Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing with regard to the UAF strike against Lisichansk

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February 6, 2024


We called an urgent meeting of the Security Council with regard to the missile strike by the armed forces of Ukraine against Lisichansk that took place on Saturday, 3 February. The attack destroyed a two-story building of a bakery and a bistro, inducing a collapse of ceiling construction. Approximately 40 people were buried under the rubble. 28 people died, including a pregnant woman and her five-year-old child. Four of the injured remain in a life-threatening condition.

There is no doubt that the target and the timing of the attack were not picked at random. The town is close to the line of contact and suffers regular shelling from various types of weaponry. There are few places of recreation. The neo-Nazis deliberately waited until families were out for a walk on a day off and cynically attacked almost the only place of leisure in Lisichansk.

The strike was carried out with a high-capacity precision weapon. Presumably, it was a HIMARS. The Russian Investigative Committee has already seized fragments of ammunition from the site and is checking on their origin.

I bet that today we will hear allegations that Russia convenes UNSCs on various aspects of the Ukrainian crisis way too often. However, we are not the ones who come up with the reasons for the meetings. It is Ukrainian fighters who have become so brutal and brazen that they commit terrorist attacks almost weekly, shelling civilian infrastructure and killing civilians on Russian territory. This is the fourth terrorist attack of this kind in the past six weeks. The actions of the Kiev regime are strikingly cruel and sophisticatedly hateful. The attack on Belgorod, the two strikes on Donetsk, and now a strike on Lisichansk took place on off days and holidays in places of mass gathering of civilians, and the time of the strike invariably coincided with peak attendance at each of the sites. None of the sites was located in the immediate vicinity of any military infrastructure.

The junta in Kiev has finally thrown off its masks and opted for terrorism. This fact is evidenced not only by explicit statements of its leaders but also by the actions it is taking. For example, yesterday it we learned that Georgian border guards had seized a batch of explosives disguised as car batteries and intended for terrorist attacks in Voronezh (Russia) and possibly in Tbilisi (Georgia). This had been plotted by a MP from Zelensky’s party, whose goal, among other things, was to have Georgia blamed for everything. The funds that Western countries allocate as aid for Ukraine are spent precisely on such plots – similar to those carried out by terrorists from ISIL.

Of course, Ukrainian armed forces feel total impunity and permissiveness. What’s more, they feel the unconditional support of Washington, London and Brussels, who do not care about the killings of civilians, broken families and ruined lives. In its blind hatred of our country and desire to weaken Russia in any way, the West is ready to pay with other people’s lives and compromise universal norms of morality. We very much want to hope that ordinary citizens of the United States and the European Union, who live under the most brutal censorship and propaganda, will get the whole truth about the atrocities of Kiev and the complicity of their governments. They should know that the lethal weapons that are regularly sent to Ukraine are utilized to commit terrorist acts against peaceful people and civilian infrastructure in violation of IHL.

If someone undertakes to argue that Western countries have nothing to do with and that Kiev picks its own targets for strikes, they should be reminded of the confession of Vadym Skibitsky, a representative of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine. In August 2022, he admitted that in order to use HIMARS, Kiev needs to get a target clearance from Washington. So it is quite obvious who was involved in the Lisichansk attack. And not only that one, but dozens (if not hundreds) of others that have been launched from West-supplied weapon systems.


Among such recent heinous crimes of the Kiev junta is the terrorist attack of January 24 that downed the Russian military transport aircraft IL-76, which was carrying 65 Ukrainian POWs for an exchange. As a result, 74 people were killed, including the Russian crew, military police officers and all POWs. I emphasize that the Kiev regime was perfectly aware of the pending exchange. They were also duly informed about the mode of transportation and the route by which the prisoners would be transported.

Almost immediately after the crash, the UAF General Staff triumphantly confirmed its involvement, thereby recognizing that the plane had been shot down deliberately by the “valiant Ukrainian military”. However, as soon as the public learned that the plane was carrying captured Ukrainian servicemen to a place of exchange, President Zelensky’s Office changed its rhetoric and began to backpedal denying any Ukrainian involvement in the tragedy.

