Biden calls on world leaders against Russian attempts to annex Ukrainian regions | Ukraine

Joe Biden will use his speech at the United Nations on Wednesday to unite the world to stand firm in the face of Russia’s plans to hold referendums in occupied parts of Ukraine and possibly introduce widespread conscription, which the US described as signs of despair that are unlikely to stop Ukrainian military gains.

Biden will seek the broadest possible support for Ukrainian resistance from the UN General Assembly (UNGA) by portraying it as a direct violation of the UN’s founding charter, and will make new announcements about US funding of measures to address global food insecurity, caused in part by the Russian invasion, which has threatened developing countries with famine.

Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said: [Biden] will underline the importance of strengthening the United Nations and reaffirming the core principles of its charter at a time when a permanent member of the Security Council has touched the core of the charter by challenging the principle of territorial integrity and sovereignty.”

In New York, on the sidelines of the UNGA summit, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “None of this – the mock referendums, the possible mobilization of additional troops – is a sign of strength. On the contrary, it is a sign of weakness. It is the sign of Russian failure.”

Biden’s speech on Wednesday morning will be followed a few hours later by a video address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a speech that Russia tried to stop but was overwhelmingly supported by its membership in the general assembly.

Biden and Zelenskiy will try to present the Russian invasion as a direct affront to everything the UN stands for. They will deliver their speeches as reports of mass graves pour in from the formerly Russian-occupied city of Izium, and after the Russian state duma passes new amendments to the code that refer directly to “mobilization” and “martial law”, and criminal liability for desertion or willful acts. tradition during that period.

Four Russian-occupied regions in Ukraine have said they plan to hold “referenda” on joining the Russian Federation in a series of coordinated announcements that may indicate the Kremlin’s decision to formally annex the territories.

Sullivan said the US would never accept the purported results of such “mock referendums”. Speaking of possible conscription plans, he said Vladimir Putin “might resort to partial mobilization, forcing even more Russians to embark on his brutal war in Ukraine”. However, he did not think the military tide would turn, which has shifted in Kiev’s favor in recent days.

“In terms of Russia being able to put more troops on the battlefield, that will of course have an impact on the battlefield comparison, but we don’t believe at this point that it will undermine Ukraine’s ability to effectively fend off Russian aggression and continue to make a profit,” said Sullivan.

In his address to the general assembly, French President Emmanuel Macron described the Russian attempt to occupy Ukraine as “a return to the era of imperialism”. Macron denounced member states that presented themselves as neutral in the conflict, saying they were making “a historic mistake”.

“Those who are silent today are in a sense complicit in the cause of a new imperialism,” the French president said.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in his maiden address to the general assembly on Tuesday that Putin will only give up his “imperial ambitions” that risk destroying Ukraine and Russia if he recognizes he cannot win the war. “This is why we will not accept peace dictated by Russia and therefore Ukraine must be able to repel Russia’s attack,” Scholz said.

Finland’s president, Sauli Niinistö, portrayed the news from Moscow as Putin raising the stakes in an increasingly desperate gamble.

“Now we are in a situation where Putin, to use the term poker, has gone all in and it is extremely risky to play this way. For example, by all-in I mean Russia’s political and economic future,” Niinistö said in his address to the meeting.

The Kremlin has so far resisted a full mobilization, probably out of fear of political resistance. Experts have also questioned whether a Russian mobilization would have any immediate effect on halting a Ukrainian advance that has reclaimed more than 3,000 square miles in the past month.

“There is one problem,” wrote Ekaterina Schulmann, a political analyst. “The administrative side of adding new territory takes time, mobilizing and integrating mobilized troops takes time, and they assume the other side will stop and wait — apparently out of respect for the Russian legislative process.”

The occupied regions of Donetsk and Luhansk have said they are ready to conduct polls, which will be universally considered manipulated, as soon as this week, with announcements also being made in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. Some Russian media have reported that Putin could deliver a speech about a possible annexation soon.

With Ukrainian forces advancing in the Luhansk region, Russia may worry that it cannot win on the battlefield and threaten a possible escalation, including a formal declaration of war or even a nuclear attack, by claiming to be defending its own territory.

“Everything that is happening today is an absolutely unequivocal ultimatum to Ukraine and the west,” wrote Tatiana Stanovaya, an expert on Kremlin politics and founder of R.Politik. “Either Ukraine pulls out or there will be nuclear war.”

“To ensure ‘victory’, Putin is ready to immediately hold referendums to obtain the right (in his opinion) to use nuclear weapons to defend Russian territory.”

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