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U.N. General Assembly Votes 141-7 To Demand Russia Withdraw From Ukraine

The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to demand that Russian forces leave Ukraine, one year after Russia launched its expanded invasion.

Aside from the Russian Federation, only six countries voted against the resolution. Those countries include Belarus and Syria, two of Russia’s closest allies. The other four countries were Mali, North Korea, Eritrea and Nicaragua.

Thirty-two countries, either for ideological or business reasons, voted to abstain. With the notable exception of Brazil, this included Russia’s BRICS allies—India, China and South Africa. Other notable countries that abstained were Iran, Cuba, Ethiopia and Pakistan.

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The vote was entirely symbolic, as the United Nations has no peacekeeping power without the approval of all five permanent members of the Security Council—the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.

Despite overwhelming international condemnation of Russia’s war, with 141 of the 180 U.N.’s participating members voting for a withdrawal (about 78 percent), Russia has shown no signs of backing down.

Russia instead, according to most military analysts, is planning a renewed “spring offensive.” The offensive could be bolstered by hundreds of thousands of Russians who were drafted last fall and have been undergoing training ever since.

The vote comes just days after President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Monday to promise continued American support for Ukraine.

On Thursday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced an additional $10 billion aid package to the country was being prepared.

Both Russia and Ukraine are in heavily fortified positions, and wins for either side are predicted to be small and costly.

China announced a potential peace plan on Friday, aiming to bring an end to the war. While Both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have expressed optimism over the proposed document, the issue of territory was not specifically addressed. The document mentions that “territorial integrity” for all parties should be respected, but both countries claim ownership of Eastern Ukraine.

China’s document also mentions that the “cold war mentality” should be abandoned, appearing to subtly put some of the blame for the war on the West and its expansion of NATO towards the Russian border since the fall of the Soviet Union.

This comes just days after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggested that China may be planning to provide Russia with lethal weapons for its “spring offensive,” a charge that China has since denied.

Jakob Mieszkowski-Lapping

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