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Ukraine live briefing: U.N. votes for resolution calling on Russia to leave Ukraine; G-7 leaders and Zelensky to talk Friday


The U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution calling on Russia to leave Ukraine on Thursday. The vote came after Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged members during a special session to vote for preserving his country’s sovereignty ahead of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion Friday.

The draft resolution, which is nonbinding, calls for an immediate cease-fire and highlights the need for accountability for war crimes. It was supported by 141 members of the United Nations General Assembly in an afternoon vote — the exact same number that voted to condemn Russia’s invasion almost a year ago — with 7 countries siding with Russia against the resolution and 32 countries abstaining.

President Biden and G-7 leaders will meet virtually on Friday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to coordinate efforts in support of Ukraine, according to a White House statement.

Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.

Key developments

  • Russia’s U.N. ambassador criticized the peace resolution. “Moscow is ready for a solution,” Vasily Nebenzya said. “The draft resolution submitted here will not help this at all. It will rather encourage the West, which will continue its militaristic line, using the U.N. as a cover.”
  • Though Russia lost the vote, it did pick up a new supporter at the U.N. Mali voted with Russia for the first time, the latest sign of partnership between the West African nation and Moscow. Earlier this month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited the country where Russian mercenaries have been used to help fight an Islamist insurgency.
  • The war in Ukraine has exposed a deep global divide. While Western countries have rallied against Moscow and united in support of Kyiv — with President Biden hailing the Western alliance as a “global coalition” — a closer look beyond the West suggests the world is far from united on the issues of the war, The Washington Post reports.
  • Russia this year will put on combat duty its first launchers equipped with the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, which can carry a large nuclear payload, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

Battleground updates

  • Finland will send three Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, modified for clearing mines and without a main cannon. But while Berlin had hoped to steer two Leopard 2 battalions — totaling about 70 tanks — to Ukraine before an anticipated Russian offensive this spring, the West is still short on contributions. “If other countries deliver [Leopard 2 tanks] … I would very much welcome that, especially the A6 model, but I can’t conjure it up either,” German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said while visiting a training session for the tanks being held for Ukrainians near Münster on Monday.
  • It is “still to be determined” whether the United States can send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine by the end of this year. The Army is now drawing up options to be considered by President Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. All possible options will take months, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said Thursday, and others could take up to a year or two.
  • The commander of Russia’s Eastern Group of Forces is probably facing “intense pressure” to take the town of Vuhledar in the Donetsk region, Britain’s Defense Ministry said Thursday. The area is under heavy fire, and “there is a realistic possibility that Russia is preparing for another offensive effort” in the region despite recent losses there, the ministry said.
  • Wagner Group head Yevgeniy Prigozhin said an ammunition shipment is on its way to his mercenaries. He made the announcement in a Telegram post Thursday, two days after he launched a bitter tirade against the Russian military, claiming it was depriving his fighters of ammunition.

Global impact

  • The war in Ukraine could rage on for another year, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told LBC radio Thursday, saying of Putin: “I think he’s not going to stop.” Wallace noted clear signs that Moscow’s invasion has failed. Putin’s “three-day offensive is turned into his 365-day offensive, and he has still not captured or held a single one of the objectives.”
  • Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez arrived in Kyiv on Thursday, saying in a tweet that Spain will stand with Ukraine “until peace returns to Europe.”
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping could visit Russia soon, Putin suggested in a meeting in Moscow with China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi. “We are expecting the President of the People’s Republic of China in Russia — we have agreed on his visit earlier,” Putin said, according to a Kremlin statement.
  • Ukraine’s grain export initiative has sent 22 million tons of food in seven months to 43 countries, Zelensky said in his nightly address, hailing it as a significant contribution by Ukraine to global food security.

From our correspondents

A year of war seen through the eyes of ordinary Ukrainians: Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine one year ago, every Ukrainian’s life has changed in ways both big and small. Families have been torn apart, homes have been destroyed, and dreams have been shattered. Some civilians picked up arms, while others are helping as volunteers delivering aid.

With photography by Ed Ram, Wojciech Grzedzinski, Kasia Strek and Heidi Levine, The Washington Post’s Olivier Laurent and Siobhán O’Grady report on how no one has been left untouched as Ukrainians reflect on a year of loss, resilience and fear.

“It won’t be easier now. It’s going to get harder, and I’m prepared for the worst time,” a drama student in Kyiv said.

A doctor in Kherson said he was hopeful. “I believe in a positive future. … People who stayed here don’t intend to leave. That gives me energy.”