and other cities, hitting critical infrastructure and knocking out power.
The UN’s head of political and peacebuilding affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, told the council the incident was a “terrifying reminder of the absolute need to prevent further escalation”.
US blames Russia: ‘Unnecessary invasion of Ukraine’
While countries are still waiting for a final report on who fired the missile, Poland and NATO attributed the attack to a stray missile fired by Ukraine’s air defenses. Nevertheless, they laid the ultimate blame on Moscow for putting Kiev in a position to defend against the Russian missile attack.
“Those innocent people would not have been killed if there had not been a Russian war against Ukraine,” Polish UN ambassador Krzysztof Szczerski told the council.
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that while the facts of the incident remain unclear, it was Russia’s “unnecessary invasion of Ukraine” that caused this tragedy.
Meanwhile, Russia’s UN ambassador Vasily Nebenzya accused Ukraine and Poland of provoking a direct conflict between Russia and NATO. Nebenzya said Russia’s “special military operation” would not have been necessary had the 2014 Minsk agreement been honored.
He blamed the West for not encouraging Kiev to strive for peace and instead fueling its “feverish fantasies about the possibility of victory over Russia, for the sake of which the Zelensky regime is pointlessly mincing tens of thousands of its soldiers ‘. ‘
He held the West responsible, saying there would have been no military action if the West had not “interfered” and supplied Ukraine with “arms and ammunition”.
The Russian ambassador blames the West for the missile attack
Referring to the missile attack in Ukraine, Russia’s Nebenzya again accused the West of cornering Russia and forcing it to attack Ukraine.
“If you reacted to the terrorist actions of the Ukrainian special forces against Russia, we would not be forced to carry out precision attacks on infrastructure.” he said.
British UN ambassador Barbara Woodward called Russia’s attack on Tuesday an “inhumane attack on civilians across Ukraine.”
She strongly disagreed with Nebenzya, pointing to Russia’s withdrawal from the city of Kherson and saying that “Ukraine will prevail despite Russian aggression.”
Thomas-Greenfield of the US also called the missile attack on Ukraine a “deliberate tactic” by Putin. “He seems to have decided that if he cannot conquer Ukraine by force, he will try to freeze the country into submission,” she said.
The UN representatives of China and India again called for an end to the violence.
UN chief of political affairs: ‘The end is not yet in sight’
The UN’s DiCarlo called the missile strike on Ukraine the “most intense bombardment” since the invasion of Moscow began. She reiterated that attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure are prohibited under international law.
She also noted that “the end of the war is not yet in sight” and warned the world that the “risks of a potentially catastrophic spillover remain all too real”.
ns/aw (TBEN, dpa)