Russia Tells UN That Ukraine Crisis Is A "War With The West For Survival"
In two days of United Nations special sessions this week related to Ukraine as well as the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage, Russia mounted a robust defense, arguing that it sees its ongoing military action in Ukraine is a matter of "survival".
Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya voiced the stark perspective on Wednesday, casting the war as one against the collective West. "As for our country, we see all of this as a war with the West for survival, for the future of our country, for our children, for our identity," he said.
He stated that "Ukraine is nothing but a bargaining chip in this plot" - part of a broader plan which was long in implementation, going back to 2014.
The Russian diplomat's words followed a surprise admission by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who in a Feb.14 press conference in Brussels described that "the war didn't start in February last year. The war started in 2014."
The day prior to Nebenzya's remarks, the UN Security Council had convened at the urging of permanent member Russia to consider fresh allegations surrounding the Nord Stream sabotage. Nebenzia during that session called for establishing an independent investigation.
He specifically invoked Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh's bombshell report which said the pipelines were bombed as part of an elaborate covert CIA operation involving the US Navy and help from the Norwegians:
"This journalist is telling the truth," Nebenzia said at the meeting. "This is more than just a smoking gun that detectives love in Hollywood blockbusters. It’s a basic principle of justice; everything is in your hands, and we can resolve this today."
Crucially, China immediately backed the call. "As the most authoritative and representative international organization, the UN can play an active role in conducting an international investigation and ensuring the security of transboundary infrastructure," the Chinese ambassador told the Security Council.
But US Ambassador John Kelley slammed what he called Moscow's attempts to obfuscate and deflect blame from its aggression in Ukraine, saying that "today’s meeting is a blatant attempt to distract" from the forthcoming emergency meeting of the General Assembly. The US at that upcoming meeting is expected to rally in favor of a scathing UN condemnation of Moscow to mark one-year since Moscow’s Feb.24 invasion.
"That is what our focus should be on," Kelly said. "Russia desperately wants to change the subject."
But also addressing the council as outside experts were American economist Jeffrey Sachs and Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst and author Ray McGovern. They made compelling cases during their presentations, saying that the Hersh report is accurate also on account of recent statements from US officials. Those presentations before the UN body be viewed below: