In unusual move, Ukrainian president Zelensky joined via video link File photo: Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations Dmitry Polyanskiy at the UN Security Council © David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Russia does not target civilians in Ukraine and did not strike the shopping center in Kremenchug, Moscow’s envoy to the UN told the Security Council on Tuesday. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said that the mall caught fire due to an explosion of Western-supplied weapons and ammunition, stored at the nearby factory and intended for the shelling of civilians in Donbass, making it a legitimate military target.

He also criticized the UNSC for breaching protocol and allowing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to address the council via video-link, after refusing such a request from the Central African Republic.

“In reality, there was no strike on the mall,” Polyanskiy told the council, as Russia targeted a storage facility at the Kredmash factory next door. The weapons and ammunition stored there were bound for the front, where Ukrainian artillery was bombarding the civilians of Donbass as it had for years, to no objection from the UN, he added. “The Russian strike stopped that.”

Polyanskiy pointed out that Ukrainian media clearly showed images of intact merchandise inside the ‘Amstor’ shopping center, and windows of nearby residential buildings that had not shattered. The fire was caused by explosions of the Western-supplied ammunition at Kredmash, he said. (RT)