The UN General Assembly condemns the Russian annexations, the West sends modern air defenses. France continues to rely on diplomacy. It happened at night.
Ukraine has garnered support for its defense against the Russian invasion in two international stages. The UN General Assembly condemned by a large majority the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories by Moscow and declared it null and void. 143 of the 193 member states voted in New York on Wednesday for a corresponding resolution: 5 countries voted against, 35 abstained. Thursday marks the 232nd day of the war in Ukraine.
At a meeting of the Ukrainian contact group in Brussels, several states promised new anti-aircraft and missile defense weapons, according to Kiev. The group of about 50 states coordinates military aid. “This is historic because the decision was made to close the skies of Ukraine,” Ukrainian Presidential Office head Andrei Yermak wrote on Twitter. Russia has launched massive rockets at major Ukrainian cities since Monday.
Thanks to the Russian missile terror, the world understands that protecting the skies of Ukraine “is one of Europe’s most important humanitarian tasks in our time,” Zelensky said. He thanked all the partners who are stepping up their efforts for an effective Ukrainian air defense. He didn’t give any details; and not all pledges of defense ministers in the so-called Ramstein format in Brussels were made public on Wednesday.
Britain wants to supply Ukraine with anti-aircraft missiles to defend it from Russia. “The AMRAAM missiles (…) will be made available in the coming weeks for use with the NASAMS air defense systems promised by the United States,” the UK Defense Ministry said Thursday night. The missiles would help protect critical infrastructure in Ukraine, he said.
The country also announced that it will deliver drones to support Ukrainian intelligence services and 18 howitzers, in addition to the 64 guns already delivered.
In its resolution, the UN General Assembly called on Russia to cancel the annexation of the partially occupied regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Cherson. At the end of September, the head of the Kremlin Vladimir Putin announced the annexation after false referendums. The UN resolution is not binding under international law. However, it is considered a strong political sign and reveals Moscow’s international isolation. Only Belarus, North Korea, Nicaragua and Syria voted with Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hailed the decision as historic: “The world has spoken – the attempted annexation of Russia is futile and will never be recognized by free nations,” he tweeted. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken saw the majority as a strong sign of international unity. The condemnation was even clearer than a United Nations vote in March against the Russian invasion: 141 countries opposed Moscow at the time.
Brazil, Turkey and Saudi Arabia also voted in favor of the resolution on Wednesday. With China and India, on the other hand, two powerful states with a population of about 2.8 billion abstained. More than a dozen African countries also abstained.
The fighting in Ukraine continued unabated. Seven people were killed by Russian bombing of the city of Avdiivka in Donbass, Zelenskii reported in his evening video speech. Since 2014 Avdiivka has been the Ukrainian-controlled frontline city opposite the breakaway capital Donetsk.
The Ukrainian general staff recorded further Russian missile and aircraft attacks on residential buildings and objects of civilian infrastructure. Wednesday’s report on the situation from Kiev spoke of three missile attacks and four cases of bombing by airplanes. Multiple rocket launchers have been used ten times. Of the ten targets hit, most were in the frontline areas of Zaporizhia and Mykolaiv to the south.
In addition, the Russian military continues to use Iranian-made combat drones, ten of which have been shot down. Ukrainian military data was not independently verifiable.
French President Macron said he was ready to speak with Kremlin head Putin at any time. A diplomatic solution is needed in the war in Ukraine. “Vladimir Putin must end this war, respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine and return to the negotiating table,” Macron told France 2. The question arises whether war objectives such as Ukraine’s territorial integrity can be reached only militarily.
The new Ukrainian ambassador Oleksiy Makejev is expected in Berlin early next week. As the German news agency learned from Ukrainian government circles, the previous special representative for sanctions against Russia is expected to arrive at his new job from Kiev on Monday. Two days earlier, on Saturday, the current ambassador Andriy Melnyk will leave Germany. He is to take up a post at the Foreign Ministry in Kiev. Born in 1975, Makejev, who, like Melnyk, speaks German well, worked at the embassy in Berlin.
After the talks in Russia, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, is expected in Kiev. He wants to talk about the dangerous situation at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, occupied by the Russian army.
Under the impression of the Russian war against Ukraine, NATO defense ministers want to discuss the expansion of air defense in Europe in Brussels.