Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also briefed the ambassadors, castigating the “mock referendums”, although Russia objected to his participation via video conference.
The country’s ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, said the president should attend in person, according to the rules. “The Council must not turn into a forum for political spectacles or cinema,” he added.
Referendums have been held over the past five days in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions for residents to vote on whether they want to join the Russian Federation.
Voting took place at polling centers, Ms. DiCarlo reported, and de facto The pro-Russian authorities accompanied by soldiers also went door to door with ballot boxes.
These exercises – which took place during an active armed conflict, in areas of Ukraine under Russian control and outside the Ukrainian legal and constitutional framework – “cannot be called a genuine expression of the popular will”, a- she added. said.
“Unilateral actions aimed at lending a veneer of legitimacy to one state’s attempted acquisition by force of the territory of another state, while claiming to represent the will of the people, cannot be considered legal under the law. international.”
Maintain Ukrainian sovereignty
The head of political affairs stressed the will of the United Nations full commitment to the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. She reminded Russia of its obligation to respect the laws of the country in the administration of the occupied territories.
This latest development is among recent actions that threaten to further escalate the conflict, which is now in its seventh month.
Ms DiCarlo spoke of the heavy fighting in southern Ukraine in recent weeks and the escalation of military operations in Donetsk and Lugansk.
The Ukrainian army also carried out a successful counter-offensive this month to restore control of most Russian-held areas in the Kharkiv region.
Meanwhile, daily attacks on many Ukrainian cities continued, including in Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as the targeting of civilian energy and water infrastructure.
The nuclear threat persists
“We have also heard alarming speeches about the use of nuclear weapons. This is unacceptablesaid Ms. DiCarlo.
The UN remains deeply disturbed by reports of continued attacks near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, and has urged fighters to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
“It is imperative that all attacks on nuclear facilities cease and that the purely civilian nature of these facilities be restored,” she stressed.
Human rights violations
Ms. DiCarlo also expressed grave concern over allegations of human rights abuses in parts of northeastern Ukraine, including after more than 400 bodies were recovered from makeshift graves in the town of Izium.
The United Nations human rights office, OHCHRis working with local authorities to investigate these and other allegations in areas of the Kharkiv region that were until recently under Russian control.
Last week, the UN appointed Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine concluded that war crimes had been committed during the conflict.
Ms DiCarlo called for those responsible to be brought to justice.
“Rarely, if ever, has the international community collected so much evidence of human rights violationspotential war crimes and other atrocities as they happened,” she said.
“It’s tragic that we couldn’t stop them. But it would be shameful if we were unable to ensure justice for the victims and their relatives.
Extend the grain agreement
Overall, the war has so far claimed some 14,844 verified civilian casualties, with nearly 6,000 dead, according to the OHCHR, although the actual numbers are likely considerably higher.
Its ripple effects continue to be felt by millions around the world, affected by rising fuel and energy costs. Ms DiCarlo stressed the vital need to renew the Black Sea Grain Initiativewhich is due to expire in November.
More than five million metric tons of foodstuffs have been shipped from Ukrainian ports since the agreement was signed in July, according to the UN spokesperson briefing reporters in New York on Tuesday, announcing the figure of 5,250 578 tons so far, like “good news”.
The initiative continues to gain momentum, Ms. DiCarlo told the ambassadors, as efforts to remove remaining barriers to Russian food exports continue.
UN Photo/Laura Jarriel
Territory Theft Attempt: Zelenskyy
Calling for international action, President Zelensky called for isolating Russia in the international community.
“In front of the eyes of the whole world, Russia is conducting this so-called mock referendum on the occupied territory of Ukraine,” he said, speaking through an interpreter.
The so-called results were prepared long in advance, “just like this compulsory issuance of passports for the population of the occupied territories”, he continued, adding that Russia wants to annex these areas.
“It is the most brutal violation of the Charter of the United Nations,” he said.
“This is an attempt to steal the territory of another state. This is an attempt to erase the norms of international law. This is a very cynical attempt to force the male population of the territory occupied Ukraine to mobilize into the Russian army in order to send them to fight against their own homeland.
Referendums Followed Norms: Russia
Mr. Nebenzia, the Russian ambassador, defended the controversial referendums, which he said were monitored by more than 100 independent international observers from 40 countries.
He told the Council that President Zelenskyy had said in an interview that people who consider themselves Russian or who love Russia should leave Ukraine.
“Now residents of Donbass, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts are carrying out his cynical recommendation. They return to their homeland and take with them their land where their ancestors lived for centuries,” he said, speaking through an interpreter.
“The referendum was conducted in an exclusively transparent manner with respect for all electoral standards. It is an undisputed fact. However, the Kyiv regime and its supporters mean the opposite.