Zelenskyy calls Russia a 'terrorist state' in UN address

Ukrainian President demands removal of Moscow from Security Council

Ukraine an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council over Russian strikes on civilian targets. AFP.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of being a "terrorist state" on Tuesday, prompting Russia to claim he was using the UN Security Council address as a "remote PR campaign" for more western weapons.

Mr Zelenskyy urged the council to expel Moscow from the UN and create a tribunal to investigate actions of the Russian military in Ukraine.

But Russia, as a permanent member of the council, holds the power of veto and can protect itself from any such action.

"Russia does not have the right to take part in discussing and voting in regard to the war in Ukraine, which is unprovoked and simply colonialist on the part of Russia," Mr Zelenskyy told the council.

"I urge you to deprive the delegation of the terrorist state of its powers."

Moscow calls its invasion a "special military operation" to rid Ukraine of fascists, an assertion the Kyiv government and western allies say is a baseless pretext for an unprovoked war.

All 15 Security Council members, including Russia, stood for a moment of silence after Mr Zelenskyy asked them to "commemorate all the Ukrainians who have been killed in this war".

Russia's deputy UN ambassador, Dmitry Polyanskiy, told the council that Mr Zelenskyy's appearance by video undermined the authority of the body, which is charged with maintaining international peace and security.

"The UN Security Council should not be turned into a platform for a remote PR campaign for President Zelenskyy in order to get more weapons from participants of the Nato summit," Mr Polyanskiy said.

The council met after Ukraine said Russia deliberately launched a missile at a shopping mall on Monday, killing at least 18 people.

Russia denied hitting the mall with missiles, saying it had struck a nearby depot of US and European weapons, causing an explosion that led to a fire in the mall.

"We have run out of words to describe the senselessness, futility and cruelty of this war," UN political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo told the council.

Ms DiCarlo urged all parties to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure.

Updated: June 29, 2022, 12:18 AM