During the emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in New York on Wednesday night - an hour after Putin announced a “special military operation” - Ukraine's Sergiy Kyslytsya gave a clear statement to his counterpart, the Russian ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia.
He pressured Nebenzia, to state on the record that Russian troops will not shell and bomb Ukrainian cities - or else give up his duties as the president of the Security Council, a position which Russia currently holds this month. (The presidency of the Security Council is rotated on a monthly basis).
“If you are not in the position to give an affirmative answer, the Russian Federation ought to relinquish responsibilities of the President of the Security Council, pass these responsibilities onto a legitimate member of the Security Council, a member that is respectful of the charter," he said.
Kyslytsya then requested an emergency Security Council meeting in order to "consider all necessary decisions to stop the war."
"Because it is too late my dear colleagues to speak about de-escalation, too late," the Ukrainian ambassador explained. "The Russian president declared war on the record.”
At one point in the meeting, Kyslytsya held up his phone, ready to play Putin's earlier announcement and asked Nebenzia directly: “Should I play the video of your president? Ambassador [Nebenzia] should I do that right now?"
an incredible moment between the Ukrainian Ambassador to United Nations and the Russian Ambassador to the UNpic.twitter.com/tDN3hus7FV
Tensions rose as Nebenzia could be seen reaching for his microphone to respond, though Kyslytsya sternly told him: "Do not interrupt me please, thank you."
"Then don't ask me questions when you are speaking, proceed with your statement," Nebenzia curtly replied.
Kyslytsya continued to say that "it is the responsibility of this board to stop the war" and called on his fellow council members to do "everything possible" to achieve this.
Meanwhile, Nebenzia maintained what Putin said in his announcement and replied: “This isn’t called a war. This is called a special military operation in Donbas.”
Near the end of the meeting, Kyslytsya finished off by addressing Nebenzia directly once more.
"Relinquish your duties as the chair. Call Putin, call [foreign minister Sergei] Lavrov to stop aggression... I welcome the decision of some members of this council to meet as soon as possible to consider the necessary decision, that would condemn the aggression that you have launched on my people."
The war criminals, Ambassador Nebenzia, don\u2019t go to purgatory; they go straight to hell! https://www.facebook.com/1167515055/posts/10223812307633452/?d=n\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/f04sR5vYzF