Remarks by Ambassador Ferit Hoxha at the Security Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine

New York, 13 January 2023

Thank you, USG DiCarlo, for yet another in-depth briefing on the situation in Ukraine.

Mr. President,

A year has passed and the situation in Ukraine is no different.

323 days of an ongoing unjust and unjustified war have resulted in devastating damage to the population, and the country’s physical, economic, and human infrastructure.

Thousands of civilians have been killed. Some 8 million have become refugees. A large part of the population is suffering from psychological trauma.

Despite worldwide condemnation and rejection, despite the huge toll on human lives, despite everything, Russia continues on its course.

Civilians and their families in Ukraine have and are enduring escalating devastation. Children continue to be killed, wounded and deeply traumatized by the violence all around them. Endless individual dramas tell the larger story.

Yaroslav, a 13 years old boy, was waiting the New Year with his family in Nadniprianske, when their home came under Russian fire. Seriously wounded, he was taken to hospital in Kherson. But in the first few minutes of 2023, the Russian army shelled the hospital, and Yaroslav was evacuated to Mykolaiv, where doctors continued to fight for his life, hopefully with success in this case.

How many others, children, boys and girls, have seen their destiny at the mercy of a war they do not want and cannot understand?

Mr. President,

Among a myriad of disasters inflicted upon Ukraine there is one particularly striking as much as hurting. There are no more children left in Ukraine.

I am not speaking about those who have been killed without getting to understand the world they were born in.

I am not speaking about those who were forced to leave everything behind to flee a war inflicted by those claiming to be their brothers.

And I am not speaking about those tens of thousands deported and given for adoption to strangers in Russia.

No, I am speaking about those premature adults of little age in Ukraine;

those who have been forced to grow up years in months;

those forced to face killing tanks not play with soldier toys;

those who cannot attend school because it has been destroyed;

those who cannot sleep by fear of a missile falling on the roof,

those who have no more tears left to cry their misery.

Mr. President,

Since the very first day of this war we, and the absolute majority in this organization, have made a fundamental distinction. Russia is the aggressor state; Ukraine is fighting to defend itself, for survival. Russia is wrong and nothing can or will ever change this, and no propaganda machine has been able to alter it.

Ukrainian army and people have defied all expectations. We applaud their heroic resistance and military brilliance in the face of a brutal invasion.

This is why it has been and remains crucial to help Ukrainians to defend themselves and prevail in restoring their sovereignty, in securing their borders because any other result will only sharpen Kremlin’s appetite.

Let’s not forget, only eight years separated Russia’s seizure of Crimea and the invasion of Ukraine. Those who believe being on a messianic mission to restore fallen empires will not stop if they are not stopped, they will just wait until next move.

The world needs Ukraine within its borders to save a world order from the current and future transgressors of commonly agreed rules.

Ukraine has been able to show the world the strength of the right against the illusions of the might. In this conflict, it is the courage and resilience of Ukrainians that represent the hope for a life in peace.

Mr. President,

Since February last year, the course of the war has forced multiple times Russia to define down its military goals. Russia abandoned the Kyiv area because it was forced out. Kremlin officials declared that “Russia is in Kherson forever,” but then were forced out. All the ground lost in 2022 has not resulted from any tactical retreat but of outright defeat.

The Kremlin has not changed its goals; it has been contained and stopped. This is why it is important to continue to support Ukraine, by providing political, military, financial and humanitarian support and assistance. Ukrainian heroes fighting for freedom need and deserve modern weapons to push back their invader.


This is even more evident given the realities on the ground. Since months, we see more and more a war of rage, a bloodshed of proportions, a war of attrition.

Soledar, pondered for months and where nothing is anymore standing, now resembles Mariupol, the footprint of an absolute insanity. Reporters speak of a meat grinding machine where Wagner group is using human lives as cannon fodder.

Mr. President,

It has become a pattern: every time Russia has been stalling and in difficulty on the ground, it has deliberately targeted critical infrastructure, in particular Ukraine’s electricity distribution grid and power generation capacity – a blatant war crime – thanks also to the extensive use of the Iranian drones acquired illegally in breach of the SC resolution 2231 and for which we are still waiting clarity from the secretariat.

It has tried to force Ukraine into submission. It has failed!

Ukrainians may be without electricity, without water supply and heating, but they have a heart, a fighting heart for their country, for their freedom, for the right to be themselves.

But let’s not forget, sooner or later, those responsible for crimes committed will have to face their acts and pay for their actions.

Mr. President,

Like every other war, this one will stop one day.

It should have never started in the first place, but it is never late to stop it.

Unrealistic and insincere calls for talks while wreaking havoc to the country, killing its civilians and annexing its territories by force won’t lead anywhere.

The crimes committed against Ukrainian civilians, the rapes and murders, the scale of the destruction, the sacrifices and the number of deaths, the persisting imperialist madness have not broken Ukraine. They have only strengthened the resolve of Ukrainians to defend themselves and bar the way to aggressor.

For any meaningful and credible diplomatic path to materialize, Russia must first withdraw its troops from the internationally recognised borders of Ukraine. This can lead to an outcome.

Thank you!


Previous Remarks by Ambassador Ferit Hoxha at the UN Security Council meeting on the Rule of Law

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