Zelensky insisted that Russia receive a “fair punishment” in the UN speech
Volodymyr Zelensky demanded that Russia face “just punishment” for its invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine’s president called on the United Nations to set up a special tribunal to investigate alleged atrocities in the country and strip Moscow of its powerful role on the Security Council.
He told world leaders at the annual UN General Assembly: “A crime has been committed against Ukraine and we want a just punishment.”
His troops were bolstered by a stunning counter-offensive that saw Kyiv recapture vast tracts of land seized from the Russians.
And Zelensky vowed in his recorded address: “We can return the Ukrainian flag to our entire territory. We can do it by force of arms. But we need time.
He said the Kremlin intended to spend the winter preparing its forces for a new offensive, adding: “Russia wants war. It is true. But Russia will not be able to stop the course of history.”
The Ukrainian president told the assembled leaders that “humanity and international law are stronger” than what he called a “terrorist state”.
His remarks come as Vladimir Putin stepped up his invasion by mobilizing 300,000 more reservists.
The move, seen as a huge gamble after promises it would never happen, sparked rare anti-war protests across Russia.
The monitoring group OVD-Info reported that almost 1,400 people in 38 cities were detained on Wednesday.
Independent news outlets reported that some of those arrested were served summonses to report to military service on Thursday, the first full day of conscription.
One-way flights from Russia sold out after Putin’s announcement.
“Every normal person is (concerned), it’s terrible,” said one man, who identified himself only as Sergey, as he got off a plane in Belgrade after a flight from Moscow.
Putin also announced plans to annex four Ukrainian provinces and threatened to use nuclear weapons to defend Russian territory, saying: “This is not a bluff.”
Despite the clanging of guns, the two sides carried out an unexpected prisoner exchange on Wednesday, the largest since the war began.
It involved almost 300 people, including more than 100 members of the Azov Battalion, which led a protracted defense of Mariupol and the city’s steel plant earlier this year.
Five British nationals were among 10 foreigners released as part of the deal.
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