One day after Zelenskyy speech, US, Russia square off at UN

Sep 22, 2022, 10:16 AM | Updated: 5:47 pm
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy from video addresses the 77th session of the United Nations...

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy from video addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

(AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — One day after Ukraine’s president laid out a forceful case against Russia’s invasion at the United Nations, the United States made its own assertions in front of the U.N. Security Council on Thursday about why Russia should face further censure and isolation. Minutes later, Russia came right back, calling the claims unfair and saying Ukraine is to blame.

Antony Blinken, the United States’ top diplomat, spoke to Security Council members on Thursday, detailing allegations of what he called war crimes and other atrocities committed by Russia and urging them to “send a clear message” to the country to stop its nuclear threats.

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, addressed the Security Council shortly afterward, repeating his country’s frequent claims that Kyiv has long oppressed Russian speakers in Ukraine’s east — one of the explanations Moscow has offered for the invasion.

Ukraine’s Western allies “have been covering up the crimes of the Kyiv regime,” said Lavrov, who was not in the room when Blinken and some other U.S. allies spoke. He appeared just before his own speech and departed immediately afterward.

The almost-exchange between the two top diplomats came on the heels of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s demands for world leaders to punish Russia in a video speech delivered Wednesday, just hours after Moscow made an extraordinary announcement that it would mobilize some reservists for the war effort.

Buoyed by a counteroffensive that has retaken swaths of territory that the Russians seized, Zelenskyy vowed that his forces would not stop until they had reclaimed all of Ukraine.

“We can return the Ukrainian flag to our entire territory. We can do it with the force of arms,” the president said in a speech delivered in English. “But we need time.”

Video speeches by Zelenskyy in an olive green T-shirt have become almost commonplace. But this speech was one of the most keenly anticipated at the U.N. General Assembly, where the war has dominated over conflicts in other regions.

On Thursday, Israel’s prime minister, Yair Lapid, delivered a speech focused on the Palestinians and included a call for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

“An agreement with the Palestinians, based on two states for two peoples, is the right thing for Israel’s security, for Israel’s economy and for the future of our children,” Lapid said.

The speech, coming ahead of Nov. 1 elections, appeared to be part of an effort by Lapid to portray himself — both to voters and global leaders — as a statesman and moderate alternative to his main rival, hardline former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But it was short on details, and there is virtually no chance Lapid, who has long supported a two-state solution, will get to push forward with his vision. Israel’s parliament is dominated by parties that oppose Palestinian independence, and opinion polls forecast a similar result after the upcoming elections.

The Palestinians seek the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip — territories captured by Israel in 1967 — for an independent state, a position that enjoys wide international support.

While Lapid and dozens of other world leaders sought airtime for issues plaguing their own nations — including climate change, rising food costs, human rights and vaccine inequity — Ukraine remained at the center of the U.N. General Assembly, popping up in speeches by leaders from all over the world decrying Russia’s invasion of a sovereign country.

“It’s an attack on this very institution where we find ourselves today,” said Moldovan President President Maia Sandu, whose country borders Ukraine.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s address, too, focused heavily on the war in Ukraine.

“This war is about extinguishing Ukraine’s right to exist as a state, plain and simple, and Ukraine’s right to exist as a people. Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever you believe, that should make your blood run cold,” he said. “If nations can pursue their imperial ambitions without consequences, then we put at risk everything this very institution stands for. Everything.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is not attending the General Assembly, has said he sent his armed forces into Ukraine because of risks to his country’s security from what he considers a hostile government in Kyiv; to liberate Russians living in Ukraine — especially its eastern region of the Donbas — from what he views as the Ukrainian government’s oppression; and to restore what he considers to be Russia’s historical territorial claims on the country.

Earlier this week, he warned that his nuclear-armed country will “certainly use all means available to us” if its territory is threatened and to defend the country and its people.

Putin’s decree Wednesday about the mobilization was sparse on details but officials said as many as 300,000 reservists could be tapped. It was apparently an effort to seize momentum after the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

But the first such call-up in Russia since World War II also brought the fighting home in a new way for Russians and risked fanning domestic anxiety and antipathy toward the war. Shortly after Putin’s announcement, flights out of the country rapidly filled up, and more than 1,000 people were arrested at rare antiwar demonstrations across the country.

Zelenskky asserted that Moscow wants to spend the winter preparing its forces in Ukraine for a new offensive, or at least preparing fortifications while mobilizing more troops in the largest military conflict in Europe since World War II

“Russia wants war. It’s true. But Russia will not be able to stop the course of history,” he said, declaring that “mankind and the international law are stronger” than what he called a “terrorist state.”

___

Associated Press journalists Andrew Katell in New York and Josef Federman in Jerusalem contributed to this report. For more AP coverage of the U.N. General Assembly, visit https://apnews.com/hub/united-nations-general-assembly

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

This combination of photos provided by the Chesapeake, Va., Police Department shows top row from le...
Associated Press

Walmart shooting claims teen, young woman, father, mother

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — A 16-year-old helping his family. A custodian and father of two. A mother with wedding plans. A happy-go-lucky guy. A longtime employee. That’s how friends and family described some of the six people killed at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, when a manager opened fire with a handgun before an employee […]
12 hours ago
Associated Press

Officers: Wellness check leads to fatal shooting in Florida

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A police officer fatally shot a man early Sunday while conducting a wellness check at a home in St. Petersburg, officials said. Just before 4 a.m. Sunday, St. Petersburg police officers responded to a report of a hit and run. Officers found the bumper of the suspect’s car at the […]
12 hours ago
FILE - Jon Batiste attends the TIME100 Gala celebrating the 100 most influential people in the worl...
Associated Press

Jon Batiste to sing for Macron at Biden’s 1st state dinner

NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) — Musician Jon Batiste is on tap to perform at President Joe Biden’s first White House state dinner on Thursday, highlighting long-standing ties between the United States and France and honoring President Emmanuel Macron. “An artist who transcends generations, Jon Batiste’s music inspires and brings people together,” said Vanessa Valdivia, a spokesperson […]
12 hours ago
Fans from the United States cheer for their team during the World Cup group B soccer match between ...
Associated Press

US-England World Cup game seen by 19.98M on US television

NEW YORK (AP) — The United States’ 0-0 draw against England in the World Cup drew 19.98 million viewers for English- and Spanish-language broadcasts, the third-most watched men’s soccer game on U.S. television. The match, which kicked off at 2 p.m. EST on Friday, was seen by 15,377,000 viewers on Fox, the most for a […]
12 hours ago
FILE - Chickens walk in a fenced pasture at an organic farm in Iowa on Oct. 21, 2015. Nebraska agri...
Associated Press

Bird flu prompts slaughter of 1.8M chickens in Nebraska

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska agriculture officials say another 1.8 million chickens must be killed after bird flu was found on a farm in the latest sign that the outbreak that has already prompted the slaughter of more than 50 million birds nationwide continues to spread. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture said Saturday that the […]
12 hours ago
This image released by Disney shows a scene from the animated film "Strange World." (Disney via AP)...
Associated Press

Feast and famine for Disney at Thanksgiving box office

Thanksgiving often serves up a feast of new family movies at the box office, but the Walt Disney Co.’s animated offering ” Strange World ” fizzled with audiences out of the gates. The production, which carried a reported $180 million budget, grossed just $18.6 million in ticket sales in its first five days and $11.9 […]
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
One day after Zelenskyy speech, US, Russia square off at UN