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Roger Waters Says Ukraine Invasion Was ‘Not Unprovoked’ at UN Security Council

The Pink Floyd founder condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “illegal,” adding: “I also condemn the provocateurs in the strongest possible terms”

At Russia’s request, Pink Floyd founding member Roger Waters spoke at the United Nations Security Council meeting on Wednesday. The musician’s address was largely an anti-war broadside, as he condemned the for-profit military industrial complex and stressed the devastating toll of war, both on people and the environment.

As the subject of the meeting was Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, Waters did eventually get around to that as well. Waters condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “illegal,” but also said it was “not unprovoked.” He added, “So I also condemn the provocateurs in the strongest possible terms.”

Security Council diplomats within the United Nations criticized Waters’ appearance when it was first announced that he would be speaking. “Russian diplomacy used to be serious,” one shared anonymously with Reuters. “What’s next? Mr. Bean?”

But for Waters, the matter is serious, if even mostly seriously misguided. Over the past six months, the musician has used his platform as a sounding board for scorching political takes. In August, he branded President Joe Biden a “war criminal” during a CNN broadcast and claimed he was directly “fueling the war in the Ukraine.” Then, in September, Waters published an open letter to Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska that targeted the country’s Western weapons source.


Speaking on the United Nations Security Council was ostensibly a bold move for Waters, who told Rolling Stone last year that he believes his name is on a “kill list that is supported by the Ukrainian government.” In that same conversation, the singer shifted the blame from the ongoing war from Russia to NATO, suggesting that the organization essentially left Putin with no other choice but to invade Ukraine.

This story is developing…

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