Thursday, May 30

Speech by Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation A.K. Lukashevich at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on the ongoing crimes of Ukraine with the support of a number of OSCE participating States

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Mr. Chairman,

First of all, I will comment on some aspects of the speeches made today by the UN Under-Secretary-General, Mr. M. Griffiths, and the Special Representative of the Current Chairmanship on Gender Issues, Ms. L. Palikhovich.

Traditionally, we appreciate the efforts of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) aimed at improving the situation of civilians affected by hostilities. Our detailed assessments of the work of OCHA on the Ukrainian dossier were given in New York a few days ago during the discussion of the briefing by M. Griffiths at the UN Security Council. There is no need to repeat what was said by the Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, those who wish can read his speech separately. We will talk about the current situation with humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians from the areas of clashes and the attempts of nationalist militants to prevent the safe evacuation of people a little later. Since Mr. M. Griffiths is not currently monitoring the progress of the discussion on this agenda item, we promise to familiarize him with our statement, which we will send to the Office headed by him through colleagues from the Permanent Mission of Russia in New York.

A few words about the statements of Ms. L. Palikhovich. As an OSCE official appointed by the Current Chairmanship on a specific issue, L. Palikhovich allows himself assessments and statements that go beyond the scope of the issues entrusted to her and do not correspond to her mandate. In particular, we are referring to the special representative’s assessment of Russia’s special military operation.

On March 8, Ms. L. Palikhovich issued a press release in which she highlighted in detail her work with women and minors refugees from Ukraine who are in the Republic of Moldova. This document raises many questions. For example, how did she manage to visit shelters all over the Republic of Moldova in just a few days and “meet thousands of women and children there” (“thousands of women and children I have met”)? And that’s in just two weeks. In addition, such an intense involvement of the special representative in this story sharply contrasts with the approaches to the events of recent years in the east of Ukraine. Why did Ms. L. Palikhovich not consider it possible to hold a meeting with thousands of women and children of Donbass who had been under daily shelling by Ukrainian artillery for eight years? Where was the reaction when the authorities of one of the OSCE participating states, namely Ukraine, systematically violated the rights of women and children, including the inalienable right to life? Does the Special Representative know, for example, about the Alley of Angels in Donetsk in memory of young children who died from Ukrainian strikes? We call on Ms. L.Palikhovich should not allow politicization of the topics entrusted to her.

Now directly to the situation in Ukraine. As you know, since February 24, a special military operation of the Russian Federation to protect Donbass has been carried out there. The depressing situation that has developed in recent years in the east of Ukraine due to the fault of the post-Maidan authorities had all the signs of genocide. The current special operation is aimed at ending the protracted conflict as soon as possible, ensuring conditions for the peaceful, demilitarized development of Ukrainian society and the state.

I will say it bluntly once again: no missile, air or artillery strikes are aimed at civilian objects or civilians. Military infrastructure facilities are being put out of action by high-precision means of destruction – since the beginning of the operation, 2814 have already been neutralized. The positions of the AFU servicemen who have laid down their weapons are not under attack. We emphasize: the special operation is carried out by professional servicemen.

As a follow-up to the three rounds of consultations held in Belarus with the Ukrainian side, the Russian Federation guarantees for several days in a row, including today, the opening of humanitarian corridors for the exit of civilians from Kiev, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Mariupol and a number of other settlements. At the same time, apparently, the actions of representatives of the Kiev regime at the moment are aimed at countering the unhindered evacuation of civilians, including to the Russian Federation, from the zone of active hostilities. Most of the humanitarian corridors proposed by Russia are not fully functioning due to the lack of reciprocal steps from the Ukrainian side.

Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine I. Vereshchuk, in particular, rejected the possibility of evacuating people to Russia, refusing to facilitate the organization of such corridors. The public words of the leaders of the Sumy region and the city of Sumy, D. Zhivitsky and A. Lysenko, with threats to shoot civilians who try to use humanitarian corridors to Russia, are inhumane. In this regard, we note the statement made recently by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, M. Bachelet, about the existence of information about beatings in the territories controlled by the government of Ukraine of people suspected of pro-Russian views.

The claims that there are almost no people willing to travel to Russia are outright lies. Only over the past day, 48 thousand 543 citizens of Ukraine and foreigners have applied with such applications. In total, the Interdepartmental Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine created in Russia (Interministerial Coordination Headquarters of the Russian Federation for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine) has already received over two and a half million appeals from residents of Ukraine asking for assistance in organizing such an evacuation. Let me remind you that since the beginning of the special operation, Russia has evacuated more than 179 thousand civilians, including over 45 thousand children, without the participation of the Ukrainian authorities. In addition, hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid to residents of the south and east of Ukraine were delivered by the Russian Emergencies Ministry.

