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pointing fingers

Russian UN rep accuses U.S. of trying to 'whip up hysterics' with Ukraine rhetoric

Representatives of the United States and Russia clashed over Ukraine at a United Nations Security Council meeting Monday, The New York Times reports.

Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia was the first to speak, immediately calling for a procedural vote to adjourn the meeting.

He claimed that the United States' characterization of Russian troop movements as "a threat to international peace and security" was an instance of "unacceptable interference" in Russia's "domestic affairs" as well as "an attempt to mislead the international community."

American alarmism, Nebenzia said, is to blame for "current global tensions." He went on to accuse the U.S. of engaging in "megaphone diplomacy" and of calling the Security Council meeting to publicly "whip up hysterics" rather than to facilitate productive discussion.

To support his point, Nebenzia cited statements Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made last week asking the U.S. and other countries to tone down their rhetoric about imminent invasion and not to "shout so much."

"Panic is the sister of failure," Zelensky said.

That same week, President Biden warned Zelensky there is a "distinct possibility" Russia could invade in February.

American U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield was the next to address the Security Council.

Thomas-Greenfield argued the international community is right to be concerned about Russia's buildup of 100,000 troops on Ukraine's border, noting that Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014 to seize Crimea.

She also asked other members of the Security Council how they might feel "if you had 100,000 troops sitting on your border."

Per the Times, the 10-member council "voted to proceed with the meeting, with only Russia and China objecting."