UN Assembly debates the situation in Ukraine

UNITED NATIONS (HPD) — The United Nations General Assembly is set to begin a debate Monday on whether to require Russia to reverse its annexation of four regions of Ukraine, but the discussions come as the most extensive attacks with Russian missiles in several months generated new alarm among much of the international community.

The assembly meeting, planned ahead of Monday’s offensive, was aimed at responding to Russia’s alleged annexation of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions last month. The move followed Kremlin-orchestrated “referendums” that the Ukrainian government and the West consider illegitimate.

But the countries could use the occasion to discuss Monday’s Russian attacks on at least 14 regions of Ukraine, including the capital kyiv, which left 11 people dead. Russia noted that the attacks were directed at military and energy facilities. But some of the missiles hit civilian areas.

Moscow said the offensive was in response to what it called a Ukrainian “terrorist” attack on a major bridge on Saturday. Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhail Podolyak said the accusation over the bridge was “too brazen, even for Russia.”

The UN Assembly was scheduled to meet in the afternoon to consider a proposed resolution that would condemn “referendums” and annexations as illegal.

The European Union-led move would also demand that Moscow “immediately and unconditionally” scrap its alleged annexations, call on all countries not to recognize them, and insist on the immediate, absolute and unconditional withdrawal of Russian forces from around the world. Ukrainian territory with international recognition.

The vote is scheduled for later this week. Russia wants a secret ballot, an unusual move that would itself require a vote.

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