Roger Waters calls for immediate ceasefire in Ukraine in UNSC address 

Roger Waters was invited to speak at the UNSC by Russia and called for a ceasefire but was criticized by Ukraine and the US. He has been critical of the West’s supply of weapons to Ukraine, which he claims may prolong the war

February 10, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
Roger Waters UNSC Ukraine war
(Photo: Randy Credito)

Activist and Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters addressed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Wednesday, February 8, on the Russia-Ukraine conflict and demanded an “immediate ceasefire” as the “only sensible course of action today.”

Waters stated that the Russian war in Ukraine was “illegal” and condemned it. He, however, also condemned the “provocateurs” who provoked the Russian aggression in Ukraine, without naming any country.  

The war in Ukraine began last February after NATO failed to address Russian apprehensions regarding NATO’s expansion close to its international borders and Ukraine’s refusal to address the long-standing conflict in the Donbass region involving Russian-speaking people.  

Waters was invited to speak at the UNSC by Russia. The meeting was called to highlight the West’s relentless supply of arms to Ukraine, which Russia claims will make any possibility of a peaceful settlement difficult. 

Ukraine’s envoy to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya criticized Waters’ address, saying that it was an “ironic attempt” to “whitewash” Russian actions.

The US also criticized Waters’ claims that the war was a result of provocation by Ukraine and its allies. Richard Mills, US deputy ambassador to the UN, called it “victim blaming.” 

Waters has been critical of the West’s supply of weapons to Ukraine, which he claims may prolong the war. He has demanded that the US and NATO assure Russia about its expansion in the region to end the war. 

The US and its allies in Europe have been supplying billions of dollars of arms to Ukraine, apparently to aid its defense against Russian invasions. Russia has asserted that this is a “proxy war” waged against it by the West using Ukrainians.  

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky concluded his second foreign trip since the beginning of the war on Thursday, February 9. He visited Brussels and addressed the European Parliament, and also attended a meeting of the European Council. A day before, he had visited London, where he met UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and Paris, where he met French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. 

During his address to the European Parliament, Zelensky thanked the European countries for providing Ukraine with weapons. He further demanded more weapons and other forms of support in the future. He also expressed hope that Ukraine would be a full member of the European Union soon. 

During his meetings with the European leaders, Zelensky had demanded fighter jets and said that he received a positive response. However, Macron was later reported as saying that the proposal to provide fighter jets to Ukraine was not finalized and that it would not be possible in the coming weeks.