Russian President Vladimir Putin taking on the rotating monthly presidency of the 15-member United Nations Security Council came just after a young boy was killed by artillery launched by Moscow’s invading forces, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late Saturday.
“Unfortunately, we … have news that is obviously absurd and destructive,” Zelenskyy said in his daily address Saturday night. “Today, the terrorist state began to chair the U.N. Security Council.”
The Ukrainian leader announced that a five-month-old child named Danylo had been killed by Russian munitions in Donbas on Friday. “One of the hundreds of artillery strikes that the terrorist state launches every day,” the Ukrainian leader said. “And at the same time, Russia chairs the U.N. Security Council.”
Even though the position at the top of the Security Council is largely ceremonial, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called Russia’s presidency a “slap in the face to the international community” given the ongoing conflict.
The last time Russia held the rotating monthly presidency was in February 2022, when Putin ordered the brutal full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
At present, in addition to the five permanent members, the U.N. Security Council also includes countries supportive of Ukraine such as Japan, Ghana, Malta and Albania, along with others such as the United Arab Emirates, Mozambique and Brazil which take a more neutral approach to the conflict.
In his Saturday address, Zelenskyy also said he had spoken with French President Emmanuel Macron for an hour on Saturday. He also welcomed Switzerland’s decision — as another temporary U.N. Security Council member — to join the 10th sanctions package against the Russian state.
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