UN aid chief: Ukrainians are suffering `colossal’ torment

Dec 5, 2022, 11:24 PM | Updated: Dec 6, 2022, 1:28 pm
United Nations Security Council meet for the presentation of a humanitarian report on the Russian w...

United Nations Security Council meet for the presentation of a humanitarian report on the Russian war in Ukraine, Tuesday Dec. 6, 2022 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

              United Nations Security Council meet for the presentation of a humanitarian report on the Russian war in Ukraine, Tuesday Dec. 6, 2022 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
            
              United Kingdom's Ambassador to the United Nations Barbara Woodward, left, address the U.N. Security Council after U.N. Under-Secretary-General Martin Griffiths, right, made a report on the humanitarian impact of Russia's war in Ukraine, Tuesday Dec. 6, 2022 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
            
              Martin Griffiths, United Nations under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief, listen to debate after presenting a report on humanitarian impact of Russia's war in Ukraine, Tuesday Dec. 6, 2022 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
            
              United Nations Security Council meet for the presentation of a humanitarian report on the Russian war in Ukraine, Tuesday Dec. 6, 2022 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. humanitarian chief on Tuesday decried the “colossal” torment Ukraine is suffering from “senseless war” and Russian destruction of its infrastructure.

That view was echoed by the United States and its Western allies at a U.N. Security Council meeting, but strongly opposed by Russia, which accused Ukraine of seeking its destruction.

Humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths outlined the toll of “the widespread death, displacement and suffering” caused since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, exacerbated by Moscow’s recent attacks that have created an energy and water crisis in the country as temperatures plummet below freezing.

Over 14 million people are now forcibly displaced from their homes, including 7.8 million living across Europe and 6.5 million still within the country, he said. A total of 17,023 civilians have been killed, including 419 children as of Dec. 1, according to the U.N. human rights office, though “the real toll is far greater,” and there have been at least 715 attacks on health care operations.

“In Ukraine today, the ability of civilians to survive is under attack,” Griffiths said, pointing to strikes on power stations and heating plants that have left millions of people without access to heat, electricity and water in sub-freezing temperatures, families deprived of health care, and children unable to go to school.

Griffiths put the urgent need to help Ukrainians get through the winter in the broader context of “a world gone mad,” saying the number of people globally needing humanitarian assistance next year is projected to rise by nearly 24% to 339 million. As a result, the U.N. humanitarian appeal for 2023 is a record $51.5 billion.

U.S. deputy ambassador Lisa Carty told the council that global hunger “already at extreme levels” because of the COVID-19 pandemic, other conflicts and climate change surged this year “because Russia disrupted the world’s global food systems.” She said Russia turned “Ukraine’s rolling wheat fields into battlefields” and destroyed Ukrainian grain once supplied to the developing world.

“Now, as Ukraine fights back to reclaim its sovereign territory and defend its people, President (Vladimir) Putin has focused his ire and fire on Ukraine’s civilian population,” she said, pointing to the barrage of missile strikes and destruction of critical infrastructure.

Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, claimed a Ukrainian Security Council official recently said Western weapons were needed to destroy Russians “so that they stop existing as a country.”

Moscow has to react “to such hateful rhetoric by Kyiv … to counter these heinous actions, including by conducting strikes on infrastructure that are used for military supplies for logistics and communications for the Ukrainian armed formations,” he said. “In other words, we will weaken the Zelenskyy regime.”

Nebenzia insisted Russia was conducting “precision strikes” and claimed civilian infrastructure wouldn’t suffer if Ukraine had not placed air defense systems in residential areas

Carty recalled that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield during her recent visit to Kyiv that he is seeking “a just peace” based on the U.N. Charter and its principles.

She said Putin’s escalating attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure “are evidence that he has no genuine interest in negotiation or meaningful diplomacy.”

“Instead, he is trying to break Ukraine’s will to fight by bombing and freezing its civilians into submission,” Carty said. “But he will not succeed because Ukraine is fighting for its freedom and for the future of its children, and we will do everything in our power to keep hope alive in Ukraine.”

Nebenzia told the council that “we confirm our willingness to conduct negotiations” and that “the aim would be to eradicate the root causes that forced us to start our special military operation in Ukraine.”

But, he argued. the West isn’t interested “in a political diplomatic settlement,” pointing to NATO’s decision to expand weapons deliveries to Ukraine at its Nov. 29-30 meeting.

This confirms “its desire not only to have a further escalation of the conflict, but to destabilize the situation in Europe as a whole,” he said.

Nebenzia said there is growing evidence that Western weapons earmarked for Ukraine “are increasingly falling into the hands of bandits and terrorists of different stripes, not only in Europe but also in the Middle East and Africa.”

He said Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari “confirmed that the conflict in Ukraine is the main source of weapons for terrorists in the Lake Chad basin.”

Nebenzia said this problem “creates a real threat to international peace and security” and called for a Security Council meeting Friday on this issue.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Paul Njoroge, right, points to photos of his wife and three children that were killed in the 2019 c...
Associated Press

Boeing pleads not guilty in case over deadly Max crashes

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Boeing pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charge that it misled regulators who approved its 737 Max, the plane that was involved in two crashes that killed 346 people. Family members of passengers who died gave emotional testimony, calling for criminal prosecution of top Boeing officials. The families are trying […]
17 hours ago
abortion Capital gains tax Olympia meeting legislature abortion...
Associated Press

Washington lawmakers hear testimony on 7 abortion bills

Abortion rights proposals have been front and center in Olympia, Washington, this week as state lawmakers heard hours of public testimony on seven proposals that would reinforce abortion access.
17 hours ago
FILE - The sun dial near the Legislative Building is shown under cloudy skies, March 10, 2022, at t...
Gene Johnson, Associated Press

Justices weigh effort to balance Washington state’s tax code

SEATTLE (AP) — An effort to balance what is considered the nation’s most regressive state tax code came before the Washington Supreme Court on Thursday, with justices hearing arguments about whether they should overturn a prohibition on income taxes that dates to the 1930s. Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and […]
17 hours ago
This undated photo provided by the Grants Pass Police Department shows Benjamin Obadiah Foster. Fos...
Associated Press

Police: Oregon fugitive kidnapped woman like 2019 Vegas case

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Police in southern Oregon were searching Thursday for a man accused of torturing a woman he held captive less than two years after he was convicted in Nevada of critically injuring another woman he held captive for two weeks. Police Chief Warren Hensman, of Grants Pass, Oregon, said in a telephone […]
17 hours ago
Brittany Lampkin of Yazoo County, extolls the Mississippi Black Women's Roundtable legislative agen...
Associated Press

Maternal deaths and disparities increase in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Deaths from pregnancy complications have become more prevalent in Mississippi, and racial disparities in the health of those who give birth have widened in recent years, according to a report released Thursday by the state’s Department of Health. The Mississippi Maternal Mortality Report shows that between 2017 and 2019, the overall […]
17 hours ago
FILE - A family gathers at a memorial outside the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, the site of a mass sh...
Associated Press

A look at California’s back-to-back mass shootings

LOS ANGELES (AP) — In the course of 48 hours, two gunmen went on shooting rampages at both ends of California that left 18 dead and 10 wounded. The unrelated massacres at a dance hall in a Los Angeles suburb on Saturday night and a pair of mushroom farms south of San Francisco on Monday […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
UN aid chief: Ukrainians are suffering `colossal’ torment