Russia is knowingly trying to gain military advantage by creating desperation: Statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the Security Council briefing on Ukraine

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November 16, 2022

Thank you President. And thank you to USG DiCarlo for your briefing.

I would like to start by offering our sympathies and condolences to the Polish people and the families of those injured and killed in yesterday’s incident.

While we await the outcome of the investigation, we should be clear that this is a tragedy that indisputably stems from Russia’s illegal and unjustified invasion, and its inhumane assault on civilians across Ukraine.

Yesterday, as President Zelenskyy set out to the G20 his 10 point plan for peace in Ukraine, Ukrainian civilians were facing the largest barrage of Russian missile and drone strikes since the first week of the war. We extend our condolences to the Ukrainian people and families of those injured in these attacks.

Russia’s systematic attacks on Ukraine’s critical national infrastructure have left millions without electricity, heating, water, medicine and food as temperatures start to drop below zero.

And more than that, we’ve heard today from the UN detailed reports of civilian deaths, sexual violence, and forced deportation of children.  Russia is knowingly trying to gain military advantage by creating desperation. Attacks of this kind may violate International Humanitarian Law and are in any event, deeply inhumane.

President, on Monday the General Assembly adopted a resolution on an international mechanism for reparations for damage, loss and injury arising from Russia’s internationally wrongful acts against Ukraine. This was an important first step towards justice for Ukraine.

President, we are in no doubt that Ukraine will prevail in the face of Russia’s aggression. The liberation of Kherson shows the strength, courage and determination of the Ukrainian people to defend their right to sovereign equality and territorial integrity guaranteed under the UN Charter.

The UK will continue to stand by the Ukrainian people.

While the war is ongoing, we must continue also to manage its wider effects as best we can. That is why we strongly support the Black Sea Green Initiative. It has been vital in helping alleviate the serious risks of food insecurity in the world, and we strongly support the UN in the efforts to renew it.

President, fundamentally, this war is the result of unilateral action on the part of the Russian Federation.  The path forward is therefore simple: Russia needs to cease hostilities, withdraw from within Ukraine’s internationally recognised borders, and commit to a path of dialogue.

Thank you.

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