When Russia’s foreign minister began speaking at the Human Rights Council on Tuesday, more than 100 UN diplomats from 40 countries walked out. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s speech was boycotted by dozens of envoys in protest of the Kremlin-led invasion of Ukraine, which is now in its sixth day.
Diplomats from the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom unexpectedly exited their seats at the United Nations in Geneva, while envoys from China, Venezuela, and Syria remained.
Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod and Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly were among those who stormed out. “We wanted to express a very strong stance together because Minister Lavrov was delivering his version of what is happening in Ukraine, which is incorrect,” Joly said after the walkout.
Yevheniia Filipenko, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, called the show of support for Ukraine “extraordinary.” Meanwhile, Sergiy Kyslytsya, a Ukrainian official, said he would rather hear Russia at the international tribunal for war crimes. “I’ve had enough of war criminals’ twisted craziness,” Kyslytsya stated.