“The humanitarian horrors of Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine continue to cause massive human suffering both inside of Ukraine and around the world,” declared U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
“Within Ukraine’s borders, more than 17 million Ukrainians need humanitarian aid. Nearly six million people are internally displaced in Ukraine, forced to flee their homes in search of safety and shelter,” she said.
Russia’s forces have launched barrage after barrage of missiles and drones against Ukraine, hitting cities and infrastructure, killing and injuring civilians, damaging roads, homes, schools, medical facilities, farmland, and power systems. Millions of Ukrainian civilians are now without food, power, water access, health services, and proper heat even as temperatures remain below freezing.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield called on Russia to “stop bombing critical infrastructure and killing innocent civilians. Until Russia does, global humanitarian donors must stand by the Ukrainian people.”
“We need to prioritize winterization assistance to address immediate humanitarian needs and support the Government of Ukraine’s efforts. Humanitarians from the UN and NGOs are on the ground right now, trying to help. Sadly, even these groups, just trying to help save lives, have not been spared from Russia’s attacks,” she said.
Russia is engaging in coerced relocations of Ukraine’s children to Russia-occupied territories of Ukraine, stated Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield:
“Russia is also transferring and deporting Ukraine’s children to Russia itself, giving children away to families in Russia and attempting to permanently separate them from their families. This is a violation of the principles of child protection. This must stop.”
Russia’s war has greatly exacerbated the global food crisis. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield expressed support for the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which has helped meet the needs of the world’s most vulnerable and benefitted middle-income countries by stabilizing world grain prices. But because of Russia, the movement of grain from Ukraine’s ports has slowed and the backlog of ships waiting for grain is growing. Russia must not be allowed to continue its weaponization of food and energy in winter.
“Putin started this war, and he can end it today by pulling his troops out of Ukraine,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield.
The United States urges all countries to support the UN’s 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan and Regional Refugee Response Plan and to hold Russia accountable for its aggression and horrific abuses, inflicting unconscionable suffering on the people of Ukraine.