Ukrainian Ambassador holds up tweet from Russian diplomats, suggests ‘mental help’, offers them hotline

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An absurd message from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov prompted the Ukrainian ambassador to the United Nations (UN) to tell Russian diplomats that mental health assistance is available.

A tweet from the official Twitter account of the Russian embassy to Britain on Monday went viral after Lavrov attempted to (in apparent seriousness) suggest that Russia’s war was being fought in Ukraine… to prevent a war from breaking out in Ukraine.

This triumph of logic prompted widespread ridicule and scorn, not least from Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya, representing Ukraine at the UN. Kyslytsya held up a printed out copy of the tweet, and informed the Russian embassy in Britain that there is mental help available via special telephone numbers provided by Britain’s National Health Service (NHS):

“Those who posted today, this text – ‘Foreign Minister Lavrov: The goal of Russia’s special military operation is to stop any war that could take place on Ukrainian territory or that could start from there’ – Russian embassy in London, retweeted by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Let me remind the Russian diplomats that in London, in case of need of mental help, you can dial NHS line 1-1-1. Thank you.”

This is not the first time Kyslytsya has had fiery words for Russia. On February 25th, 3 days after Russia launched its all-out attack on Ukraine, Kyslytsya told the UN that the invasion was a “Nazi-style course of action” and had a snarky retort to Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya that he had no credibility after the latter used his veto to block a UN resolution to withdraw Russian forces:

“How can we trust you? You have no idea what is on the mind of your president. Your words have less value than a hole in the New York pretzel.”

Kyslytsya has made no attempt to hide his feelings about the indiscriminate bombing and other war crimes committed since the opening shots of the invasion, reminding the Russian delegation at the UN in the first days of the attack of the fate often attributed to such war criminals:

“There is no purgatory for war criminals. They go straight to hell, ambassador.”

The crude gaslighting has been the latest attempt by Russia to portray its invasion of Ukraine in terms other than what it obviously is: an aggressive war of conquest perpetrated against its neighbor. Russia has insisted that its “special military operation” is in fact some sort of limited engagement being fought to “de-Nazify” and “de-militarize” Ukraine.

Russia has even attempted to suggest that Ukraine is shelling its own people and buildings for propaganda, echoing the equally baseless claims Bosnian Serbs would issue after shelling Sarajevo during Yugoslavia’s painful breakup in the 1990s. Such claims have been met with mockery, and derided as crude and transparent propaganda, out of touch with the fact that the world at large is not that easily fooled.

The phone number given by Kyslytsya does in fact go to the NHS mental health line if anyone at the Russian embassy in Britain felt inclined to seek help.


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