UN passes resolution condemning Russian invasion of Ukraine

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The United Nations on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in an extraordinary effort to unite member countries against Russia, which holds a permanent seat on the Security Council.

Of the 193-member body, 141 nations voted in favor of the resolution, with 35 abstentions and five voting against, including Russia, Belarus, Syria, Eritrea and North Korea.  

The text of the resolution included “demands that the Russian Federation immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.”

The measure holds no concrete authority to compel Russia to withdraw from Ukraine but instead puts forth a statement for the record.

The resolution largely mirrored text that failed to pass in the 15-member U.N. Security Council on Friday after it was vetoed by Russia, which is one of five of the permanent members of the body.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield urged passage of the resolution in a speech where she compared Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine last week with Nazi-Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939, which set off World War II.

“A few of the eldest Ukrainians and Russians might recall a moment like this, a moment when one aggressive European nation invaded another without provocation, to claim the territory of its neighbor,” Thomas-Greenfield said. 

“A moment when a European dictator declared he would return his empire to its former glory, an invasion that caused a war so horrific that it spurred this organization into existence.”

Thomas-Greenfield, who pushed countries to back the resolution, said the vote Wednesday represented a challenge for the global body’s legitimacy.

“If the United Nations has any purpose, it is to prevent war. It is to condemn war, to stop war. That is our job here today. It is the job you were sent here to do. Not just by your capitals, but by all of humanity.”

The U.S. and various allies and partners in Europe and around the world have condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch an invasion of Ukraine last week, calling it unprovoked and premeditated.

The Ukrainian army has pushed back against the Russian offensive for nearly a week. But U.S. and other countries are warning that Putin is likely to increase the violence against the Ukrainian government, army and civilians.

The U.S., joined by a coalition of countries that include Canada, the U.K., the European Union and countries in Asia, have moved to impose wide-ranging and comprehensive sanctions on Russia and to hold Putin to account. 

Tags Linda Thomas-Greenfield Russian invasion of Ukraine UN Security Council Vladimir Putin
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