Sunday 26, March 2023

Ukraine calls for Russia’s removal from UN

Time International Desk: Ukraine on Monday called for Russia to be removed from the United Nations, where Moscow can veto any resolution as a permanent member of the Security Council.

‘Ukraine calls on the member states of the UN to deprive the Russian Federation of its status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and to exclude it from the UN as a whole,’ the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The statement said that Russia ‘illegally occupies the seat of the USSR in the UN Security Council’ since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991.

‘From a legal and political point of view, there can be only one conclusion: Russia is an usurper of the Soviet Union’s seat in the UN Security Council,’ the ministry added.

‘Three decades of its illegal presence in the UN have been marked by wars and seizures of other countries’ territories,’ the statement said.

The five permanent members of the 15-seat UN Security Council have veto power over UN resolutions.

Meanwhile, Russian air defence troops downed a Ukrainian drone as it approached an air base in southern Russia and three people died after being struck by debris, Russian news agencies said on Monday.

It was the second attack on the Engels base this month. Engels, in the southern Saratov region, lies more than 600 kilometres from Ukraine.

‘On December 26, at around 01:35 Moscow time (2235 GMT), a Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle was shot down at low altitude while approaching the Engels military airfield in the Saratov region,’ the TASS news agency reported, quoting the defence ministry.

‘As a result of the fall of the wreckage of the drone, three Russian technical servicemen who were at the airfield were fatally injured.’

The defence ministry said no planes were damaged.

Saratov governor Roman Busargin said there was ‘absolutely no threat’ to local residents, adding that no civilian infrastructure had been damaged.

He warned locals against spreading ‘fake information’, citing Russia’s strict laws adopted in the wake of its Ukraine offensive at the end of February.

‘All stories about the evacuation from the city are blatant lies, created far from the borders of our country,’ he said.

On December 5, Moscow said Ukrainian drones had caused explosions at the Engels airfield and another base in the Ryazan region.

Kyiv had not yet commented on the incident.

Russia has blamed Ukraine for drone attacks on its territory and on Moscow-annexed Crimea before.

In late October, Russia blamed Ukraine for a ‘massive’ drone attack on its Black Sea Fleet in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol.

But the Engels attack was the deepest reported strike into Russian territory since fighting began.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has used the concept of ‘historical Russia’ to argue that Ukrainians and Russians are one people undermining Kyiv’s sovereignty and justifying his 10-month offensive in Ukraine.

He said Russia’s ‘geopolitical opponents were aiming to tear apart Russia, the historical Russia’.

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