Zelenskiy addresses UN security council; Poland will no longer arm Ukraine, says prime minister

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, addressed the UN security council on Wednesday, saying there had been 574 days of “pain, losses and struggle” since Russia’s invasion of his country. He said peoples and governments had lost confidence in the UN’s ability and willingness to defend sovereign borders and that the UN had been “ineffective” but that it was “capable of more”.

Zelenskiy called for the UN general assembly to be given power to overcome the veto power held by Russia, calling it a “necessary step”. He said: “It is impossible to stop the war because all efforts are vetoed by the aggressor, or those who condone the aggressor.”

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, accused the west of “selectively” turning to UN norms and principles on a case-by-case basis “based on their parochial geopolitical needs”. Speaking at the UN’s security council, he said this had resulted in the “shaking of global stability” and the “exacerbation of new hotbeds of tensions” that risked global conflict.

More than a dozen European countries, as well as Australia and Canada, asked the world court on Wednesday to decide whether it has jurisdiction in a case brought by Kyiv alleging that Russia abused the genocide convention to provide a pretext for the invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine brought the case to the international court of justice (ICJ), the highest UN court for disputes between states, days after Russia launched a full-scale war on its smaller neighbour on 24 February last year.

Poland said Wednesday it will no longer arm Ukraine and instead focus on its own defence, as the two allies clashed at a key moment in Kyiv’s fightback against the invasion by Russia. In a mounting row over grain exports from Ukraine, Poland summoned the Ukrainian ambassador to protest remarks at the UN by Zelenskiy.

Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, in a lengthy set-piece speech to the UN general assembly, accused the US of fanning the flames of violence in Ukraine, prompting protests from Israel’s representative to the UN.

Russia has “deliberately and repeatedly” targeted medical facilities in the Ukrainian city of Kherson, causing damage to children’s hospitals, maternity wards and a regional clinic, according to a new study.

The Swedish investigation into the Nord Stream sabotage last year is at a sensitive stage and the investigator, Mats Ljungqvist, hopes to conclude it before the end of the year, he told Reuters on Wednesday.

Ukraine’s first lady urged world leaders on Tuesday to help return Ukrainian children forcibly taken to Russia, where she said they were being indoctrinated and deprived of their national identity. Speaking on the sidelines of the UN general assembly, Olena Zelenska said more than 19,000 Ukrainian children had been transferred by force or deported to Russia or occupied territories.

Ukraine claimed to have shot down 17 drones overnight on Tuesday. The air force reported that Russian troops had launched a total of 24 unmanned aerial vehicles at Ukraine. Ukraine reported that Russia hit an oil refinery in Kremenchuk, causing a fire and halting operations.

Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor of the Belgorod region in Russia, reported on Wednesday that three settlements in the region had lost power as a result of cross-border shelling by Ukrainian armed forces, and that one woman had been wounded. He later reported that a man had been killed and another wounded by shelling near the village of Maksimovka.

Brazil’s president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met on Wednesday for more than an hour with Zelenskiy and discussed ways to achieve a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine. “We had a good conversation about the importance of paths to building,” Lula posted on messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter, after their meeting in New York on the sidelines of the UN general assembly.

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