New York: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is set to vote on a resolution condemning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, calling it a breach of international peace and security as well as reaffirming its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
The resolution, which is to be voted on today, demands that Russia withdraw all its troops unconditionally and immediately from Ukranian soil. It pushes for immediate cessation of Russia's use of force against Ukraine and refraining from "any further unlawful threat or use of force against any UN member state" as Putin warned other countries against interference or face "consequences as never seen before".
In response to Putin's decree legitimising the so called independent "republics" of Lugansk and Donetsk, the UNSC draft resolution terms it a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and "inconsistent with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations." It calls for unconditional reversal of the decision related to the status of the breakaway parts of Ukraine.
"Allow and facilitate the rapid, safe, and unhindered access of humanitarian assistance to those in need in Ukraine, to protect civilians, including humanitarian personnel and persons in vulnerable situations, including children," the draft resolution says.
It also urged the UN member states, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and other international and regional organisations, to support the de-escalation of the heightened tensions. The draft resolution also urges all parties to adhere the Geneva Convention (1949) and Additional Protocols (1977) in order to prevent further loss of life and human rights abuses.
On Wednesday night, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that the announcement of Russia's invasion was the "saddest moment" in his tenure at the UN and that he "pleaded" to the Russian President to stop the violence. Guterres had earlier admitted that he believed that Russia would not go on a military offensive against Ukraine.
Today I am announcing that we will immediately allocate $20 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund to meet urgent needs," the Secretary-General said on Thursday, reiterating that the UN and its humanitarian partners are "committed to staying and delivering, to support people in Ukraine in their time of need."
Russian security forces have also cracked down on massive anti-war protests in the Novosibirsk and St.Petersburg areas of Russia, with water cannons and police deployed to disperse the crowds.