News   /   Russia   /   Society

UN slams Ukrainian deadly attack on Belgorod as ‘unacceptable’

This photo taken from a video released by the Russia Emergency Situations Ministry on December 30, 2023, shows people evacuating an injured person after shelling in Belgorod. (Photo by AFP)

The United Nations has condemned Ukraine’s deadly shelling of the Russian border city of Belgorod as “unacceptable,” which resulted in the killing of dozens of civilians.

Khaled Khiari, Assistant Secretary-General in the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (UN DPPA) called for an end to such attacks against civilians after 21 people, including two children, were killed in the attack on Saturday.

“Attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure violate international humanitarian law, are unacceptable, and must end now,” Khiari said as he briefed the Security Council at an emergency meeting convened on Saturday afternoon.

According to Khiari “the strikes were reported as among the deadliest cross-border attacks” on Russia since Moscow began its special military operation against Ukraine in February 2022.

Russia had called for the emergency meeting following the attacks on Belgorod, which is home to more than 300,000 residents.

Russia’s permanent ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya also slammed Ukraine for using internationally banned cluster munitions, and Czech-produced Vampir missiles in a “deliberate act of terrorism” that targeted civilians in Belgorod.

He urged Czechia and other Western States to account for where their assistance is going.

“There’s no use pretending,” he said. “The European Union countries are complicit in the crimes committed by the gang in Kyiv.”

Nebenzya said US and UK “consultants” helped to plan the strikes on Belgorod and warned that “organizers and perpetrators” of the attack “will be punished.”

‘London behind Kiev’s terrorist act’

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova blamed the UK, the US, and their European allies for the large-scale attack by Kiev’s forces.

“Britain is behind the terrorist act,” Zakharova said in an audio statement, adding that London, together with Washington “have been instigating the Kiev regime” to commit terrorist acts amid the failed summer counteroffensive.

“Amid the lack of even the smallest chances to improve the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ miserable situation on the ground, [Washington and London] resorted to the tactics of terrorist attacks against civilians,” Zakharova said.

Zakharova recalled that the UK had virtually prohibited Kiev from holding talks with Moscow, focusing on a “battlefield victory” instead.

She referred to an earlier interview by a Ukrainian senior legislator, David Arakhamia.

The politician, who heads President Vladimir Zelensky’s Servant of the People party in parliament and led the Ukrainian delegation at the Istanbul talks, had told the Ukrainian TV channel 1+1 that the conflict could have ended in spring 2022.

Moscow, at that time, had offered to hold peace with Kiev in exchange for neutrality and a promise not to join NATO, he said in late November.

However, according to Arakhamia the then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who visited Kiev in early April, told Ukrainian officials not to “sign anything” with the Russians and to “just continue fighting” instead.

The Saturday attacks came after Russia launched fresh airstrikes against Ukraine, targeting the Ukrainian military facilities in the south, west, and east of the country, with heavy damage reported at multiple sites.

Fighting along the frontline in Eastern Ukraine is largely bogged down by the strong defense lines and winter weather after Kiev’s much-hyped summer counteroffensive failed to advance in any direction along the roughly 1,000 km frontier between the two countries.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku