Former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters speaks via a video link during a UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine in New York on February 8.
Comments made by Roger Waters, co-founder of the rock band Pink Floyd, were denounced by Ukraine on February 8 after the British musician told the UN Security Council that Russia's invasion of its neighbor was "not unprovoked."
Moscow's UN ambassador invited Waters, 79, to address a Security Council meeting to discuss the delivery of weapons to Ukraine.
Waters has previously sparked controversy with his stance on the war and by saying the West should stop providing arms to Kyiv.
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The former Pink Floyd bassist told the Security Council that the invasion of Ukraine was illegal and he condemned it “in the strongest possible terms." But he implied that Kyiv was to blame as well.
"Also the Russian invasion of Ukraine was not unprovoked. So I also condemn the provocateurs in the strongest possible terms," he said, addressing the council via a video link. "The only sensible course of action today is to call for an immediate cease fire in Ukraine," Waters added. Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN Serhiy Kyslytsya responded by referencing the lyrics of one of Pink Floyd's most famous songs, Another Brick in the Wall, released in 1979. "How sad for his former fans to see him accepting the role of just a brick in the wall, a wall of Russian disinformation and propaganda," Kyslytsya said. The ambassador also referenced the giant inflatable pink pig that featured in many of the rock band's shows, saying he was surprised Waters had not arranged to have it floating in the Security Council chamber. "What could it have been this time Mr. Waters? Pigs with swastikas and the hammer and sickle?" Kyslytsya said during the discussion. Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the UN Richard Mills acknowledged Waters' "impressive credentials as a recording artist," but said his qualifications to speak on arms control or European security issues were "less evident." Albanian UN Ambassador Ferit Hoxha told the council Waters was “lucky to be in New York,” where he could speak his mind, “including about the Russian aggression and how wrong that is.” He said if he had been in Russia, “with what he said, he might have been in custody by now." Waters sparked backlash in September when he wrote an open letter saying the West should stop providing arms to Kyiv, accusing President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of allowing "extreme nationalism" in Ukraine, and urging him to "put an end to this deadly war." He was subsequently declared persona non grata by the Polish city of Krakow and his concerts were scrapped there. With reporting by Reuters and AFP