Russia's U.N. envoy interrupted a minute of silence being held for Ukraine during the United Nations Security Council session Friday, insisting the tribute be observed for "all of those who perished" in the hostilities between the two countries not just over the past year, but back to 2014.
The members were attempting to stand for the moment of silence, which was to begin after Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba addressed the council, accusing Russia of committing genocide against his country, reports The Daily Mail.
But as members of the council began to stand, the Russian envoy, Vasily Nebenzya, started to tap his microphone, and then insisted that "we are getting up on our feet to honor the memory of all victims of what has happened in Ukraine, starting in 2014."
Moscow claims Kyiv has been committing genocide against Russians in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, where there has been fighting between the Ukraine military and Russian separatists for the past 9 years.
Russia also insists that Ukraine and the West are to blame for the fighting in the Donbas region and for Putin's order to invade Ukraine one year ago Friday.
Nebenzya's objections forced UN assembly members to sit down again, as he insisted that "all of those who perished, all lives are priceless."
A recent British estimate suggests Russia has lost more than 200,000 soldiers to death and injury, and according to the UN, more than 8,000 Ukraine civilians have been killed since the invasion was launched. Both sides are believed to have lost tens of thousands of people.
The U.N. on Thursday voted to back Ukraine overwhelmingly while demanding Russia withdraw its troops unconditionally and immediately, with 141 of the 193 members voting in support; there were seven against, and 32, including China and India, abstaining from the vote.
The vote followed two days of debate, with Kuleba urging the international community to choose "between good and evil," and while he rejected the idea that Ukraine was only supported by the United States, the European Union, and key allies.
"Many countries representing Latin America, Africa, and Asia voted in favor today," Kuleba said. "The support is much broader, and it will only continue to be consolidated and to be solidified," he added.
However, Nebenzya on Friday said the motion to demand Russia give up was put out to serve the West's agenda and was "another attempt to give certain rights to a group of the country whereas you, as a representative of the golden billion, give preference to Ukraine just because that she is a part of your geopolitical project."
Thursday, he called Ukraine "neo-Nazi" and accused the West of sacrificing it in a quest to defeat Russia.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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