US president Joe Biden declared at the United Nations on Wednesday that Russia had “shamelessly violated the core tenets” of the UN with its “brutal, needless war” in Ukraine.
He said the war was an affront to the heart of what the international body stood for as he looked to rally allies to stand firm in backing the Ukrainian resistance.
Delivering a forceful condemnation of Russia’s seven-month invasion, Mr Biden said reports of Russian abuses against civilians in Ukraine “should make your blood run cold”.
And he said Russian president Vladimir Putin’s new nuclear threats against Europe showed “reckless disregard” for Russia’s responsibilities as a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
He criticised Russia for scheduling “sham referenda” this week in territory it has forcibly seized in Ukraine.
“A permanent member of the UN Security Council invaded its neighbour, attempted to erase a sovereign state from the map. Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the UN charter,” he told his UN audience.
Mr Biden called on all nations, whether democracies or autocracies, to speak out against Russia’s invasion and to bolster Ukraine’s effort to defend itself.
“We will stand in solidarity against Russia’s aggression, period,” Mr Biden said.
Mr Biden also highlighted the consequences of the invasion for the world’s food supply, pledging 2.9 billion US dollars (£2.6 billion) in global food security aid to address shortages caused by the war and the effects of climate change.
He praised a UN-brokered effort to create a corridor for Ukrainian grain to be exported by sea, and called on the agreement to be continued despite the ongoing conflict.
During his time at the UN General Assembly, Mr Biden also planned to meet on Wednesday with British Prime Minister Liz Truss and press allies to meet an 18 billion US dollars (£15.9 billion) target to replenish the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
But the heart of the president’s visit to the UN this year was his full-throated censure of Russia as its war nears the seven-month mark.
The address came as Russian-controlled regions of eastern and southern Ukraine have announced plans to hold Kremlin-backed referenda in days ahead on becoming part of Russia and as Moscow is losing ground in the invasion.
Mr Putin also announced a partial mobilisation to call up 300,000 reservists on Wednesday, and accused the West of engaging in “nuclear blackmail”.
The White House said the global food security funding included two billion US dollars in direct humanitarian assistance through the United States Agency for International Development. The balance of the money would go to global development projects meant to boost the efficiency and resilience of the global food supply.
This year’s UN gathering is back to being a full-scale, in-person event after two years of curtailed activity due to the pandemic.