US ambassador to the UN tells Russian soldiers 'your leaders are lying to you' as she urges them not to commit war crimes

US ambassador to the UN tells Russian soldiers 'your leaders are lying to you' as she urges them not to commit war crimes
American UN ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield in 2021Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • The US ambassador to the UN urged Russian soldiers not to commit war crimes in Ukraine.
  • "Your leaders are lying to you," Linda Thomas-Greenfield said during a General Assembly meeting.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield pleaded with Russian soldiers not to commit war crimes during their attacks on Ukraine.

"Your leaders are lying to you — do not commit war crimes, do everything you can to put down your weapons and leave Ukraine," she said during a special session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday.

She added: "In every step of the war, Russia has betrayed the United Nations. Russia's actions go against everything this body stands for."

Thomas-Greenfield said the war was the sole choice of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who she said made "hundreds of thousands of people to stuff their lives into backpacks and flee the country."

She blamed Putin for forcing "newborn babies into makeshift bomb shelters" and "children with cancer huddle in hospital basements, interrupting their treatment — essentially sentencing them to death."


After Thomas-Greenfield spoke, countries voted on a resolution condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The resolution passed, with 141 countries voting in favor and 35 countries abstaining.

Five countries voted against the resolution: Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, Russia, and Syria.

After it was announced that the resolution passed, there was a resounding standing ovation from the General Assembly.

"I praise the approval by the [UN General Assembly] with an unprecedented majority of votes of the resolution with a strong demand to Russia to immediately stop the treacherous attack on [Ukraine]," President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a tweet.

He added: "I'm grateful to everyone & every state that voted in favor. You have chosen the right side of history."


Thomas-Greenfield is not the first US official to sound the alarm about possible war crimes in Ukraine.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday accused Russia of "widespread" human rights abuses in Ukraine, with troops allegedly behind deadly missiles targeting civilian areas.

Human rights groups meanwhile have warned that ongoing bombings and attacks against Ukrainian citizens could be considered war crimes.

And Zelensky on Tuesday referred to a Russian missile strike on Kharkiv as a "war crime" and "state terrorism."