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This morning, in an overwhelming vote during an emergency meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, the delegates voted to demand that Russia withdraw from its invasion of Ukraine, which began one week ago. When the 141 to five vote was announced, the majority of members in the vast assembly room stood and applauded.

The resolution occurred in the General Assembly because Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and it vetoed attempts there to formally condemn its actions.

The approved resolution “deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by (Russia) against Ukraine” and goes on to demand that it “immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine.”

While strong and emblematic of the global condemnation of Russian aggression, the resolution has no teeth. Only the Security Council can issue binding orders on UN members, and since Russia has veto power, it will be a cold day in the hinterlands of the devil’s domain before that council can do more than talk about the war.

Freedom Square, Kharkiv, Ukraine. Released by Ukrainian State Communications

There were speeches before the vote, including by the U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield.  “We’re choosing to hold Russia accountable for its actions.”

On Tuesday, Russia stepped up shelling on both Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city (which by the way is primarily Russian-speaking), and on the capital of Kyiv. They are pounding primarily civilian areas.

The Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya called the invasion “madness.” He and other Ukrainian leaders have said that Russian forces have escalated their attacks on crowded cities in what they call “a blatant campaign of terror”.

Who voted with Russia? Well, Belarus for one, as well as Syria, North Korea, and Eritrea. Thirty-four nations abstained, China among them.

The United Nations has already announced that it will launch an investigation of Russia for war crimes, saying that it appears to be purposely targeting civilians and civilian residential areas.

Follow this link for an extensive assemblage of photos from the Russian invasion of Ukraine assembled by from Ukraine State Communications, and other international media.

Featured image: Kharkiv emergency personnel work to locate and evacuate people from the Kharkiv City Hall after renewed bombing by Russia on Tuesday, March 1. Photo released by Russian State Communications