U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged an end to the “absurd war” started by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine one month ago, warning that the conflict is “going nowhere, fast” and that the Ukrainian people are “enduring a living hell.”
“Continuing the war in Ukraine is morally unacceptable, politically indefensible and militarily nonsensical,” Guterres told reporters in New York.
Russia is pounding the besieged Ukrainian port of Mariupol into the “ashes of a dead land,” its local council said on Tuesday, describing two more huge bombs that fell on the city that has been sealed off for weeks.
“Even if Mariupol falls, Ukraine cannot be conquered city by city, street by street, house by house,” Guterres said. “This war is unwinnable. Sooner or later, it will have to move from the battlefield to the peace table.”
“It is time to end this absurd war,” he said.
Russia launched what it calls a “special military operation” on Feb. 24 to destroy Ukraine’s military infrastructure. Ukraine and its Western allies have accused Moscow of attacking civilians indiscriminately. Moscow denies attacking civilians.
Guterres said some 10 million Ukrainians have fled from their homes and warned the reverberations of war were being felt globally “with skyrocketing food, energy and fertilizer prices threatening to spiral into a global hunger crisis.”
“There is enough on the table to cease hostilities – now … and seriously negotiate – now,” Guterres said.
The U.N. human rights office (OHCHR) said on Monday it had recorded 2,421 civilian casualties in Ukraine – 925 killed and 1,496 injured – as of midnight on March 20.
Copyright 2022 Thomsons/Reuters