UNITED NATIONS – The UN General Assembly convened an emergency session Monday to discuss Moscow-backed "illegal" referendums to annex parts of eastern Ukraine, with Kyiv's envoy accusing Russia of being a ''terrorist state'' hours after it conducted deadly strikes across his country that killed at least 14 civilians.
''The entire world has once again seen the true face of the terrorist state that kills our people,'' Ukraine's UN ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya told the UN General Assembly.
''Deliberate targeting of civilians is a war crime. By launching missile attacks on civilians sleeping in their homes or rushing to work, children going to schools, Russia has proven once again that it is a terrorist state that must be deterred in the strongest possible ways,'' Kyslytsya said.
He said Russia's illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory posed an ''existential threat'' to the UN, and the international community needs to defend the principles of the UN Charter.
''We are now at a tipping point where the UN will either restore its credibility or it will ultimately fall into failure. And if the latter happens, we should blame nobody but ourselves,'' he said.
''A trail of blood is left behind the Russian delegation when it enters the General Assembly, and the hall is filled up with the smell of smoldering human flesh.''
Russia's UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia called the meeting ''highly politicized,'' adding it was specifically launched to promote an anti-Russian narrative.
Nebenzia accused NATO of escalating the conflict and said it is NATO that Russia is really confronted with in Ukraine.
He said Ukraine is being used as a “testing site for NATO weapons” and proxy fights with Russia.
The General Assembly is expected to vote on a draft resolution this week condemning Moscow-backed "illegal" referendums to annex parts of eastern Ukraine -- Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson -- in violation of international law.
A resolution drafted by the European Union and co-sponsored by Türkiye for the UN body to consider would isolate Russia from the international community if adopted.
Russia asked for a secret ballot for the vote, but the UN General Assembly rejected its request with 107 votes in favor.
Thirteen countries voted against holding a public vote on the draft resolution while 39 countries abstained.
Russia and China did not vote, along with some other countries.
''This was yet another step towards further division and escalation, which we are sure is not what the overwhelming majority of states whose representatives are gathered in this hall would want,'' Nebenzia said.
The draft UN General Assembly resolution calls on all states and international organizations not to recognize any alteration of Russia of the four regions in eastern Ukraine and demands that Russia immediately and unconditionally reverse its decisions. (Anadolu)