At the moment when UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky were holding talks in Kyiv, five rockets were fired at the Ukrainian capital.
Many asked the question: “Is this a mockery of the UN?”, writes air force. Rockets exploded in the central Shevchenko district of the city. One of them is not far from the hotel where the Secretary General of the organization stayed. The blow came literally an hour after the end of a joint press conference between Zelensky and Guterres, during which the UN chief criticized the Security Council for failing to prevent or stop this war. None of the members of the delegation, like Guterres himself, was injured – they had not yet reached the hotel. The Secretary General himself comments on the incident:
“I was shocked when I learned that two rockets exploded in the city where I am. It is absolutely necessary to end this war, and we absolutely need to find a solution for this war.”
Dmitry Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, called the attack by cruise missiles while the UN Secretary General and the Bulgarian Prime Minister were in Kyiv a disgusting, barbaric act. And Aleksey Arestovich, adviser to the Office of the President of Ukraine, says:
“How should the UN Secretary General and the UN itself react to this? That is, they simply spat in his back, juicy, with blood. And it is clear that this is revenge for his assessments in Moscow, for what he said that this was a war, and not a special operation, for saying that the Russian army is engaged in war crimes. The Russian Federation shoots him in the back.”
Guterres emphasized the importance of his visit to Kyiv:
“During my visit to Moscow, President Putin generally agreed to the participation of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross in the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol. Today, President Zelensky and I were able to start working on this issue together. And as we speak here, there are intense discussions going on to move this initiative forward so that it can be made a reality.”
Volodymyr Zelensky expressed full support for the proposal of the UN Secretary General:
“Ukraine is ready for immediate negotiations to evacuate people from Azovstal, as well as to ensure the implementation of the agreements reached. We also expect a humane attitude towards these people from the Russian Federation. We expect that this part of the mission of Mr. Secretary General will be fruitful, and we are ready to support these efforts.”
Earlier, the Kremlin stated that there were no specific agreements on the evacuation of Azovstal with Guterres, and this proposal will still be worked out. Nevertheless, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator has already gone to Zaporozhye to organize the removal of civilians from Mariupol.
Yesterday, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov, according to TASS, said that Moscow does not see the need for negotiations on the evacuation of Azovstal:
“The president said quite clearly – the civilians can go out and go in any direction, the military must lay down their arms and surrender.”
Peskov noted that all those who surrendered their weapons would be spared their lives, and the sick and wounded would be provided with medical care, “but nothing more.”