Et was a moving moment in New York: almost all the delegations rose from their seats at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday afternoon and applauded a speaker who had spoken to them from afar. Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine is the dominant issue during the general debate in New York. Solidarity with Kyiv was declared everywhere and Moscow's aggression was condemned. And yet it was Volodymyr Zelenskyywho had to remind people what is at stake now: The President, who was unable to leave his country and had to speak to the international community via video recording, called for more military support.
Ukraine need in the war against Russia more weapons to defend oneself or to be able to continue the current counter-offensive, said Zelenskyj, who, as has been the case since the beginning of the war, wore an olive-green T-shirt. It's about long-range missiles and, above all, weapons for air defense. He didn't name battle tanks. You need grenades, you need intelligence - and additional financial support is also needed. "We can return the Ukrainian flag to our entire territory, we can do it with weapons, but we need time." Zelenskyy made it clear that the delivery of weapons was urgent. Russia wants to use the winter in the occupied territories to prepare the next offensive. He doesn't want to give them that time.
The heads of state and government of the major Western countries ran into each other several times in New York. Joe Biden met Liz Truss, the new British Prime Minister, and French President Emmanuel Macron for talks. With the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, however, there was only a brief encounter on the sidelines. Her speeches to the General Assembly focused on the Ukraine war and the recent escalation in Russia. But even the announcement of referendums in parts of the occupied territories and a partial mobilization by Russian President Vladimir Putin did not result in a crisis meeting in which Kiev's most important supporters could have discussed further arms deliveries.
At least not at executive level. The EU foreign ministers dealt with the escalation at a special meeting, the G7 also at the level of the chief diplomats. However, there were no concrete decisions. This does not have to be the last word. The situation is dynamic, can be heard again and again. It is possible that the West will only act when the referendums take place and the question then arises as to whether Moscow actually extends its nuclear protective umbrella to the areas annexed in violation of international law.
Selenskyj's impatience with the hesitant partners was evident in his words - even if he focused on criticism of the aggressor Russia: "They talk about the talks, but they announce military mobilization. They talk about the talks, but they announce mock referendums," he said. And: "Russia wants war." He also called for the establishment of a special tribunal: "A crime was committed against Ukraine and we demand just punishment." a compensation fund for Ukraine to create, over which Russia would have to pay for the war damage.
In his speech at the UN General Debate, the American President also called for Russia to be held accountable for war crimes. There was "even more appalling evidence" of Russian atrocities and war crimes, he said, apparently referring to new mass graves in Izyum. Putin's goal is "plain and simple to wipe out Ukraine's right to exist as a state. And Ukraine's right to exist as a people," he said, adding, "Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever you believe, that should make your blood run cold." This one Violation of international law affects all UN member states, meaning that Ukraine is entitled to the solidarity of the international community. It is in the interest of every member state not to let Russia do as it pleases.