'A brutal, needless war ... chosen by one man': Biden, at United Nations, slams Putin's invasion of Ukraine

Eli Stokols, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Political News

UNITED NATIONS — Russian President Vladimir Putin “shamelessly violated” the United Nations charter by invading Ukraine, President Joe Biden said during his annual address to the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday.

“Let us speak plainly: A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council invaded, attempted to erase the sovereign state from the map,” Biden said, calling Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “a brutal, needless war” that was “chosen by one man.”

The West will not shrink from its commitment to support Ukraine, Biden vowed.

Russia’s and China’s standing as two of the five Security Council members is undermining the U.N.'s ability to fulfill its mission, Biden went on to argue. Intent on signaling to allies and adversaries alike that the United States will not waver in its defense of Ukraine and support for other sovereign nations, the president urged the United Nations to add additional members to the Security Council to weaken Russia and China’s influence. But he did not go as far as to call for revoking their Security Council membership and, with it, their veto power.

“The time has come for this institution to become more inclusive,” Biden said.

The annual week of meetings at U.N. headquarters, the first full in-person gathering in three years, comes as Putin, his military having suffered major setbacks in recent weeks, has indicated he now plans to annex occupied regions of Ukraine. Moscow-aligned puppet governments there are preparing to hold sham referendums on joining Russia.


“The world should see these outrageous acts for what they are,” Biden said of the planned votes. “Ukraine has the same rights that belong to every sovereign nation. We will stand in solidarity with Ukraine. We will stand in solidarity against Russia’s aggression. Period.”

Just hours before Biden’s speech, Putin announced an immediate partial mobilization of 300,000 reservists in a prerecorded address airing on Russian state television. Characterizing the conflict as a war with the West, he went as far as to threaten to deploy nuclear weapons.

“To defend Russia and our people, we doubtlessly will use all weapons resources at our disposal,” Putin said. “This is not a bluff.”

Putin’s remarks won’t come as a surprise to the White House, where national security officials continue to believe the war is nowhere near a resolution despite Ukraine’s success in pushing back Russian forces from formerly occupied territories in the country’s east.


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