United Nations denounces Russian annexation of Ukrainian territories

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Sunday, October 16, 2022

Putin addresses the General Assembly on September 28, 2015.
Image: Kremlin.ru.

The United Nations General Assembly voted 143-5 Wednesday to reprimand Russia for its October 5 annexation of four regions of what is internationally recognized as Ukraine.

During Russia's ongoing invasion, forces held four referenda on the prospect of joining Russia in four Ukrainian oblasts (provinces) that were widely condemned as illegal. On October 5, President Vladimir Putin passed legislation incorporating the territories.

Text from the resolution, first presented before the Security Council September 30, declares the referenda and annexations "illegal" and urges Russia to "immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces." Mediation through "political dialogue, negotiation, mediation and other peaceful means" were encouraged, but nations were pressed to "refrain from any action that might be interpreted as recognizing" changes to Ukraine's territorial extent.

The original text was authored by Albania and the United States, and failed due to Russia's veto power in the Security Council. Moscow had attempted to make the General Assembly vote through secret ballot to grant non-aligned nations "flexibility and breathing space" in choosing sides, but the General Assembly rejected the motion.

143 nations voted for the resolution, while 35 abstained, 11 did not vote, and four, with Russia (Belarus, Nicaragua, North Korea and Syria), voted against.