Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsya, delivered a blistering speech on Wednesday condemning Russia for launching a military operation against his country and ended the meeting with a sharply-worded parting shot.
In comments directed to the Russian ambassador, Vasily Nebenzya, at an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting, Kyslytsya said, “About 48 minutes ago, your president declared war on Ukraine.”
Kyslytsya called on Nebenzya to “say on the record that at this very moment your troops do not shell and bomb Ukrainian cities, that your troops do not move into territory of Ukraine.”
The Ukrainian ambassador said that if Russia’s representative could not answer in the affirmative, he should step down from his leadership position. Nebenzya claimed after Kyslytsya’s remarks that the military operation Moscow has launched against Ukraine did not constitute a war.
That was not the only tense moment during the Security Council meeting.
“There is no purgatory for war criminals,” Kyslytsya said to the Russian ambassador at the end of the meeting. “They go straight to hell.”
These developments came after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia was launching a “special military operation” against Ukraine, effectively declaring war. There were, subsequently, reports of explosions in multiple Ukrainian cities, including the capital city of Kyiv.
President Joe Biden denounced Putin for launching an “unprovoked and unjustified attack.”
“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering. Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way,” Biden said in a statement. “The world will hold Russia accountable.”