Big UN Majority Tells Russia to Drop Land Grab

Support for Ukraine exceeds Western nations' hopes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 12, 2022 6:45 PM CDT
Big UN Majority Tells Russia to Drop Land Grab
Live video monitors show Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya speak Wednesday at the UN.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

The UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to condemn Russia's "attempted illegal annexation" of four Ukrainian regions and demand its immediate reversal, a sign of strong global opposition to the seven-month war and Moscow's attempt to grab its neighbor's territory. The vote in the 193-member world body was 143-5 with 35 abstentions, the AP reports. It was the strongest support from the General Assembly for Ukraine and against Russia of the four resolutions it has approved since Russian troops invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. The more powerful Security Council, whose resolutions are legally binding, has been stymied on taking action on Ukraine because of Russia's veto power.

The Western-sponsored resolution was a response to Russia's announced annexation last month of Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions. Moscow acted after Kremlin-orchestrated so-called referendums that the Ukrainian government and the West have dismissed as sham votes conducted on occupied land against a backdrop of warfare and displacement. During two days of speeches at the assembly's resumed emergency special session on Ukraine, speaker after speaker accused Russia of violating key principles of the United Nations Charter—respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all UN member nations. Before the vote, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that when the United Nations was established on the ashes of World War II, it was built on an idea—"that never again would one country be allowed to take another’s territory by force."

A key issue for the resolution's Western backers was how many countries would support it, and the result went beyond their most optimistic expectations. Among the surprises were the "yes" votes from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council as well as Brazil. Russia's UN ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, had appealed to countries to vote against the resolution, calling it "a politicized and openly provocative document" and denouncing its sponsors as "unscrupulous Western blackmailers." He expressed regret the vote was not by secret ballot, as Russia sought. The four countries that joined Russia in voting against the resolution were North Korea, Belarus, Syria, and Nicaragua. China, India, Pakistan, South Africa, and Cuba were among the 35 countries that abstained.

(Read more Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.