UN condemns Russia's ‘illegal’ move to annex parts of Ukraine

Thursday October 13 2022
UN General assembly Special Session.

A United Nations General Assembly special session at the UN headquarters on October 10, 2022 in New York City. The 77th Session of the UNGA held the 11th Emergency Special Session to discuss Russia's recent attempt to annex four regions of Ukraine. PHOTO | MICHAEL M. SANTIAGO | GETTY IMAGES | AFP


The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday voted to condemn Russia's “illegal” annexation of four regions in Ukraine.

It said the “illegal so-called referendums” that Russia called in the Ukraine regions interfered with Kyiv’s internationally recognised boundaries.

Read: African Union slams Russian invasion of Ukraine

Also read: Kenya: Russia’s expansionist move in Ukraine dangerous

143 members voted in favour of the resolution to condemn Russia, five voted against the resolution, while 35 members abstained from the vote, the UN News Centre reported.

Belarus, North Korea, Nicaragua, Russia and Syria voted against the resolution.


In eastern Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia voted for the resolution, while Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea abstained from the vote.

Read: Why African Union is calling for peace talks to end Russia-Ukraine war

The UN urged countries not to recognise the “illegal” annexation, a move that now strengthens the international isolation of Moscow since it invaded Kyiv early this year.

Last month, Russia had called a referendum in four occupied regions of Ukraine, urging residents to vote on whether they want to formally become part of Moscow.

Read: How Russia invasion of Ukraine affects Africa’s food supplies

Also read: Ukraine's Zelensky: Africa gains nothing from Russian ties

A few days after the referendum, Kremlin-installed authorities claimed the ballots had gone Russia's way with a huge majority voting to be Moscow-administered regions.

The and adding that even the results were "falsified" in favour of the Kremlin. However, this did not deter the Kremlin which then announced that it has formally recognised the four regions as Russian territory, drawing ire from the world and leading the US to slap sanctions on Moscow for annexing the Ukranian regions.

Since February 24 this year when Russia invaded Ukraine, the international community and rights groups have called for cessation of hostilities and for Moscow to pull its troops out of Kyiv.

The battle has seen Russia take over major towns and cities in Ukraine, with Ukranians fighting back and wresting some of these regions from Moscow, returning them under Ukraine's control.

Ukraine has since the invasion called on the world to back it and sanction Russia, with President Volodymyr Zelensky even requesting to address the African Union over the issue. He has since addressed the United Nations General Assembly via video link as he remains in Ukraine.