Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on world leaders to show unity in the face of Russia’s continued “aggression” in Ukraine, telling the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that Moscow is “weaponising” food and energy.
Speaking from the UN headquarters in New York for the first time since the conflict broke out last year, Zelenskyy on Tuesday portrayed the Russian invasion of Ukraine as an existential threat to the global order akin to nuclear weapons.
“We must act united to defeat the aggressor and focus all our capabilities and energy on addressing these challenges,” he said in English. “It takes our unity to make sure that [such] aggression will not [happen] again.”
Zelenskyy criticised Moscow for what he said was an “attempt to weaponise [a] food shortage on [the] global market in exchange for recognition of some, if not all, of captured territories”.
He also accused Russia of committing genocide by kidnapping Ukrainian children and said Kyiv was working on preparing a global peace summit.
The war in Ukraine has figured prominently on the first day of the high-level UN General Debate, with several world leaders pledging continued support for Kyiv during the most widely watched event of the UN’s annual calendar.