Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the U.N. General Assembly, warning world leaders that Russia is “weaponizing” various aspects of its conflict with Ukraine, including food, energy, and abducted children. He cautioned that if one nation is targeted, it sets a dangerous precedent that may affect others.
The ongoing war in Ukraine has exacerbated global supply disruptions caused by the pandemic, leading to a significant increase in food and energy prices. The conflict has also had a detrimental impact on many developing countries, resulting in economic hardships.
Due to sanctions, trade disputes, pipeline shutdowns, and efforts by Western countries to find alternative energy sources, traditional energy supply channels from Russia to Europe have been halted or severely disrupted. As both Russia and Ukraine are major grain exporters, Russia’s withdrawal from a deal allowing shipments of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea has further exacerbated the food crisis.
Zelenskyy highlighted the kidnappings of tens of thousands of children from Ukraine after Russia’s invasion, emphasizing that these children are being raised to hate Ukraine, and their ties to their families have been severed. The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and another official for their alleged involvement in the abduction of these children.
Zelenskyy’s speech aimed to galvanize international support for Ukraine’s fight for the rule of international law, the sovereignty of nations, and the stability of global food and energy supplies. U.S. President Joe Biden pledged support and emphasized the need to stand up against aggression.
While Russia insists its war is justified in protecting Russian speakers and interests, it faces widespread international condemnation. However, it also enjoys support from influential countries such as China and India, which remain neutral. Many Latin American, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and African nations prioritize other global issues and do not join the chorus of censure against Russia.
Zelenskyy’s concerns about diminishing support from allies were addressed at a meeting with defense leaders, where nations pledged further military and financial assistance. However, the provision of longer-range missiles remains a sticking point. The U.S. Congress is considering Biden’s request for $24 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine.
Zelenskyy also questioned the United Nations’ decision to include Russia, its invader, as a permanent, veto-wielding member of the Security Council. He criticized the U.N. in the past for not living up to its former glory and urged the organization to address the issue of allowing Russia a seat at the tables of power.
As the conflict in Ukraine continues, Zelenskyy’s address at the U.N. sought to garner international attention and support for his country’s fight against Russian aggression. The Ukrainian president’s efforts to bring awareness to the weaponization of various aspects of the conflict serve as a reminder of the broader implications for global stability and the rule-based international order.
– Associated Press: [Ukrainian President Zelenskyy warns of Russian weaponization](source)