Виголошена Постійним представником України при міжнародних організаціях у Відні Євгенієм Цимбалюком на 1407-му спеціальному засіданні Постійної ради ОБСЄ 19 січня 2023 року
Mr. Chairperson, dear colleagues,
Over the weekend, Ukraine experienced another russia’s barbaric attack.
This happened the day after the CIO had convened the special meeting of the Permanent Council.
Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Kryvy Rih, Dnipro, Vinnytsia, Ladyzhyn, Burshtyn, Lviv region, Khmelnytsky and other cities were targets for the russian terrorists.
However, the destroyed section of the high-rise building in Dnipro left us speechless.
In total, 72 apartments were destroyed and more than 230 apartments were damaged.
39 people were rescued, including six children. 46 people killed, including five children. 79 people were injured, including 16 children.
Every victim of russia's ruthless attacks has a name.
Let me just mention a few to show what universes russia has destroyed.
Maria Lebid, a 15-year-old girl. A ballroom dancer and school activist. I cannot imagine a scale of grief of her mother who was at work that day.
Olha Usova and Iryna Salamatenko, two loving mothers and well-known volunteers, were just passing by. Three children will never be comforted by their mothers.
Mykhailo Korenovsky, a prominent boxing coach. His wife and two daughters waited in the park for their husband and father to join them after work.
Tetiana Bohutska lost her only son Maksym, a 17-year-old student.
Family couple Iryna and Maksym. They fled from Nikopol six months ago due to russia’s constant shelling, but were killed in Dnipro by a russian missile. Their 14-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son remained orphans.
27-year-old Kateryna was rescued. She spent hours under the debris. She could not call for help as she is a deaf person. But her suffering is not over. Her one-year-old son and a husband were killed.
Anastasia, a 24-year-old girl, was lucky to survive. But she lost her parents during the attack. Even more, the russian war claimed a life of her beloved Vladyslav earlier in September. He volunteered to defend Ukraine on the battlefield.
Ukrainians are living through such stories every day.
Thousands were killed, many more wounded and millions of those who were forced to flee their homes.
Because vladimir putin believes that he needs new territories, that he can re-create an empire and that he is capable to subjugate a free people.
Even more, the russian president and his diplomats believe that there will always be a “peace at any cost camp”, despite all barbarities they commit and are responsible for.
What are the historical, cultural, moral or any other reasons that give russia the right to kill, destroy and terrorize? And at the same time to remain a member of the respected international community, including the OSCE?
Did russia’s participation in the OSCE help to release three former SMM colleagues? No, they have already been in captivity for 10 months.
Or maybe because of russia’s feeling of impunity, today we have to address the issue of possible provocation with the use of OSCE vehicles in Donbas?
Criminal moscow regime went further and committed another crime against the OSCE, having stolen around 50 OSCE SMM vehicles.
These vehicles reportedly were transferred by russia to the temporary occupied territory in eastern Ukraine last weekend.
This news is not surprising for Ukraine, where civilians on the occupied territories suffer from lootings, tortures, rapes and other criminal activities by russia.
Or how does russia contribute to our common security? Cutting the mandate of the OSCE mission in Moldova by six months? By creeping annexation of the Georgian regions?
Or does this participation prevent the deepening of military cooperation between the russian and Iranian regimes?
Or did it stop russia from the establishment and instrumentalization of Wagner group, which is a growing threat to stability and security of many participating States across the OSCE?
Russia must be held accountable for its actions. We call on all participating States to stand united against russia’s efforts aimed at ruining our organisation. It’s about the credibility of the OSCE.
After Saturday’s attack, in the course of the week, russia continued to keep in the Black Sea six warships capable to fire Calibre missiles.
Their salvo could be up to 44 missiles. So, the risk of a new attack remains high.
Not to mention the daily shelling of Donetsk, Luhanks, Kherson, Kharkiv regions, border areas of Chernihiv and Sumy regions.
