UN chief Guterres warns 'Ukraine is on fire' as Russian invasion continues

UN chief Guterres warns 'Ukraine is on fire' as Russian invasion continues
2 min read
14 March, 2022
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that any escalation in the conflict 'threatens all of humanity'.
Antonio Guterres said he had spoken to a number of world leaders to discuss mediation [Getty]

UN Secretary-General António Guterres delivered a stark warning on the unfolding crisis in Ukraine on Monday, saying that the conflict could quickly spread.

His remarks came as the Russian invasion entered its 19th day, with peace talks yet to yield tangible results.

"Ukraine is on fire,” Guterres said at the UN's headquarters in New York. "Further escalation of the war, whether by accident or design threatens all of humanity."

Guterres also addressed fears that the conflict could escalate into a full scale nuclear war.

"The prospect of nuclear conflict once unthinkable is now back within the realm of possibility," he said. "The security and safety of nuclear facilities must also be preserved. It's time to stop the horror unleashed on the people of Ukraine and get on the path of diplomacy and peace."

The UN chief said he had spoken to the leaders of France, Germany, China, India, Turkey and Israel to discuss mediation.

Since Russia's invasion began, more than 2.5 million people have fled Ukraine and hundreds have died. Russian forces continue to advance deeper into the country, saying they have closed in on the capital Kyiv from most directions.

The crisis has aggravated a global surge in prices of key commodities, including food and oil, as many countries grow wary over their food security.