Ukraine tells UN that pro-war Russian diplomats should call NHS 111 for 'mental help'

8 March 2022, 08:37

By Will Taylor

Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations has told Russian diplomats that they should call the NHS 111 number to seek mental help over outlandish claims about the war.

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Sergiy Kyslytsya pointed to a tweet from the Russian embassy to the UK, quoting Moscow's foreign minister as saying the invasion was designed to "stop any war" that could start there.

Remarking on the bizarre comments, given that Russia launched the war, Mr Kyslytsya told the UN Security Council in New York that Russia's diplomats might need to get help from the NHS non-emergency number so they can seek "mental help".

He said on Monday that "it is very difficult to [cope] after these meetings where we listen to the persistent lies and delusion, delirium coming from that particular country".

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He went on: "I think that it is not only Russian diplomats in New York who need mental assistance but also those who posted today this text: 'Foreign Minister Lavrov: The goal of Russia's special military operation is to stop any war that could take place on Ukrainian territory or that could start from there.' Russian Embassy in London. Retweeted by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

"Let me remind the Russian diplomats that in London in case of need for mental help, you can dial NHS line 111. Thank you."

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Mr Kyslytsya was soon joined by the UK’s Ministry of Defence [MoD] in criticising Russia for spreading accusations about Ukraine.

A fresh update on the invasion – which has stalled in the face of stiff resistance and logistics issues as Russia besieges and bombards cities throughout the country – was issued by the MoD on Tuesday morning.

It said Moscow was ramping up claims about Kyiv in a bid to try and validate the war.

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The West has repeatedly warned of Russian attempts to create a "false flag", a fake reason to justify aggression against Ukraine.

"Since the end of February there has been a notable intensification of Russian accusations that Ukraine is developing nuclear or biological weapons," the MoD said.

"These narratives are long standing but are currently likely being amplified as part of a retrospective justification for Russia's invasion of Ukraine."

The MoD has also warned that Russia was targeting communication infrastructure, seemingly in a bid to cut Ukrainians off from news.

The narrative battle appears to be crucial to Moscow, which has imposed draconian new laws in its own country as thousands demonstrate against the conflict throughout Russia's cities.

It has threatened people who report what the Government considers misinformation about the conflict with 15 years in prison, while access to BBC News and Facebook has been restricted.

Russia refers to the invasion as a special military operation, claiming it wants to "demilitarise" and "de-Nazify" the country – which has a democratically elected president.

Moscow demanded on Monday that Ukraine amend its constitution to ensure neutrality, recognise the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, and for recognition of Crimea, which Russia seized by force in 2014.