Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will address world leaders via video at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday – just hours after Russia announced a partial mobilization of reservists to be called up to fight in the war that has already killed thousands .
Zelensky is the only leader allowed to give a pre-recorded speech after the 193-strong assembly last week agreed that he must deal with the Russian war unfolding in his country.
US President Joe Biden and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, two other leading figures who will speak, will address the event in person from New York.
Russian President Vladimir Putin does not attend the annual gathering of world leaders.
Ukraine was a regular focus of attention at the gathering as world leaders repeatedly condemned Russia for launching its invasion of the sovereign country.
Zelenskyi’s pre-recorded remarks will be broadcast before the meeting hours after Putin delivered his own national address warning that he would use any means available to protect Russia’s territory.
“If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people,” Putin said, adding: “This is not a bluff.”
Putin accused the West of “nuclear blackmail” and noted “statements by some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO states about the possibility of using nuclear weapons of mass destruction against Russia”. He did not identify who had made such comments.
Russia’s strongman also said he had signed a decree for the partial mobilization of 300,000 reservists to provide support amid the conflict – the first mobilization in Russia since World War II.
Before his UN remarks, a spokesman for Zelenskyy called the mobilization a “great tragedy” for the Russian people.
In a statement, Sergii Nikiforov said conscripts sent to the front lines in Ukraine would suffer a similar fate to ill-prepared Russian forces who were repulsed in an attack on Kyiv in the early days of the invasion last February.
“This is a recognition of the incompetence of the Russian professional army, which has failed in all its tasks,” Nikiforov said.
With postal wires
https://nypost.com/2022/09/21/ukraines-volodymyr-zelensky-to-address-un-general-assembly/ Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine addresses the UN General Assembly