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Ukraine Statement
6 MINUTE READ
February 24, 2023

One year since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine

One year ago, the global security architecture was shaken hard as Russia started its full-scale war against Ukraine. The Russian invasion of Ukraine asks us all a question: will the world go back to brutal rule of force, or will UN members be able to protect the principles of its Charter, and bring back the rule of law to international relations? What security guarantees remain for countries which prefer peace and prosperity to cruelty and war? 

In the early morning of 24 February 2022, having accumulated an army of about 150,000 soldiers, the Russian Federation invade Ukraine, sending troops across the border and firing missiles on the capital city Kyiv.

Since then, Russian forces have killed and wounded over 20,000 civilians, including over 1000 children. They have damaged or destroyed civilian infrastructure, including houses, hospitals, schools, religious buildings and cultural sites, including those listed by UNESCO. Ukrainian law enforcement agencies are investigating almost 70,000 Russian war crimes and crimes of aggression committed since February 24, 2022.

Russia has shamed itself in front of the whole world through its unprovoked and bloody actions. And all its plans in Ukraine have failed.

Russian propaganda claimed Ukraine would only last a few days. In reality, Ukraine has not only stopped the invasion, but has freed nearly half of newly occupied territories through successful counter-offensives. Ukraine’s resistance is based on the will of its people, and not on the orders of a deluded and declining dictator.

Ukraine is a founder member of the United Nations, an organization set up to address the weaknesses in the international security system which led to the Second World War.  The UN Charter defends the principles like territorial integrity of States, non-interference in internal affairs, and peaceful settlement of disputes. These principles apply to all States, large and small.

Russia has shown a total disregard of the UN Charter.

Over the last year, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a series of five resolutions condemning the invasion and its humanitarian consequences, as well as Russia’s attempts to annex Ukrainian territories. Russia was called to withdraw its military forces from Ukraine and was stripped of its membership at the UN Human Rights Council.

Ukraine is working with its international partners to establish a Special Tribunal for prosecution of Russia’s political and military leadership for the gravest crime of aggression.

International mechanism for reparation for damage and loss arising from the internationally wrongful acts of Russia is being established.

A number of national parliaments and international bodies, including PACE, NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the European Parliament have recognized Russia as a terrorist state or as a state sponsor of terrorism.

The aggression launched by Russia’s current leadership must be stopped now, in the interests of world peace, and the security of all States. Appeasing this aggressor would place all UN members at risk, and lead to more atrocities elsewhere.

Russia’s violent actions continue as I speak.  The ultimate aim is destruction of Ukraine as a State and annihilation of Ukrainians as a sovereign nation. We need every country’s support and help, including Laos.

The more help Ukraine gets to defend itself, the sooner the war will end with a comprehensive, just and lasting peace. Neither Ukraine, nor anybody else is interested in a protracted war of attrition that will increase casualties and waste even more resources.

Ukraine’s top priority is bringing peace back to all the parts of our country. Yet, achieving a true and long-lasting peace requires lots of efforts. In November 2022, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy presented a Peace Formula of ten points, intended to bring comprehensive, just, and long-term peace to Ukraine and security to the entire world. The Formula includes every vital aspect: radiation, nuclear, environmental safety, food and energy security, withdrawal of Russian troops, cessation of hostilities and preventing escalation, release of prisoners, restoration of justice and implementation of the UN Charter. And finally – confirmation of the end of the war.

We urge all countries around the world to participate in the implementation process.

Ukraine already takes lead in ensuring food security. Even in the conditions of full-scale war launched by Russia, Ukraine retains its place among the world’s top 5 agricultural exporters, being one of the guarantors of the global food security. Since the start of war, Ukraine exported more than 50 mln tons of grains, oilseeds and processed products to provide food for hundreds of millions of people across the globe. Two initiatives – the Black Sea Grain Initiative and the Grain From Ukraine Initiative – that Ukraine implement together with partners, aim at returning vital food stability to the world.

The international community must be strong in its response to gross violation of the United Nations Charter fundamental principles. No aggression should be tolerated by any country of the world, or any country which is not big or powerful enough to defend itself by military force may become the victim of aggression, with no legal protection.

Ukraine will fight for as long as it takes to win. Facing what we see in Russia-occupied territories, we have no choice. The international community will continue help Ukraine, increasing pressure on the terrorist regime, its proxies, and anyone who helps Russia circumvent sanctions.  One year of Ukrainian resistance to aggression has made it clear that Ukraine’s victory will be the basis of a security for all nations.

Russia’s current President Putin made a fatal mistake by starting his war against Ukraine. He has committed a crime against a sovereign state, against history, and against his own people.

The world should make no mistakes when considering how the end of this war should look like. This war is not only about Ukraine. Russia’s brutal attack destroyed global security and endangered all nations. This war must end with the triumph of international law and the UN Charter. Justice must be restored for Ukraine, Europe, and the whole world.