How Russia is “Weaponising” Everything from Food to Abducted Children: Volodymyr Zelensky Warns World Leaders
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a powerful warning to world leaders at the UN General Assembly’s annual top-level meeting. Zelensky accused Russia of “weaponising” everything from food and energy to abducted children in its war against Ukraine, and he warned that the same could happen to them. He stated that when hatred is weaponised against one nation, it never stops there, and Russia has a history of starting new wars each decade.
Zelensky pointed out that parts of Moldova and Georgia remain occupied by Russia, and Syria has been turned into ruins by its actions. He also highlighted the threat that Russia poses to Kazakhstan and the Baltic states, and warned that the present war against Ukraine is aimed at turning their land, people, lives, and resources into weapons against the international rules-based order.
The Ukrainian President expressed his concern over countries that are said to be wavering in their opposition to Russia. He mentioned the death of Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, who died in a mysterious plane crash after calling off an uprising against the Russian president. Zelensky warned against making shady deals with evil, making a reference to Prigozhin’s fate and the unreliability of Putin’s promises.
Zelensky also highlighted the impact of the war on fuel and food supplies, causing inflation and hardships for poor countries. He raised the issue of tens of thousands of children who have been taken from their families after Moscow’s invasion, stating that these children are taught to hate Ukraine, and all ties with their families are broken. He described this as a clear genocide.
The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and another official in March, accusing them of abducting children from Ukraine. Russian officials have denied any forced transfers of children, claiming that some Ukrainian children are in foster care.
Zelensky’s speech at the UN comes at a critical time for Ukraine, as it seeks to maintain international support for its fight against Russia. After 19 months of full-scale invasion by Moscow, Ukrainian forces are three months into a counteroffensive that has not progressed as quickly or effectively as hoped. Ukraine and its allies view this as a battle for the rule of international law, the sovereignty of every country with an expansionist neighbor, and the stability of global supplies.
The Ukrainian President warned that nuclear disarmament should not be the only strategy to protect the world from the risk of a Third World War. He emphasized that the aggressor is weaponising many other things, which are being used against Ukraine and other countries, and called for more effective restrictions on weaponisation.
Zelensky’s speech received support from US President Joe Biden, who pledged his support to Ukraine. However, concerns remain over whether backing from allies may be diminishing. While billions of dollars worth of arms have been supplied to Ukraine, there are fears that stockpiles are shrinking and defense contractors are struggling to increase production.
The US Congress is currently considering President Biden’s request for additional military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but there is a growing partisan divide over spending on the conflict.
Zelensky is scheduled to meet with President Biden at the White House, and discussions on next steps will continue among allied defense leaders. Ukraine is seeking longer-range missiles to hit Russian troops and facilities from a safe distance, but the US is cautious about providing such weapons, fearing they may be used to provoke Russia.
In his visit to the United States, Zelensky called on the UN to address the issue of allowing a seat for Russia, the aggressor, at the tables of power. He criticized the UN as a retired superhero who has forgotten its past greatness.
Amid ongoing conflicts, political negotiations, and concerns over international support, Ukraine remains determined to defend its sovereignty and seek justice for the atrocities committed against its people. Zelensky’s speech at the UN served as a rallying cry for the international community to stand against Russia’s aggression and protect the values of international law and order.