Zelenskyy: Ukrainians 'having tongues cut off' and being turned into 'silent slaves'

5 April 2022, 17:20 | Updated: 5 April 2022, 17:43

President Zelenskyy addressed the UN Security Council after visiting Bucha
President Zelenskyy addressed the UN Security Council after visiting Bucha. Picture: Getty

By Daisy Stephens

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said Russian troops are cutting off the tongues of Ukrainian people and trying to turn them into "silent slaves".

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Addressing the UN Security Council on Tuesday, the Ukrainian president listed atrocities committed by Russia in recently-liberated cities such as Bucha.

"They cut off limbs cut their throat slashed their throats," he said.

"Women were raped and killed in front of their children.

"Their tongues were pulled out only because the aggressors did not want to hear from them."

He said soldiers did it "just for their pleasure".

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Mr Zelenkskyy then accused Moscow of deporting Ukrainians to Russia, and abducting thousands of children.

"You just simply abducted those children and continue to do so," he said.

"Russia wants to turn Ukraine into silent slaves."

Russia has denied the claims.

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Mr Zelenskyy said Bucha is "only one of many examples" of where atrocities have allegedly been committed by occupying Russian forces.

"Today, as a result of Russia's actions in our country, in Ukraine the most terrible war crimes of all times, that we've seen since the end of World War Two, have been committed," he said.

"Russian troops are deliberately destroying Ukrainian cities to ashes with artillery and air strikes, they are deliberately blocking cities, creating mass starvation.

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"They deliberately shoot columns of civilians on the road trying to escape from the hostilities.

"They even deliberately blow up shelters where civilians hide from air strikes. They are deliberately creating conditions in the temporarily occupied territories so that as many civilians as possible are killed there.

"The massacre in our city of Bucha is unfortunately only one of many examples of what the occupiers have been doing on our land for the past 41 days, and there are many similar cities, similar places, where the world has yet to learnt he full truth... dozens of other Ukrainians communities, each of them similar to Bucha."

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Mr Zelenkskyy then took aim at the UN Security Council, saying the safety which was supposed to be guaranteed by its existence had not materialised.

"Where is the security that the Security Council needs to guarantee? It's not there," he said.

"Although there is a Security Council and so where is the peace?"

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Mr Zelenskyy told the meeting: "It is obvious that the key institution of the world which must ensure the coercion of any aggressor to peace simply cannot work effectively."

He also criticised the fact Russia had a veto within the Council, meaning it is able to block attacks to censure the Kremlin,

"This undermines the whole architecture of global security, it allows them to go unpunished so they are destroying everything that they can," he said.