Rare applause from UN Security Council after observing moment of silence for Ukrainian victims

Moment comes after Ukrainian ambassador to the UN asks for ‘a moment of complete silence to pray, or to mediate if you do not believe in God’

UN Security Council erupts in applause for Ukrainian victims

The United Nations Security Council chamber erupted in spontaneous applause on Friday night after the Ukrainian ambassador called for a moment of silence to honour the victims of the Russian invasion.

The moment came after Russia had vetoed a Security Council resolution to condemn the invasion of Ukraine.

Follow live updates of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

The Ukrainian ambassador to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsya, said at the meeting: “I will ask all of you to dedicate a moment of complete silence to pray, or to mediate if you do not believe in God, for peace.

“To pray for souls of those who has been already killed, for souls of those who may be killed.”

He added: “And I invite the Russian ambassador to pray for salvation.”

After Mr Kyslytsya spoke, the Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia cut in to say the council should also honour those who died in the Donbas region, where Russia launched its military operation on Thursday.

After the moment’s silence, council members began clapping.

The United Arab Emirates and India abstained from the vote on the US-drafted text. The other 11 council members voted in favour.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield reinforced America’s support for Ukraine after Russia cast its veto vote.

“We are united behind Ukraine and its people, despite a reckless, irresponsible permanent member of the Security Council abusing its power to attack its neighbour and subvert the UN and our international system.”

The draft resolution is now expected to be taken up by the 193-member UN General Assembly.

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