Zelenskyy described the scene in Bucha, explaining that the images that have been shared from the area, sparking global outrage in recent days, are only “one of the many examples of what the occupiers have been doing on our land for 41 days,” adding that Russia is committing “the most terrible war crimes” since the end of World War II.
“Now the world can see what the Russian military did in Bucha,” Zelenskyy said. “But the world has yet to see what they have done in other occupied cities and regions of our country.”
Cartoons on Ukraine and Russia
Zelenskyy said that Russian troops are “deliberately destroying Ukrainian cities to ashes with artillery and airstrikes,” creating “mass starvation” by blocking cities, shooting “civilians on the road trying to escape” and blowing up shelters “where civilians hide from airstrikes.” A video of the casualties in Ukraine appeared to show images of rotting and burned bodies in various cities throughout the country.
“Where is the security that the Security Council needs to guarantee?” Zelenskyy pleaded.
He reminded the council of their Article 1 commitments to maintain peace under the U.N. charter. Without Article 1, he argued, “what is the point of all other articles?”
“Are you ready to close the U.N.?” Zelenskyy asked the council. “Do you think that the time of international law is gone? If your answer is no, then you need to act immediately.”
Russia holds a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council and possesses veto power. Zelenskyy acknowledges that reality, saying “we are dealing with a state that is turning a veto in the U.N. Security Council into the right to die,” which, he said, undermines the “whole architecture” of global security as he called for its removal.
Zelenskyy, calling for an “effective U.N.,” posed two options to the council: Remove Russia “as an aggressor and a source of war” or “dissolve yourself altogether.”
The address comes after the U.S. and its allies have committed to holding Russia accountable for the reported massacre in Bucha. Joe Biden on Monday called the emerging atrocities in Bucha a “war crime” but denied that a genocide was taking place.
The reported killings in Bucha have also reinvigorated sanction talks from among world leaders. On Tuesday, the EU announced a proposal banning Russian coal as part of a new package of sanctions.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday called the war in Ukraine “one of the greatest challenges ever to the international orders and the global peace architecture founded on the United Nations charter.”
Guterres noted the “serious damage” being done to the global economy, adding that 74 developing countries with a total population of 1.2 billion people are “particularly vulnerable” to spiking food, energy and fertilizer costs.
“The war in Ukraine must stop – now,” he said.