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Russia should be punished for its crime of invasion: Zelenskyy | United Nations Information


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged the United Nations to punish Moscow for its invasion, calling for a particular tribunal and for Russia to be stripped of its UN Safety Council veto.

“A criminal offense has been dedicated in opposition to Ukraine and we demand simply punishment,” Zelenskyy mentioned in a pre-recorded video handle to the United Nations Common Meeting (UNGA) delivered simply hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin introduced a mobilisation of 300,000 reserves almost seven months after he first ordered troops to cross the border into Ukraine.

Zelenskyy, carrying his trademark khaki-coloured t-shirt, mentioned Kyiv had a five-point plan to ascertain a sturdy peace, which included not solely punishing Moscow for its aggression, however the restoration of Ukraine’s safety and territorial integrity and the availability of safety ensures.

“Punishment for the crime of aggression. Punishment for violation of borders and territorial integrity. Punishment that should be in place till the internationally recognised border is restored,” he advised the meeting, along with his spouse, Olena Zelenska, amongst these within the auditorium.

It was the primary time Zelenskyy had addressed the world’s leaders gathered collectively for the reason that Russian invasion, and a number of other delegations rose to their ft and applauded on the finish of the speech. Russia and another delegations remained seated.

Zelenskyy poured scorn on Moscow’s speak of negotiations saying its actions spoke louder than its phrases.

“They speak concerning the talks however announce navy mobilisation. They speak concerning the talks however announce pseudo-referendums within the occupied territories of Ukraine,” he mentioned.

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Ukraine's first lady Olena Zelenska stands to applaud among other delegations at the UN following her husband's speech
Ukrainian first girl, Olena Zelenska, watched the speech with the delegations on the UN headquarters [Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images via AFP]
Delegates at the UN standing to give Zelenskyy a standing ovation
A number of delegations gave Zelenskyy a standing ovation. The Russians remained seated however didn’t stroll out [Jason DeCrow/AP Photo]

On Wednesday, Russian-backed separatists in 4 occupied areas of Ukraine introduced they might maintain referendums on whether or not to develop into a part of Russia over 4 days ranging from September 23.

Russia doesn’t absolutely management any of the 4 areas the place it plans to carry what Ukraine and its allies have condemned as “sham” votes.

Russian forces have been accused of warfare crimes in elements of the nation that they’ve occupied. Russia denies the allegations and says it doesn’t goal civilians.

Russia has not but had its flip to talk on the UNGA, and Putin isn’t in New York for the occasion.

UN undermined

Zelenskyy’s speech was one of the vital keenly anticipated on the annual gathering, which has been dominated by the warfare in his nation. Officers from many nations have spoken of their concern on the state of affairs and argued that Russia’s invasion undermines the rules underpinning the UN, together with peace, dialogue and respect for sovereignty.

“It’s an assault on this very establishment the place we discover ourselves in the present day,” mentioned Moldovan President Maia Sandu, whose nation borders Ukraine.

United States President Joe Biden additionally targeted closely on the warfare in Ukraine as he addressed the meeting.

“This warfare is about extinguishing Ukraine’s proper to exist as a state, plain and easy, and Ukraine’s proper to exist as a folks. Whoever you’re, wherever you reside, no matter you imagine, that ought to make your blood run chilly,” he mentioned. “If nations can pursue their imperial ambitions with out penalties, then we put in danger all the pieces this very establishment stands for. All the things.”

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The combating has already prompted strikes in opposition to Russia in some UN our bodies, significantly after Moscow vetoed a UN Safety Council decision put ahead days after the invasion that demanded Russia finish its assault on Ukraine.

Delegates watch a pre-recorded speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on two large screens on each side of the auditorium during the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticised the seven nations that voted in opposition to permitting him to make a video handle to the meeting. Within the vote final week, 19 nations additionally abstained [Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images via AFP]

The veto led to motion within the broader Common Meeting, which voted overwhelmingly in March to deplore Russia’s aggression in opposition to Ukraine, name for a direct ceasefire and withdrawal of all Russian forces, and urge safety for tens of millions of civilians. Resolutions on the meeting should not binding, however there are not any vetoes.

The next month, a smaller however nonetheless commanding variety of member states voted to droop Russia from the UN Human Rights Council.

Final week, the UNGA voted overwhelmingly to permit Zelenskyy to make the video handle even because the summit returned absolutely in-person to UN headquarters in New York following the disruption attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However there have been just a few holdouts and Zelenskyy didn’t allow them to off the hook.

“I need to thank the 101 nations that voted for my video handle to happen. It was a vote not solely concerning the format. It was the vote about rules. Solely seven nations voted in opposition to: Belarus, Cuba, North Korea, Eritrea, Nicaragua, Russia and Syria,” Zelenskyy mentioned. “Seven. Seven who’re afraid of the video handle. Seven who reply to rules with a purple button. Solely seven. 100 and one — and 7.”

There have been additionally 19 abstentions.



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