As Western powers intensify their efforts to underscore Russia’s international isolation, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will open debate on Monday on a draft resolution condemning Russia’s attempted illegal annexation of four Ukrainian regions.
The matter was brought before the UNGA, where the 193 UN members have one vote each and no one wields veto power after Russia used its veto in UNSC’s meeting on Sept 30 to block a similar proposal. A vote on the resolution that also demands that Russian troops withdraw from Ukraine immediately is expected no sooner than Wednesday.
According to Olof Skoog, the EU ambassador to the world body who drafted the resolution’s text in cooperation with Ukraine and other countries, if UNGA fails to act it would give recognition to what Moscow has done and would give carte blanche to other countries to do likewise.
He underlined that the UN system and the international community must react through the UNGA to this kind of illegal attempt, stressing that these actions have no validity under international law, and calling on all states not to recognize the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson.
The Russian ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, has condemned Western delegations, accusing them of only pursuing their own geopolitical objectives and underscoring that their actions have nothing to do with the protection of international law and the principles of the UN Charter.
He also denounced the immense pressure that the US and its allies are placing on other member states, demanding that UNGA votes by secret ballot given the circumstances, which is a highly unusual procedure normally reserved for matters like electing the rotating members of the UNSC.
Meanwhile, on Monday, several explosions rocked Kyiv and the cities of Lviv, Ternopil, and Dnipro after Russia accused Ukraine of orchestrating the powerful blast that damaged the key Kerch Bridge linking Russia and Crimean Peninsula.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko informed on his channel on Telegram that several explosions hit in the Shevchenskivskyi district while emergency services Ukrainian public quoted by national broadcaster Suspilne announced there were dead and wounded in Kyiv but gave no further details of casualties.
According to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal, multiple regions of Ukraine came under missile strikes earlier in the day, with at least 11 key infrastructure facilities damaged.
As he prepared to hold a meeting of his Security Council on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of orchestrating the terrorist attack on Kerch Strait Bridge- which is also a vital artery for the port of Sevastopol where the Russian Black Sea fleet is based – while Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev stressed that Moscow should kill the terrorists responsible for the explosions.
Speaking after the wave of missiles struck Ukraine, Putin confirmed that Russian troops have carried out massive strikes with long-range precision weapons and has warned that any further Ukrainian terrorist” assaults on Russian soil will be met with a significant military response.