It is quite telling that President Zelensky initially said there needs to be an international investigation into the downing of IL-76. However, as more evidence of UAF’s involvement emerged, the Kiev regime abandoned this premise, realizing that unbiased international investigators could confirm UAF’s guiltiness and bury Ukraine’s tarnished reputation for good.

In the time that has passed after the UNSC meeting of January 25, the Russian investigation has made progress. We have decoded data from the flight recorder and the cockpit voice recorder. Washouts from fragments of the aircraft’s hull and equipment showed traces of hexogen with impurities of up to 10% octogen, which is typical of foreign-made explosives.

Today we have irrefutable evidence that a Patriot missile system was used in the strike, which leaves no doubt that Washington is a direct accomplice in this crime. The US Department of State has not commented on this information in any way, hypocritically suggesting that Kiev’s representatives do so.

More than 670 fragments of the bodies of the victims, as well as some personal documents were found and collected at the crash site. DNA tests (the investigation had genetic profiles of all Ukrainian PoWs at its disposal) unambiguously indicate that those belong to the six crew members, three military police officers and 65 Ukrainian servicemen who died when the plane was shot down. We are ready to share information about the results of the investigation with any interested international organization and have already circulated a letter to this effect at the United Nations.

Evidence of the Ukrainian armed forces’ involvement in the IL-76 plane crash is so solid that even the West cannot ignore it. The other day, an unnamed French official told the Associated Press that according to the French military the plane had been shot down from a PATRIOT system from a distance of about 50 kilometers.

Once again, we call on the members of the Security Council and the United Nations leadership to strongly condemn the attack on Lisichansk and all other terrorist acts by the Kiev regime. The Bandera junta views your silence as a carte blanche to commit more crimes. For our part, we confirm that all those involved – the organizers and the perpetrators of this crime – will be identified and held accountable. We also reiterate that all goals of demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine and other tasks of our special military operation will be achieved whether by diplomatic or military means.

Thank you.


Right of reply:


Today we have heard cynical speculations that we would not be sitting here if Russia had not started a “war”. This is wrong. If we had not started a special military operation, tragedies like Lisichansk would occur daily, as they did for 8 years before 2022. Only you didn’t notice it then. We are here to end this war, and we will certainly do so.

To my British colleague I want to respond that it was your former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who rushed to Kiev in April 2022 at a time when the treaty between Russia and Ukraine was almost ready. It just needed to be finalized. He rushed to Kiev and ordered his puppets to continue the war against Russia. So your former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is an accomplice to the crimes of the Kiev regime, and responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of young Ukrainians on the battlefield, whose lives could have been saved if the treaty had been signed and if your British and American colleagues had not prevented it.

To the Permanent Representative of France, I should like to emphasize that the loss of human life is always a tragedy. At the same time, the hypocritical position of our French colleagues is puzzling, for they divide civilians into those whose killing they condemn and those whose extermination they ignore. Outraged by the deaths of their compatriots, French leaders cynically prefer to turn a blind eye to the fact that the weapons they supply are deliberately used by the Kiev regime to kill civilians in Russian towns. Moreover, Paris has even tried to justify such atrocities with the “right to self-defense”, basically justifying acts of terrorism. We see with what persistence the French leadership refuses to recognize the fateful role that Paris together with other Western capitals played back in 2014 in causing the Ukrainian crisis and indulging the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev, who had been killing its people in Donbas for 8 years. It is France, whose former president admitted that the Minsk Agreements were not meant to be implemented, but to give Kiev a respite and time to rearm. To say nothing of the contribution that France is making today to keeping the criminal Kiev clique afloat, including large-scale deliveries of lethal weapons and the training of Ukrainian military.

We have repeatedly said that France’s growing involvement in the Ukrainian conflict leads not only to its prolongation and further escalation, but also jeopardizes the lives of French citizens who, imbued with anti-Russian propaganda, get sent (with the tacit consent of the authorities) into the combat zone as mercenaries or volunteers. I hope that it will make the French public think whether the counterproductive and dangerous policy of its leadership as regards the conflict in Ukraine can be justified.

Thank you.

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