In these circumstances, the Russian Armed Forces sent an official appeal to the International Committee of the Red Cross with a request to take urgent measures to encourage the Kiev authorities to evacuate civilians. Today in Turkey, a contact took place between the Foreign Ministers of Russia and Ukraine, during which this and other issues related to the crisis in Ukraine were touched upon.

Kiev’s loss of control over many groups of paramilitary nationalists in the east of the country, staging armed provocations and hiding behind civilians during the fighting, is becoming increasingly obvious. So, in Sumy, the building of the children’s hospital is used by the “territorial defense” unit as a reference point. The situation in Mariupol has become indicative, where militants not only do not release civilians through the humanitarian corridor to Novoazovsk, but also equip firing positions in courtyards and on the roofs of social facilities, including children’s and medical institutions.

Today we have heard a lot of lamentations about the situation around the maternity hospital in Mariupol. But no one wondered what exactly armed members of the Azov National Battalion and the 36th Brigade of the AFU Marines were doing in this building and on its roofs. Why did they expel all the staff and patients of this maternity hospital in advance and equip a strong point with firing positions there. They completely destroyed one of the kindergartens of the city. According to available data, as a result of the suppression of this stronghold of Ukrainian formations, there are more than sixty people killed and wounded from among them. What kind of women in labor are we talking about, excuse me? The Russian Defense Ministry has published photo and video evidence of the use of this facility for military purposes. We recommend reading it.

On March 6, Azov militants opened fire on civilians en route to leave the city. The next day, during a clash with the forces of the DPR on Victory Avenue in this city, the “Azovites” drove 150 civilians in front of them as a “human shield” – while four people were killed, fifteen were wounded. It is worth noting that the representatives of “Azov” and the Ukrainian military stationed in the Donbass managed to be trained in combat programs in urban (urbanized) areas under the guidance of NATO “instructors” in training centers in the south and west of Ukraine, which we have repeatedly paid attention to in this hall.

The video materials published today of the defeated national battalion “Aidar”, which in 2014 became famous for unprecedented cruelty towards the civilian population of Donbass, testify to no less interesting details. All of them are on the video – they have specific names and surnames. Military instructors from the USA, Canada, Lithuania and other countries visited the neo-Nazi “Aidar” right on the contact line. They were trained in combat tactics that were used by terrorist groups in Syria, who fought there against government troops. By the way, a large number of videos from Syria itself were found in the “Aidar”.

Recently, a laptop for closed communication over the NATO communications network with the alliance’s serial identification number was found in one of the headquarters of another paramilitary nationalist formation, the Right Sector. On March 6, it was publicly demonstrated in Donetsk. It contained intelligence information, as well as a detailed map of the area with the location of the DPR units. In addition, the “Right Sector” found a map of the region of the Russian Federation adjacent to Ukraine with a tactical display of action plans of Ukrainian formations to invade this area. The invasion was planned to be carried out on March 8, these days. All this is direct proof that NATO has provided assistance to paramilitary nationalists in Ukraine, while the leadership of the North Atlantic Alliance has repeatedly stated that there are no military bloc forces on Ukrainian territory.

The documents published by the Russian Defense Ministry, which were recently discovered at the former positions of the fourth brigade of the operational purpose of the National Guard of Ukraine, also shed light on a lot. The published incoming cipher telegram of the command under the heading “secret” dated January 28 of this year prescribed to carry out combat coordination by the beginning of March and prepare for the subsequent performance of combat (special) tasks in the Donbass. The brigade was reinforced with sniper pairs and sabotage and reconnaissance groups, whose activities, by the way, were categorically prohibited by the measures relevant at that time to strengthen the ceasefire regime of July 22, 2020.

By the way, militants of private military companies, mainly from the United States and Great Britain, continue to arrive in Ukraine. Akedemi, Kubik, Dean Corporation, Silent Professionals, Professional Overseas Contractors and others have already been noted for the direction or recruitment of militants. According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine D.Kuleba, at the moment up to twenty thousand mercenaries from several states are preparing to arrive in Ukraine. The so-called “foreign legion” is being formed, for whose participants visa restrictions have been lifted if they arrive in Ukraine to fight in the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces or Ukrainian nationalists. The embassies of Ukraine in European countries openly urge citizens of these countries to enlist as mercenaries.

