UN chief condemns Ukraine war ahead of anniversary

 UN head António Guterres has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as an “affront” to the world’s collective conscience at a meeting of the General Assembly nearly one year on.

The meeting was debating a motion backed by Ukraine and its allies demanding Russia pull out immediately and uncondi­tionally.

Ukraine hopes that by sup­porting the motion countries will show solidarity.

The Kremlin has accused the West of wanting to defeat Russia at any cost.

Vasily Nebenzya, the Kremlin’s ambassador to the UN, said the US and its allies were prepared to plunge the entire world into war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent up to 200,000 soldiers into Ukraine on 24 February 2022 in the biggest European invasion since the end of World War Two.

The devastating war that ensued has left at least 7,199 civilians dead and thousands of others injured, according to a UN estimate, but that number is likely to be much higher.

The mayor of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, where mass executions are alleged to have taken place, estimated in April that 21,000 people had died there alone.

Russia and Ukraine have each seen at least 100,000 of their sol­diers killed or injured, according to the US military.

More than 13 million people were made refugees abroad or displaced inside Ukraine. —BBC

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