At First Emergency UN Session in Decades, a Vote

141 of 193 member states voted for resolution condemning invasion, calling for withdrawal
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 2, 2022 11:58 AM CST
Just 5 Countries Vote Against UN Resolution on Ukraine
Firefighters extinguish a building of Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) after a rocket attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2022.   (AP Photo/Andrew Marienko)

Most of the world lined up against Moscow in the United Nations on Wednesday: The UN General Assembly voted to demand that Russia stop its offensive and immediately withdraw all troops from Ukraine, with world powers and tiny island states alike condemning Moscow. The vote was 141 to 5, with 35 abstentions. It came after the 193-member assembly convened its first emergency session since 1997 and just its 11th such session since 1950, reports the Guardian. The only countries to vote against the resolution were Russia, Belarus, Eritrea, North Korea, and Syria. The abstentions included China, Cuba, India, and Iran.

Assembly resolutions aren’t legally binding, but they do have clout in reflecting international opinion, reports the AP. The Guardian shares the language: With the General Assembly affirming it "deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine" and "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 vote came as Russia reported its military casualties for the first time since the invasion began last week, saying nearly 500 of its troops had been killed and almost 1,600 wounded. Ukraine insisted Russia's losses were far higher but did not immediately disclose its own casualties. The United Nations says that more than 870,000 people have fled Ukraine and that the number could soon hit 1 million. Ukraine’s State Emergency Service reported that more than 2,000 civilians have been killed, but that could not immediately be independently verified. (More United Nations stories.)

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