Following Russia's intensified attack on Ukraine on Friday night, the UN Security Council met in an emergency session on Friday evening.
Several countries condemned the attacks.
At least 30 civilians were killed and 160 people were injured in what is described as the largest Russian air strike since the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
It was Ukraine that requested an urgent meeting.
It blames Ukraine for civilian casualties
Russia's UN Ambassador Vasilij Nebenzia responded that Russia only launched attacks on military infrastructure in Ukraine. He says that Ukrainian air defense systems are responsible for civilian casualties.
– Vasilij Nebenzia said: There would not have been any civilian casualties without Ukrainian anti-aircraft missiles..
He claimed that Ukrainian anti-aircraft missiles were deployed in residential areas, which constitutes a violation of international law.
Britain responded that Russia's actions were the only reason for the tragedy in Ukraine.
British Ambassador to the United Nations Barbara Woodward said about Nebenzia's statements: “It is an avalanche of lies and disinformation.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned the Russian attack on Ukraine, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
Dujarric said that attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure violate international humanitarian law, are unacceptable and must end immediately.
– Christmas season with drone and missile attacks
UN Deputy Secretary-General Khaled Khiari said in the Security Council: “It is tragic that 2023 will end as it began, with acts of violence against the population of Ukraine.”
He added that Ukrainians are once again forced to spend the Christmas holidays searching for shelter, searching through rubble and burying the dead in sub-zero temperatures.
The United States, France, and Great Britain condemned the Russian attacks.
Instead of peace, Russian President Putin chose to celebrate this holiday with drone and missile attacks on a scale we have never seen before, US Representative John Kelly said.
China's representative to the United Nations did not condemn the attacks, but called for a “political solution” to the war.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who called on the world to respond to the latest Russian attack, said he was grateful for the support.
– Many leaders declared their support for Ukraine and Ukrainians. I am grateful to each and every one. Especially to those who helped our country in air defense,” Zelensky said in his evening video address.
Biden requests support for Ukraine
US President Joe Biden asked Congress to increase aid to Ukraine after the attacks that occurred on Friday evening.
He says the attacks show Russia is trying to wipe out the neighboring country.
Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide (AFP) writes on X that Norway condemns him Russian airstrike on Ukraine on Friday.
– Attacks on civilians are unacceptable, writes Eddie.
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