Minister Coveney with U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and Irish Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason. Twitter photo

At UN, Coveney Describes Death and Destruction

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney delivered a first hand account of his recent mission to Ukraine at a sitting Tuesday of the United Nations Security Council.

His words would have shocked some members of the council but likely not all of them.

The Security Council gathering was focused on the plight of Ukrainian refugees and displaced persons.

Minister Coveney outlined in chilling detail what he saw last week in the town of Bucha just outside Kyiv - part of the reason as to why five mission Ukrainians have fled their country.

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"What I witnessed in Bucha last Thursday was truly unconscionable," Coveney told the Security Council while sitting in Ireland's chair.

And he continued: "Death, destruction and a mass grave with the bodies of innocent civilians. These atrocities must end. I call on Russia to immediately end this senseless war of aggression."

In Ukraine last week Mr. Coveney became the first foreign minister from a UN Security Council state to visit Kyiv, and the first to visit the suburb of Bucha, where mass graves have been discovered amidst destroyed civilian infrastructure.

While there he promised Ukrainian leaders that he would use Ireland's voice in the European Union and UN to press for an immediate end to the Russian invasion and a negotiated solution.

According to an RTE report, speaking ahead of his UN Security Council address, Mr. Coveney said: "In my meetings with Minister Kuleba and Minister Reznikov in Kyiv I gave Ireland's commitment to continue to use our voice at the highest level in the EU and at the UN Security Council to call for an immediate halt to Russian aggression in Ukraine and for a genuine commitment to a negotiated solution.

"I'm using the earliest opportunity at the Security Council to do this.

"The Ukrainian people need and deserve full accountability for the atrocities that continue to be uncovered daily. I will be using Ireland's voice at the Security Council to emphasize this.

"I will also be raising our grave concerns that we are facing into renewed Russian attacks in the east of Ukraine, with hundreds of thousands of lives at stake."

Mr. Coveney said that "two thirds of Ukraine's children are now displaced from their homes."