NATO countries continue to flood Ukraine with weapons, control over which becomes impossible. Such deliveries, including thousands of man-portable anti-aircraft missile systems, are made in violation of existing measures to limit their proliferation. In particular, the “OSCE Principles on the Control of the export of MANPADS”, approved by the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Sofia (2004) and updated by FSB decision 5/08. Do the West realize that this deadly weapon can fall not only into the hands of Ukrainian neo-Nazis, but also spread throughout Europe?

On March 9, President V. Zelensky signed Law No. 2114-IX, which allows civilians to use military weapons without control. Previously, convicts were released from places of detention, and weapons were freely distributed on the streets of cities, the issuance of which was not even recorded – the relevant video evidence was published in the media. Such steps are fraught with an explosive increase in crime in Ukraine. Armed gangs of robbers under the guise of so-called “territorial defense” are already terrorizing civilians, breaking into houses.

We are alarmed by reports of increased provocations by Ukrainian armed formations at critical infrastructure facilities. So, they struck an electric substation feeding the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and adjacent power lines. The attackers prevented the repair work. Russian specialists have taken operational measures to ensure backup power supplies. No excess of the radiation background characteristic of this area is recorded.

Last week, the focus was on the situation around the Zaporizhia NPP, where a Ukrainian sabotage group provoked a shootout near the training administrative building, and then set it on fire during withdrawal. At the moment, the station is operating normally, Russian units ensure its reliable protection. Staff rotation is ensured, the radiation situation is normal. We emphasize that the work of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities should not become the subject of political speculation, and they themselves should not be the object of armed provocations by Ukrainian formations. We consider it appropriate to address all technical aspects related to the normal functioning of such facilities at a specialized site – the IAEA.

According to the available information of the Russian Defense Ministry, Ukrainian armed formations are actively preparing for a provocation using toxic substances to accuse Russia of allegedly using chemical weapons. So, on the night of March 9, Ukrainian nationalists brought about 80 tons of ammonia to the locality of Zolochiv, northwest of Kharkiv. In addition, there are reports of possible sabotage against the facilities of the gas transportation system of Ukraine.

And more. We draw attention to the facts of dangerous US activities in Ukraine, where over three dozen laboratories in various cities have been engaged in closed military biological activities for a number of years in the interests of the American defense Department. Several such laboratories worked close to the borders of Russia. The American authorities have sponsored work in them for more than $ 200 million.

The customer of the work carried out there was the Office of the US Department of Defense for Reducing the Military Threat (DITRA). Companies affiliated with the US Department of Defense, primarily Black & Veatch, participated in the implementation of the programs. One of the goals of the programs was research work on the study of potential agents of biological weapons specific to this region.

According to the available documented data, an emergency shutdown of biological programs has been taking place since February 24. The documents received from Ukrainian specialists confirm that the Ministry of Health of Ukraine has set the task to completely destroy the bioagents in the laboratories. The nomenclature and excessive number of pathogens indicate the work carried out within the framework of military biological programs. All this raises questions from the point of view of possible violations by the United States and Ukraine of the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons of 1972. It is not surprising that the United States has avoided verification actions in every possible way regarding the verification of the integrity of the implementation of the provisions of the said convention.

It is very significant how on March 8, speaking at a hearing in the US Senate, US Deputy Secretary of State V. Nuland expressed the hope that data on US military biological activities in Ukraine would not fall into the hands of the Russian military. We are well aware that the Pentagon’s activities in Ukraine have nothing to do with the implementation of scientific research for the benefit of peace and development.

V. Nuland, in fact, did not hide this – at the same hearings she said that the key task of the American administration in Ukraine is “to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia.” As we can see, there is no question of any protection of the so-called “democratic values”. As it did not go before, when “anti-Russia” was being strenuously molded from Ukraine, infringing on its population’s rights, forcing them to change their identity, as well as arming nationalists who declared hostile goals towards all Russians both inside the country and abroad. Remember at least their dreams out loud about “riding a tank” on Red Square or about military parades in the capitals of neighboring states (Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine V. Zaluzhny, September 2021, etc.). We sincerely regret that it is precisely this frenzied militarism of the “hotheads” in Kiev that has found and is finding support among many OSCE participating States.

I ask you to attach this statement to the Journal of the day of today’s meeting of the Permanent Council.

Thank you for your attention.



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