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Russia calls emergency UN meeting over Ukrainian shelling

The Czech Republic must explain why its weapons were used to kill civilians, Russia’s envoy said

Russia has requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the Ukrainian missile attack on the border city of Belgorod, which killed 14 civilians. Kiev’s Western backers will be forced to answer for supplying the weapons used in the attack, Russia’s deputy envoy to the UN said.

Ukrainian forces bombarded Belgorod with cluster warheads on Saturday morning, using Czech-made RM-70 Vampire multiple-launch rocket systems to deliver the banned munitions, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The strike claimed the lives of 14 people, including two children, and left 108 people, among them 15 children, injured, the Russian Emergencies Ministry said.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Russia’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyanskiy, said that Moscow has asked for an emergency meeting of the Security Council in New York later in the afternoon.

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“We also insist on the presence of [the] Czech [permanent representative] to the UN to explain why this country’s ammunition is being used for killing civilians in Belgorod,” Polyanskiy added.

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow would present the Belgorod blitz to the UN as a “terrorist” act, adding that the Kremlin blames the UK and US for inciting the attack.

“With not a single chance to improve the Ukrainian army’s deplorable situation on the ground, the Anglo-Saxons have taken on the tactic of terror attacks on civilians,” she said. 

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The attack came less than a day after Russian forces unleashed a “massive” wave of missile and drone strikes on targets throughout Ukraine. However, Russia’s military “strikes only military facilities and infrastructure directly related to them,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Saturday. 

“We will continue to act in this way,” the ministry continued, adding that “this crime [the attack on Belgorod] will not go unpunished.”

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December 31, 2023 at 12:51AM
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