A minute of silence ignites a confrontation between Russia and Ukraine at the Security Council (video)
A confrontation broke out between Russia and Ukraine in the corridors of the United Nations Security Council, Friday, on the first anniversary of the war between them, because of a minute of silence in mourning for the dead, after the Ukrainian Foreign Minister asked to stand a minute of silence in mourning for the Ukrainian dead during the war. The Russian delegate responded by asking him to stand for another minute for the dead Russians and pro-Russian Ukrainians.
The confrontation began before the session officially began, when Russia's ambassador demanded to know why Ukraine was at the top of the list of speakers, the Associated Press reported.
There was an even more dramatic moment in the middle of the meeting, when the two countries even fought over the eulogy for the victims of war.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said: "Finally, on this tragic day, when we mourn the lives and destinies shattered by Russia, I ask everyone to observe a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the war."
The Minister stood up, and then everyone stood in the Council Chamber in silence.
Even in the moment of silence in recognition of the war dead, the rift between Ukraine and Russia became apparent: as soon as Kuleba sat down, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, asked for the floor, saying: "We stand to honor the memory of all the victims of what happened in Ukraine since 2014, all those who died."
"All lives are priceless, which is why we rise to honor the memory of each of them," he added, referring to Russians and pro-Russian Ukrainians in the east, as well as Ukrainians elsewhere in the country.
Then stood Nebenzia and Russian diplomats. Slowly, apparently after some thought, other members of the Council Chamber stood up until everyone stood in silence for about a minute.
🇺🇳 Surreal moment at UN Security Council:
Ukraine’s foreign minister @DmytroKuleba asked for a moment’s silence in memory of those who have died as a result of Russia’s invasion.
Russia’s UN ambassador interrupted to seek one ‘for everyone who has died in Ukraine since 2014’. pic.twitter.com/iGy3UQStqC
— Gavan Reilly (@gavreilly) February 24, 2023