War in Ukraine drags into second year, Russia isolated in UN vote

The war in Ukraine entered its second year on Friday with no end in sight and Russia isolated at the United Nations in a vote demanding its forces withdraw, while G7 leaders are set to coordinate on more help for Ukraine.

As fighting raged on in Ukraine’s east and south, its allies around the world showed their support on the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion.

Paris lit up the Eiffel Tower in the Ukrainian flag colours of blue and yellow and people draped in Ukrainian flags gathered at a vigil in London. In Brussels, European Union buildings were similarly lit up in the colours.

The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a resolution on Thursday marking the war’s anniversary and demanding Russia pull out and stop fighting.

There were 141 votes in favour and 32 abstentions. Six countries joined Russia to vote no – Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, Mali, Nicaragua and Syria.

Russia’s ally China abstained from the UN vote.

Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy dismissed the action at the United Nations as “useless”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy hailed the vote.

“This resolution is a powerful signal of unflagging global support for Ukraine,” he said in a post on Twitter.

On the battlefield, the Ukraine military reported increased Russian activity in the east and south as the anniversary approached, with at least 25 towns and villages in three northern regions along the Russian border under fire.

Reuters was not able to verify battlefield reports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24 last year to seize Kyiv and topple the pro-European government, but those hopes were dashed by the fierce defence and military blunders that embarrassed Moscow.

Ukraine had success with counter-offensives in late 2022 to grab back much of the territory it had lost. Russia now controls around a fifth of Ukraine.



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