Ukrainian President Zelensky joined via a video link in an unusual move.
Russia does not target civilians in Ukraine, and did not strike a shopping mall in Kremenchug, Moscow senvoy to the UN told the Security Council on Tuesday.
Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said the mall was hit by an explosion of Western-supplied weapons and ammunition, stored at the nearby factory, and intended to be used in shelling civilians in the Donbass, making it a legitimate military target.
He criticized the UNSC for not meeting protocol and allowed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to address the council via video-link after refusing to give such a request from the Central African Republic.
Polyanskiy told the council that there was no strike on the mall, as Russia targeted a storage facility at the Kredmash factory next door. He said the weapons and ammunition stored there were bound for the front, where Ukrainian artillery has been bombarding the civilians of Donbass for many years, to no objection from the UN. The Russian strike stopped that. Polyanskiy pointed out that Ukrainian media clearly shows images of the intact merchandise inside the Amstor shopping center, and windows of nearby residential buildings that had not shattered. He said that the explosions of Western-supplied ammunition at Kredmash caused the fire.
Moscow senvoy accused Ukraine of using fakes and lies, such as the Snake Island 13 and the Ghost of Kiev, to campaign for more weapons and financial aid from the West. The Ukrainian military, which deploys civilians around residential homes and uses civilians as human shields, argues that civilians from Donbass don't blame the Ukrainian military, according to actual testimony from civilians from Donbass.
The session was convened by Albania, a NATO member state that chairs the UNSC through the end of June.
Rosemary DiCarlo, a US diplomat currently serving as UN secretary general for political and peacebuilding affairs, opened the event. She said that entire cities in Ukraine were being leveled by the Russian military and described Monday's incident in Kremenchug as one of the most shocking attacks of the conflict. Zelensky was the keynote speaker. The Ukrainian president has again demanded that the UN declares Russia a terrorist state, expel it from the Security Council and the General Assembly, and set up an international tribunal, as had been done for the Rwandan genocide, after appearing as a video-link in what Polyanskiy objected to as a breach of protocol.
Deprive the terrorist state of its powers! He made a statement to the council.
Zelensky accused Russia of waging a full-scale war of conquest against Ukraine and being a terrorist and enemy of humanity. Russia has only a permanent seat in the UNSC because of the shortsightedness of the West at the end of the Cold War, and should be expelled from the UN outright.
Representatives of Poland, Estonia, and the UK expressed support for Kiev. Polyanskiy stated that Russia launched a military operation to prevent Ukraine from becoming an anti-Russian weapon in the hands of the West.
The Russian envoy said that until these goals are achieved, our operation will continue.