'We were told they would welcome us': Russian soldier moments before his death in Ukraine

Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations has shared what he claimed was a final text conversation between a mother and her Russian soldier son.

Sergiy Kyslytsya was speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Monday when he held up a piece of paper which he said was a screenshot of the communication on the soldier's smartphone.

He read from it, beginning with words from the man's mother, saying: "Alyosha, how are you doing? Why has it been so long since you responded? Are you really in training exercises?"

"Mama, I'm no longer in Crimea. I'm not in training sessions."

"Where are you then? Papa is asking whether I can send you a parcel."

"What kind of parcel mama, can you send me?"

"What are you talking about, what happened?"

"Mama, I'm in Ukraine. There is a real war raging here. I'm afraid. We are bombing all of the cities together, even targeting civilians. We were told that they would welcome us and they are falling under our armoured vehicles, throwing themselves under the wheels and not allowing us to pass. They call us fascists. Mama, this is so hard."

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Mr Kyslytsya told the assembly: "In several moments, he was killed.

"If you want to just visualise the magnitude of the tragedy, you have to imagine next to you, next to every nameplate of every single country in the General Assembly, more than 30 souls of killed Russian soldiers already.

"Next to every name of every single country in this assembly, 30-plus killed Russian soldiers. Hundreds of killed Ukrainians, dozens of killed children, and it goes on and on and on."

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But Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said: "Russian actions have been distorted and thwarted and there is... the number of incredible fakes is staggering, with the media outlets and social networks proliferating.

"Social networks have training manuals about how to create fakes to taint our military operation.

"Throughout Ukrainian social networks, there are 1.2 million such pieces of fake news and the correspondence that was read out by the Ukrainian ambassador is also part of these..."