US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said “it is clear that Mr. Putin has a plan to destroy and terrorize Ukraine”, adding that the United States is “concerned that that the world must be prepared for a very long and very difficult road”. before.”
“If the last two weeks have shown us anything, it’s that the Ukrainian people are not going to give up. And many Russians themselves, including many Russian soldiers, do not want this war,” Thomas-Greenfield told a meeting of the UN Security Council.
Thomas-Greenfield added that “Putin is clearly ready to sacrifice the lives of thousands of Russian soldiers to achieve his personal ambitions.”
“We have been warning Moscow for weeks that ultimately Russia will be weaker, not stronger, for starting this war. This is already proving true,” she said. “The question is how much devastation President Putin is prepared to cause for this huge mistake.”
In his remarks, Thomas-Greenfield said the United States was “outraged by increasing reports of attacks by Moscow injuring Ukrainian civilians in its unprovoked and unwarranted war against the Ukrainian people,” and expressed his growing concern “about the protection of civilians in this conflict, especially women. and girls vulnerable to gender-based violence, LGBTQI Ukrainians, as well as Ukraine’s older adult and disabled population.
She said her Polish counterpart told her that 100 refugees per minute were crossing from Ukraine to Poland.
“We also call for the protection and care of all vulnerable children, including separated and unaccompanied children and those in residential care,” Thomas-Greenfield said, adding, “Children should never, ever be involved in a conflict – period”.
“Children should never be involved in a conflict. They must be protected,” she repeated.
“As UNICEF reported, we already know that dozens of children were killed in Putin’s war. And as we work to confirm cases, we know the true numbers are actually much higher,” she said. “Young children have also been severely traumatized by the violence and destruction. They witnessed so many things that they stopped talking. The physical and psychological wounds of this war will be lasting.
Thomas-Greenfield described Ukrainian cities as “besieged, under incessant Russian bombardment”.
“Hospitals are running out of supplies, food is dwindling and civilian casualties are increasing, while the most vulnerable groups – the disabled, the elderly, children – continue to bear the brunt of suffering. We have already seen a siege – from Leningrad to Aleppo. These are tragedies of immense proportions,” she said.
Thomas-Greenfield called on Moscow to provide a “firm, clear, public and unequivocal commitment to allow and facilitate immediate and unimpeded humanitarian access to humanitarian partners in Ukraine”.
“Very specifically, we call on the Russian Federation to accept and honor in good faith Ukrainian proposals for safe and time-limited humanitarian passage through specific and agreed locations. We call for the establishment of a ground-level notification system that will facilitate the safe movement of humanitarian convoys and flights,” said Thomas-Greenfield.
She also called on “Russia to change course, withdraw forces, defuse through diplomacy” and said the United States supports “Ukraine’s call for a ceasefire.”
“In the meantime, we applaud those who are doing everything in their power to alleviate the suffering that Putin has unleashed on the Ukrainian people,” she said.
She noted that the United States is “coordinating closely with the Ukrainian government, neighboring countries, and international organizations, including those in the United Nations system, to monitor the situation and will work with them to meet humanitarian needs in Ukraine and around the world.” the region”.
“Whatever the course of the Russian invasion, we must do everything – and I stress everything – everything we can do to help the people of Ukraine,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
“Kiev is still standing, and we are with Kiev,” she concluded. “We stand with the Ukrainians.”