“Russia desires battle”: Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy requires peace and battle crimes tribunal in speech to United Nations

United Nations — Talking in English to the 193-nation United Nations Basic Meeting, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered a pre-recorded message to a standing ovation, aside from the Russian delegation and a handful of different international locations, within the Corridor stuffed with world leaders and his personal spouse, first woman Olena Zelenska.

Zelenskyy was unable to journey to U.N. Headquarters in New York Metropolis due to the escalation in assaults by Russia. Simply hours earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin introduced a big mobilization of Russian forces for the assaults towards Ukraine, and commenced preparations for a referendum to formalize its occupation of components of Ukraine. The referendum is taken into account a sham by the U.S. and European Union.

Earlier this yr, the U.N. determined {that a} chief should be within the headquarters with a purpose to communicate this yr. However, the Basic Meeting voted 101-7 for an exception for Zelenskyy. The members that voted towards him talking have been Belarus, Cuba, North Korea, Eritrea, Nicaragua, Russia and Syria.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is seen on display as he remotely addresses the 77th session of the United Nations Basic Meeting at U.N. Headquarters in New York Metropolis on Sept. 21, 2022.

ANGELA WEISS/AFP through Getty Pictures

“It was a vote not solely concerning the format. It was the vote about ideas,” Zelenskyy stated in his Wednesday speech. “Seven who’re afraid of the video handle. Seven who reply to ideas with a crimson button. Solely seven. 100 and one – and 7.”

The Ukrainian president went on to element the atrocities dedicated towards the nation’s civilians and requested the U.N. to carry Russia accountable for the alleged crimes. He stated a household — a father, mom, a 6-year-old lady, a 8-year-old lady, and their grandparents — was killed in a Russian airstrike, and he pointed to the recently-discovered mass grave in Izyum.

Zelenskyy stated the U.N. ought to acknowledge Russia as “a state sponsor of terrorism.”

“After the Russian missile terror. After the massacres. After Mariupol,” he stated. “After the burning of Ukrainian prisoners in Olenivka by the Russian navy. After blocking the ports. After the strikes of Russian tanks and missiles on nuclear energy vegetation. And after threats to make use of nuclear weapons, which have turn out to be the rule, not the exception, for Russian propagandists…”

Zelenskyy outlined a plan with 5 “preconditions” for peace with Russia: punishment for aggression; safety of life; restoration of safety and territorial integrity; safety ensures; and dedication to defend oneself. He additionally known as for the U.N. to create a particular tribunal “to punish Russia for the crime of aggression towards our state.”

“This may turn out to be sign to all ‘would-be’ aggressors that they need to worth peace or be delivered to accountability by the world,” he stated.

Citing the U.N. constitution, as President Biden did hours earlier, Zelenskyy requested for extra navy and monetary help.

“We didn’t provoke this battle,” he stated. “We held 88 rounds of talks in varied codecs to forestall this battle, simply from the start of my presidency till February 24 this yr.”

However as a substitute of discovering a manner ahead, Russia, he stated, started a “full-scale” aggression.

“Russia desires battle. It is true. However Russia will be unable to cease the course of historical past. Mankind and the worldwide regulation are stronger than one terrorist state,” he stated. “Russia will probably be compelled to finish this battle. The battle it has began.”

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