Ukraine President Zelensky Tells UN Security Council That if They Can't Act Against Russia They Should Disband Themselves

Ukraine President Zelensky Tells UN Security Council That if They Can't Act Against Russia They Should Disband Themselves
Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

On Tuesday, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the United Nations Security Council. The address was a direct outcome of Russian atrocities committed in Ukraine, not just the torture, summary execution, if not casual killing of Ukrainian civilians in the Kiev suburb of Bucha (see The Ukrainian Army Liberates Territory From Russian Invaders and Discovers Murdered CiviliansShocking Evidence of Mass-Scale Russian War Crimes Raises the Stakes in Ukraine, and Russian Torture Chamber Discovered in Liberated Ukraine Town as the Russian Army Continues to Do What It Is Good at Doing), but the Russian way of targeting civilian buildings and infrastructure as part of a terror campaign. The Security Council may have gotten more than it bargained for.

Speaking via video link to the U.N. Security Council, he compared Russian forces to the Islamic State, called for a Nuremberg-like war crimes tribunal and vented his bitter frustration, knowing that the council — where Russia is one of five permanent members with veto power — would do nothing but talk.

“Where is the security that the Security Council needs to guarantee?” Mr. Zelensky said, raising the question of whether Russia deserved to keep its seat on the council. “Are you ready to close the U.N.? Do you think that the time of international law is gone? If your answer is no, then you need to act immediately.”

The chamber fell silent as a short video provided by Mr. Zelensky’s government played, showing some of the hundreds of corpses found strewn around the city of Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, after Russian forces retreated last week — bloated, charred bodies of civilians, including children. Some victims, their hands bound, had been shot in the head.

Mr. Zelensky said that in Bucha, “they killed entire families, adults and children, and they tried to burn the bodies.” Civilians “were crushed by tanks while sitting in their cars in the middle of the road,” he added, asserting that “women were raped and killed in front of their children; their tongues were pulled out.”

For its part, Russia did what it always does: lie. It claimed that nazis committed the atrocities (keep in mind the Russians have floated two other narratives, 1) the images are fake, and 2) the people were killed by Ukrainian artillery fire). Russia’s UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia had this insightful brainfart.

Zelensky, of course, is correct. The UN will do nothing because it can’t. The UN Security Council’s five permanent members are relics of World War II. There is no logical reason for Britain, France, or Russia to have veto power other than they possess nuclear weapons. Russia, in particular, has no place holding a permanent seat. It managed to hold onto the seat of the deceased USSR, despite a total lack of legitimacy. The ownership of the vacant USSR seat should have been put to the General Assembly for a vote. The EU or a Third World choice like India or Brazil would have made much more sense. Then, in an insult to stupidity, Russia also has a seat on the UN’s Human Rights Council.

What the UN is clearly demonstrating is what President Trump so often criticized. It is a do-nothing organization that, as far as I can tell, exists to provide jobs for the well-connected, would-be international elite.

At one time, I thought the UN could be justified because an international forum was a good thing. Now, just like with Somalia and Rwanda, and Burma (or whatever they are calling it this week), we are seeing that the UN is powerless to protect the weak and vulnerable or ensure the international order. It may be past time that we reconsidered our membership in this organization and went the route of creating bilateral agreements as needed.

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