According to the latest United Nations statistics, approximately 874,000 people have now fled Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing attacks on the country by air, land and sea.
Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the full scale military attack on the neighbouring country last Thursday (February 24) after falsely stating that a ‘genocide’ had been taking place in the east Ukrainian Donbas region.
The result has seen Russian military forces attack Ukraine on all fronts and by air, land and sea, with the capital city of Kyiv and second city of Kharkiv coming under intense attack in the last few days.
World leaders voted on a resolution to condemn Russia over its actions today (Wednesday March 2) amid further calls for international support from Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as Kyiv landmarks like the TV tower and Holocaust Babyn Yar memorial were struck by missiles.
And while the UN vote on a resolution to condemn Russia passed, a number of countries abstained from the motion.
Here’s the UN vote result, what it means and which countries abstained from the vote.
What was the UN vote on Ukraine-Russia today?
Today’s United Nations vote by the General Assembly, the chief policy and debating chamber of the organisation comprised by its 193 member states, was held as part of an emergency session in response to Russia’s increased aggression toward Ukraine.
It was held after the UN Security Council voted on Sunday February 27 to refer the crisis in Ukraine to the General Assembly for an emergency session with all representatives.
The UN Security Council’s escalation of the matter to the General Assembly is the first time it has done so in 40 years, with the previous emergency session convened by the Security Council taking place in early 1982.
The “Uniting for Peace” resolution setting out the above process allows the UN Assembly to discuss matters of global peace and security when the Security Council cannot come to a decision due to a veto by one of the council’s five permanent members – China, France, the UK, the United States, and Russia.
Sunday’s Security Council vote saw Russia veto the proposal to condemn the country’s aggression toward Ukraine, prompting its escalation to the General Assembly.
Wednesday’s emergency session saw members vote on a UN resolution which states that it “deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine” and advocates for the removal of military forces from the country.
What was the UN General Assembly vote result?
The result of the UN’s emergency session on Wednesday saw 141 of the 193 member states in the General Assembly vote in favour of adopting the resolution, with it therefore passing to become adopted by the UN.
Five countries voted against the measure – with the Russian Federation joined by allies of Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea and Syria.
A total 35 countries abstained on the resolution, however, with Russian ally China among them, while a further 11 didn’t vote at all.
Which countries abstained in the UN vote?
The 35 member states who abstained the UN resolution to deplore Russia’s attack on Ukraine are as follows:
- Central African Republic
- Equatorial Guinea
- Lao People’s Democratic Republic
- South Africa
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
What happens to Russia after UN vote?
While Russia has now been officially condemned and reprimanded by the global body, the UN vote on the matter is not legally binding.
Rather, the UN resolution adds weight to the existing criticism and condemnation from countries worldwide, as sanctions and boycotts of Russia continue.
But Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted his thanks for the member states which had voted in favour of adopting the resolution.
“I praise the approval by the #UN GA with an unprecedented majority of votes of the resolution with a strong demand to Russia to immediately stop the treacherous attack on,” wrote Mr Zelenskyy.
“I’m grateful to everyone & every state that voted in favor.
"You have chosen the right side of history."