Zelensky slams UN inaction
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Japan's parliament yesterday that the United Nations had failed over the conflict in his country and reforms were needed, calling for more pressure on Russia.
The international body has been hamstrung because Russia is a permanent member of its Security Council and has effectively blocked condemnation or action over its invasion of Ukraine.
"Neither the United Nations nor the UN Security Council have functioned. Reforms are needed," the Ukrainian leader told lawmakers via videolink.
"We need a tool to pre-emptively ensure global security. Existing international organisations are not functioning for this purpose, so we need to develop a new, pre-emptive tool that can actually stop invasions," Zelensky added.
US President Joe Biden flew to Europe yesterday for an emergency Nato summit on Ukraine, where invading Russian troops are stalled, cities are under bombardment and the besieged port of Mariupol is in flames.
Four weeks into a war that has driven a quarter of Ukraine's 44 million people from their homes, Russian forces have failed to capture a single major Ukrainian city.
They have turned to siege tactics and bombardment of cities, causing massive destruction and many civilian deaths. There are reports of the Ukrainian flag being raised again in the suburb of Makariv, west of the capital Kyiv.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said yesterday Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine has stalled despite the daily assaults inflicted by his troops, urging Moscow to "immediately" stop the fighting, reports AFP.
Unprecedented sanctions imposed by Western partners are working and will only bring further damage to Russia's economy, warned the German leader.
"But that is just the beginning, many of the toughest consequences will only been seen in the coming weeks," he said, warning that "we are constantly creating sanctions."
Western leaders are expected to roll out additional sanctions against Russia when Biden meets with European partners at the Nato headquarters in Brussels today.
Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg said the leaders at Brussels summit would agree to "major increases of forces" including four new battle groups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.
Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said an agreement has been reached to try to evacuate civilians trapped in towns and cities through nine "humanitarian corridors". But it does not cover Mariupol.
New satellite photographs from commercial firm Maxar released overnight showed massive destruction of what was once a city of 400,000 people, with columns of smoke rising from residential apartment buildings in flames.
A veteran aide of Putin has resigned over the Ukraine war and left Russia with no intention to return, two sources said yesterday, the first senior official to break with the Kremlin since Putin launched his invasion a month ago.
More than 3.6 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia's invasion, the UN said yesterday, warning that millions more would have their lives upended if the nearly month-long war continues.