The bloodstained Russian veto on truce in Syria

Along with China, Russian vote has wiped away the hope of stopping the carnage that is ongoing in Aleppo, even only for a week. It is not the first time that Russia stops a truce in Syria. Perhaps, though, it will be the last.

A still image from video taken October 12, 2016 of a general view of the bomb damaged Old City area of Aleppo, Syria. Video released October 12, 2016. REUTERS/via ReutersTV
A still image from video taken October 12, 2016 of a general view of the bomb damaged Old City area of Aleppo, Syria. Video released October 12, 2016. REUTERS/via ReutersTV

Moscow has vetoed a Security Council resolution on Syria already five times in the past months. Yesterday’s vote was the sixth. Almost hand in hand with China, which put the stick in the wheels five times. The proposal for a seven-day truce in Aleppo to allow an estimated 200,000 people trapped in the Syrian city to leave their homes, was drafted by Spain, New Zealand and Egypt, and voted in favor by 11 of the Security Council members, including Japan , Ukraine and all the other permanent members.

"These kinds of pauses have been used by fighters to reinforce their ammunition and to strengthen their positions and this will only worsen the suffering of civilians", Russian representative, Vitaly Churkin, said. Nevertheless, he failed to add that the direct cause of the suffering of the population are bombings carried by Bashar al-Assad aircrafts, supported by his country, and by Russian bombers. 

The abuse of the veto power

It's not news that world powers are playing a match in Syria. A great game that is producing as a side effect death on massive scales: nearly half a million corpses. It's not even the first time this has happened in history. But not for this we have to stop yelling every time that this crime is repeated. Just as it happened yesterday in the UN Security Council.

The reason explained by Churkin - assuming it is true, and this is not just an alibi to impose the Russian supremacy in the conflict - clearly says one thing: that Russia puts the military successes on the field ahead of everything, even the lives of pleople of Aleppo. What else can it mean, otherwise, to oppose a humanitarian truce just because the rebels can strenghten their positions?

The use of the veto - which had been designed as a balancing tool and which was strongly backed by the USSR when, after the Second World War, the UN were founded - becomes an abuse. A raise of hand in a muffled room with armchairs and carpet which results in thousands of deaths seven time zones away.

The beginning and the end of the Russian war in Syria

It might be the last time. Yes, because Assad’s final victory is at hand. A victory obtained with barrel bombs, destruction of hospitals and schools, cluster weapons, a medieval siege that led to people to starvation and, most likely, with the use of chemical weapons. A dirty war, filthy, conducted by the Damascus government that would have been impossible without the help of Moscow powerful bombers.

Something that started well before Russia’s involvement in bombings. With the American illusion of an inclusive policy towards Russia, by granting it an active role in the Syrian crisis. With the agreement between Kerry and Lavrov on dismantling Assad’s chemical arsenal, back in 2013. An agreement that stopped the US military intervention and paved the way to an interventionist Russia, from Ukraine to Syria.

Now that Aleppo is on its last legs, that the dead make no headlines and the rebels are on the verge of defeat, now that Assad's military is to regain control of the biggest cities, from Aleppo to Idlib, there will be perhaps no more need to raise bloodstained hands in the UN Security Council.

 @daniloeliatweet

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