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Russia delegate compares Gaza situation to Leningrad siege

December 13, 2023 at 11:10 am

Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya during a UN Security Council on November 29, 2023 in New York City [David Dee Delgado/Getty Images]

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Vasily Nebenzya drew similarities between the situation in the Gaza Strip today and the siege of Leningrad during World War II.

Nebenzya’s statements on Tuesday came the day after he visited the Rafah checkpoint as part of a UN Security Council delegation, located between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, through which humanitarian aid is delivered to the Gaza Strip.

During the trip, the diplomats were able to talk to local authorities and humanitarian workers in Gaza. “This trip allowed us to better understand what is happening in Gaza,” Nebenzya said at the UN General Assembly.

He continued: “There is a terrible humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip, and it is getting worse every day, although it is impossible to imagine what could be worse than it is now. From all our interlocutors, we heard only one thing: we need a ceasefire, we need to stop this massacre.”

READ: Egyptian, Russian presidents agree to continue efforts to achieve ceasefire in Gaza

“I remember the siege of Leningrad by the Nazis during World War II, which lasted nearly 900 days and claimed the lives of more than a million people in Leningrad as a result of bombing and starvation,” conveyed Nebenzya, adding: “Is Gaza facing the same fate? It is impossible to imagine how this is happening in this day and age.”

On Tuesday, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution submitted by Egypt and Mauritania calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. One hundred fifty-three countries voted in favour of the document, which included the text of a document proposed by the United Arab Emirates at the UN Security Council last week and was rejected due to the US veto.

Dozens of countries co-sponsored the resolution, including Russia, Belarus, China, Malta and Portugal. The resolution calls for an immediate ceasefire on humanitarian grounds, as well as the release of all prisoners and captives. It also requires all parties to the conflict to comply with international humanitarian law.