In the course of only one day of January 17, Ukraine’s Emergency Service reacted 217 times to calls to relieve the consequences of shelling by the invaders of settlements and infrastructure facilities across Ukraine.
Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, there were 77 417 such emergency calls, 13 752 fires were extinguished, 3871 people were rescued, and psychological assistance was rendered to 197 129 people.
At the same time, yesterday’s remarks by the russian president and his foreign minister once again prove that russia has not given up on the idea of conquering and destroying Ukraine.
Furthermore, comments by minister Lavrov left the European Jewish Congress shocked.
However, this is not the first time Lavrov has used Holocaust distortions to justify russia’s war of aggression.
But to do this on the eve of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day is especially cynical.
As we see, including from the russian rhetoric, there are clear evidences that russia is gathering forces for possible new offensives in the coming months.
Hidden or open mobilization is a matter of time.
In view of this, russia must not be given any opportunity to try its fortune again.
Almost 11 months of aggressive and genocidal war clearly demonstrate that we will not stop russia with words. But with sanctions against moscow and military support for Ukraine.
As the attack on Dnipro shows – russia is ready to continue its terror against the civilians with powerful and indiscriminate weaponry. According to the Ukrainian Air Force, a missile fired at Dnipro was a Kh-22 missile (AS-4 KITCHEN by NATO classification) fired from a Tu-22M3 long-range bomber.
This type of powerful missile with a 950-kg warhead was designed to hit aircraft carrier groups at sea. They are less accurate than most modern missiles and their use against densely populated residential areas is a clear war crime.
A missile of the same type was used by the russian army to strike the city of Kremenchuk on 27 June 2022. At least, 20 people were killed.
Unfortunately, so far Ukraine does not have in its possession any means capable of shooting down this type of missiles.
In view of this, we are grateful to our partners for the support rendered as well as for the announcements already made.
But in order to bring an end to russian aggression closer, besides the need for additional air defense systems, there is an acute need for more items of heavy military equipment.
In conclusion, I would like to express my gratitude to the CiO of North Macedonia for his visit to Ukraine.
In view of this, going to Borodianka was extremely important, not only to pay tribute to the victims of the russian aggression but also to see that the cruelty of the russian regime knows no limits.
But more importantly, we are sparing no effort but liberating all of our territories where our fellow citizens may face the same level of brutality.
As it was discussed in Kyiv, the OSCE, among other thigs, can significantly increase attention and act accordingly to the deportation of our people from the occupied territory to Russia.
Forcible transfers and adoption of Ukrainian children is of special concern.
I strongly believe that we must do our utmost not to hear any more testimonies as we heard from 12-year-old Oleksandr in Davos, who passed through the filtration camp near Mariupol and was just told by russians and I quote “you are no longer needed by your mother”. Ukrainian children have already suffered enough.
And regarding the situation with the abduction of Ukrainian children, we believe that the CIO will provide all necessary assistance to the OSCE and its Institutions to pay maximum attention to this issue.
Indeed, the OSCE is one of those international organizations that has significant potential to act and a responsibility to respond to the crime of aggression.
In this regard it is very much encouraging to see the determination of the participating States to take concrete actions in the face of russia’s gross violations of the Helsinki Final Act.
Especially, we are looking forward to working together on the implementation of the Peace Formula.
We believe that its ten points can bring back security and justice not only to Ukraine, but to the entire OSCE.
As President Zelenskyy said this week, “we should never be afraid to change the optics. We should never be hostage to something that has become obsolete. To remain free, we must always rediscover what freedom is. To be strong, we must always see what mistakes were made. And to maintain leadership, we must always admit the reality. The Ukrainian reality now is that we can win this war”.
As I mentioned at the beginning of my statement, every russia’s victims has a name.
So does every perpetrator of the russian crimes. And all these perpetrators must be held to account, through a chain of command, up to the top, including in a Special Tribunal for the crime of aggression.
I thank you, Mr. Chairperson.