Regarding Ukraine, Russia has repeatedly insisted that it has no choice

TANZANIA – Russia backed its war in Ukraine before the world on Saturday, repeating a raft of grievances about its neighbor and the West to tell it the UN General Assembly meeting of world leaders that Moscow had “no choice” but to intervene militarily.

Central to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s speech was the claim that the United States and its allies — not Russia, as the West claims — are aggressively undermining the international system that the UN represents.

“The future of the world is being decided today,” he said, and “the question is whether or not it’s going to be the kind of order with a hegemon at the top.”

His speech was Russia’s chance to respond days of denunciations from the podium at the first annual gathering of presidents, prime ministers, monarchs and government ministers.

the war has largely dominated the discussionwith many countries invading Russia for their February 24 invasion, nuclear threatsallegations of atrocities and war crimes and the rattling of his campaign through mobilize part of its reserves even when the congregation met.

The speech came in the middle Elections in the Russian-occupied parts of eastern and southern Ukraine about joining Russia. Moscow characterizes the referendums as self-determination, but Kyiv and its Western allies view them as Kremlin-orchestrated hypocrisy with a foregone conclusion.

Some observers believe the expected outcome could serve as an excuse for Russian President Vladimir Putin to eventually escalate the war further.

“We can assume that President Putin will describe any Ukrainian effort to liberate this country as an attack on so-called ‘Russian territory,'” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken the UN Security Council warned on Thursday.

Russia has offered a number of explanations for what it calls a “special military operation”. Among them: risks to Russia from what it sees as a hostile government in Kyiv and a NATO alliance that has expanded eastwards over the years; restoring what Russia considers its historic territorial claims to the country; and protecting Russians living in Ukraine — particularly in the eastern Donbass region — from what Moscow sees as the Ukrainian government’s oppression.

“The Western countries’ inability to negotiate and the Kiev regime’s continued war against its own people left us no choice” but to recognize two separatist regions of Ukraine as independent and then send in troops, Lavrov said.

The aim is to “remove the threats to our security that NATO has constantly created in Ukraine,” he said.

While Ukraine recently expelled Russian troops from some areas in the northeast, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy earlier this week warned the congregation that he believes Moscow wants to spend the winter preparing for a new offensive, or at least preparing fortifications while mobilizing more troops.

Separately, he stated that his forces will ultimately drive Russian troops out of all of Ukraine.

“We can do it by force of arms. But we need time,” Zelenskyj said only leader allowed to address the congregation via video this year.

The two countries also faced each other in the Security Council this week, in a rare moment when Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba sat in the same room – although they kept their distance.

The General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor in March deplore Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, call for immediate withdrawal of all Russian Armed Forces and demanding protection for millions of civilians. The next month, members agreed by a smaller margin Suspension of Russia from the UN Human Rights Council.


For more AP reports on the UN General Assembly, see

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Sarah Y. Kim

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