President Joe Biden says Russia “shamelessly violated the core tenets” of the United Nations charter as world leaders gathered for a day of the annual United Nations General Assembly.
Biden’s remarks come as Russia pushes ahead with its biggest conscription since World War Two.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to mobilize another massive wave of soldiers at 300,000 strong. It signals a major escalation of Putin’s war, which has already killed thousands, displaced millions, pulverized cities, damaged the global economy, and revived the Cold War confrontation.
The annual UNGA has been dominated by the war in Ukraine, climate change, and nuclear disarmament. Speaking at the assembly, Biden said Russia had launched a “brutal, needless war in Ukraine” and warned it was organizing a “sham referendum” to annex parts of its occupied territories.
“The world should see these outrageous acts for what they are. Putin claims he had to act because Russia was threatened, but no one threatened Russia and no one other than Russia sought conflict,” Biden said.
Ukraine urged the United Nations to create a special tribunal and strip Moscow of its U.N. Security Council veto power. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has demanded “just punishment” for the seven-month-long invasion of his nation.
The Security Council has been unable to take meaningful action on Ukraine because Russia is a permanent veto-wielding member along with the United States, France, Britain, and China.
Western leaders, including Biden, have assailed Putin this week as “reckless” and desperate due to a successful Ukraine counter-offensive in recent days.
In Russia, Putin’s escalation of the war sent flights out of the country skyrocketing. One-way flights out of Russia soared in price and sold out fast after Putin ordered the immediate call-up of 300,000 reservists. The announcement has raised fears that some men of fighting age would not be allowed to leave the country.