The UN General Assembly has approved a resolution calling for Russia to be held accountable for violating international law by invading Ukraine, including by paying reparations for widespread damage to the country and for Ukrainians killed and injured during the war.
he vote in the 193-member world body was 94-14 with 73 abstentions.
It was close to the lowest level of support of the five Ukraine-related resolutions adopted by the General Assembly since Russia’s February 24 invasion.
The resolution recognises the need to establish “an international mechanism for reparation for damage, loss or injury’” arising from Russia’s “wrongful acts” against Ukraine.
It recommends that the assembly’s member nations, in co-operation with Ukraine, create “an international register” to document claims and information on damage, loss or injury to Ukrainians and the government caused by Russia.
Before the vote, Ukraine’s UN ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya told the assembly that “Russia has tried its best to destroy Ukraine, in a very literal sense”.
He cited Russia’s bombing and shelling of cities and villages since day one, “targeting everything from plants and factories to residential buildings, schools, hospitals and kindergartens” as well as roads, bridges, railways and almost half of Ukraine’s power grid and utilities.
He also cited accounts of atrocities committed by Russians including murder, rape, torture, forced deportations and looting.
“Ukraine will have the daunting task of rebuilding the country and recovering from this war,” Mr Kyslytsya said.
“But that recovery will never be complete without a sense of justice for the victims of the Russian war.”
“It is time to hold Russia accountable,” he said.
Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia slammed the resolution, calling it “an attempt to legalise something that from the view of existing international law cannot be legalised”.