Sergei Lavrov has been Russia’s foreign minister for 18 years and is one of the most experienced diplomats in the world. So he knew all too well what an affront it was that he only showed up to the UN Security Council meeting in New York on Thursday about an hour and a half after it had started, then gave a speech that was too long and then immediately left the room again. He couldn’t have made it clearer that he didn’t want to hear what the other speakers on the world stage had to say.
Since the start of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine in February, there have been countless Security Council meetings dealing with the issue. This time, however, it was a particularly charged gathering, as it took place in the course of the 77th UN General Assembly and therefore not the ambassadors, as usual, but the foreign ministers of the countries speaking.
The meeting between Lavrov and the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had been eagerly awaited. He had said he wanted to keep “a safe social distance” from Lavrov. However, according to the AP news agency, the ushers initially placed him right next to Lavrov’s seat. Only after he protested was his name tag reassigned to another place.
Lavrov gave a meandering speech, he often repeated himself. He has repeatedly described Ukraine as a totalitarian Nazi state supported by the West in order to wear Russia down. This means that the western states are directly involved in the war and are therefore parties to the conflict. The countries that are “pumping weapons full of weapons” in Ukraine are cynical because their aim is obviously to prolong the war as much as possible.
The allegedly staged massacre
Lavrov repeated the lie that Russian and Ukrainian envoys negotiated a peace back in March. But then suddenly the terrible pictures from Bucha appeared. Russian soldiers had carried out a massacre of the civilian population in the place. Lavrov claimed Thursday that it was all staged to prevent peace. However, multiple sources have verified that the Russians committed atrocities at the site.
Dmytro Kuleba said: “As we speak, we are still finding mass graves in areas occupied by Russian soldiers until recently. Not all bodies are intact, sometimes we only find parts.” He spoke of an ocean of suffering that the Russian aggression had brought to Ukraine. “But Russia should know one thing,” he said: “They can’t kill all of us.” When the raid began in February, tens of thousands of Ukrainians came home from abroad to fight. When Russian President Vladimir Putin announced partial mobilization this week, tens of thousands of Russians fled. Putin therefore did not announce mobilization, but his defeat.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock also gave a speech in which she addressed Putin directly. He should stop sending more of his own citizens to their deaths. And: “This is a war you will not win. So stop it!”