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UN chief appeals to Putin to stop troops from attacking Ukraine

UN chief appeals to Putin to stop troops from attacking Ukraine

United Nations: Terming the Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement of a special military operation in Ukraine as the "saddest moment in his tenure", UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Putin to stop the war.

The UN chief opens the emergency Security Council meeting by urgently appealing to Putin: "In the name of humanity, bring your troops back to Russia."

"This is the saddest moment in my tenure as Secretary-General of the United Nations. I started this meeting of the Security Council addressing President Putin and telling him from the bottom of my heart: Stop your troops from an offensive against Ukraine, give peace a chance because too many people have died," Guterres told.

"I must say, President Putin: In the name of humanity bring your troops back to Russia. In the name of humanity, do not allow to start in Europe what could be the worst war since the beginning of the century, with consequences not only devastating for Ukraine, not only tragic for the Russian Federation," but for the entire world, he said.

The UN chief said the impact of the attack "we cannot even foresee in relation to the consequences for the global economy in a moment when we are emerging from the COVID (pandemic) and so many developing countries absolutely need to have space for the recovery which would be very, very difficult, with the high prices of oil, with the end of exports of wheat from Ukraine, and with the rising interest rates caused by instability in international markets".

Meanwhile, Security Council members blasted the Russian leader for the "unprovoked and unjustified" action and for delivering a "message of war".

Putin on Thursday announced a special military operation in eastern Ukraine, claiming it's intended to protect civilians.

In a televised address, Putin said Russia's move to launch a special military operation in Ukraine came in response to threats emanating from that country. He also warned other countries that if they attempted to interfere with the Russian military operation they would see "consequences they have never seen".

The announcement by Putin came just at the time the Council was meeting on the situation in Ukraine, the second such meeting this week and the fourth since January 31.

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