UN General Assembly demands Russia end Ukraine war

Almost three-quarters of the United Nations General Assembly has voted to demand aid access and civilian protection in Ukraine, and criticised Russia for creating a “dire” humanitarian situation after Moscow invaded its neighbour one month ago.

It is the second time the 193-member General Assembly has overwhelmingly isolated Russia over what Moscow calls a “special military operation” that it says aims to destroy Ukraine’s military infrastructure. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has blasted Russia’s “absurd war”.

The resolution adopted on Thursday, which was drafted by Ukraine and allies, received 140 votes in favour and five votes against – Russia, Syria, North Korean, Eritrea and Belarus – while 38 countries, including China, abstained.

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US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield described the vote on Thursday as an “astounding success”, telling reporters: “There’s really no difference between 141 and 140.”

South Africa proposed a rival draft resolution that focused on the humanitarian situation and did not mention Russia. Russia appealed for countries to support that text, arguing that the resolution drafted by Ukraine and allies had been “politicised”.

The General Assembly decided not to act on the South African draft after Ukraine called a vote under a rule relating to draft resolutions before the body on the same issue.