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Biden in UN speech accuses Russia of ‘extremely significant’ violation of international charter

President Biden accused Russia of an “extremely significant” violation of the United Nations international charter in its “brutal, needless war” against Ukraine, delivering harsh words directed to Russian president Vladimir Putin, saying the war was “chosen by one man.”

Biden, speaking to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City Wednesday, reflected on the past year.

“In the last year, our world has experienced great upheaval— growing crisis and food insecurity; record heat, floods, droughts, COVID-19, inflation, and a brutal, needless war—a war chosen by one man,” Biden said in his first words to UNGA.

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“To be very blunt, let us speak plainly. A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council invaded its neighbor, attempted to erase a sovereign state from the map,” Biden said. “Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the United Nations Charter—no more important than the clear prohibition against countries taking the territory of their neighbor by force.”

Biden, speaking of Putin by name, said the Russian president has made “overt nuclear threats against Europe and a reckless disregard for the responsibilities of the nonproliferation regime.” 

“Now, Russia is calling more soldiers to join the fight and the Kremlin is organizing a sham referendum to try to annex parts of Ukraine—an extremely significant violation of the U.N. charter,” Biden said, urging the world to “see these outrageous acts for what they are.”

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“Putin claims he had to act because Russia was threatened,” Biden said. “But no one threatened Russia—no one other than Russia sought conflict. In fact, we warned it was coming.”

He added: “And, with many of you, we worked to try to avert Putin’s own words, make his true purpose unmistakable just before he invaded.” 

Biden said that the war has provided “horrifying evidence of Russia’s atrocities and war crimes,” pointing to the discovery of mass graves in Ukraine filled with bodies “showing signs of torture.”

“This war is about extinguishing Ukraine’s right to exist as a state—plain and simple—and Ukraine’s right to exist as a people,” Biden said. “Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever you believe that should not, that should make your blood run cold.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

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