Volodymyr Zelensky used his address at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to warn against “shady dealings” to end the Russian war against Ukraine.
During his first in-person appearance at the annual gathering since the invasion began, Mr Zelensky, 45, invited delegates who “do not tolerate any aggression” to join a peace summit, before stating: “I am aware of the attempts to make some shady dealings behind the scenes.”
In his much anticipated speech, Mr Zelensky told the 78th UNGA in New York: “Evil cannot be trusted, just ask Prigozhin”, referring to the former Wagner leader who died in a plane crash two months after mounting a mutiny against Vladmir Putin.
Doubling down on his aversion to a peace deal, Mr Zelensky said: “Look, for the first time in modern history we have a real chance to end the aggression on the terms of the nation which was attacked.”
He added: “This is a real chance for every nation to ensure that if aggression against your state ... happens” it will not end in the land being divided because of political or military pressure, but will result in its “territory and sovereignty” being restored.
His remarks come three-months into Ukraine’s counter-offensive, which has worried some Western allies by making slow progress.
It has sparked rising chatter among some officials about the need for a peace deal to end the war.
Earlier this month, Hungary said Ukraine was unlikely to win back occupied territory, while a Nato official suggested a peace deal could involve Kyiv ceding territory to Russia in return for membership.
Ukrainian officials have said that they intend to recapture all areas occupied by the Kremlin, including Crimea which was annexed in 2014.
US Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, earlier this month said Ukrainian victory in the conflict is a “very high bar”. He said it would take a “very long time” to expel over 200,000 troops from Russian-occupied Ukraine.
‘Weaponisation must be restrained’
Mr Zelensky, who was greeted by rapturous applause ahead of his address on Tuesday afternoon, implored world leaders to stand united against Russia’s invasion and said Moscow had to be pushed back so the world could turn to solving pressing global challenges.
“Ukraine is doing everything to ensure that, after Russian aggression, no one in the world will dare to attack any nation,” he said. “Weaponisation must be restrained, war crimes must be punished, deported people must come back home and the occupier must return to their own land.”
“We must be united to make it – and we’ll do it.”
Mr Zelensky also accused Russia of carrying out a “genocide” by kidnapping tens of thousands of Ukrainian children.
Later this week, Mr Zelensky will travel to Washington to meet with Joe Biden, the US president, and members of Congress.
‘Stand up to this naked aggression’
Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Biden, 80, called on the delegation to stand united with Ukraine, warning that no country is safe if world leaders allow the country to be “carved up”.
Mr Biden said the gathering was “darkened by the shadow of war” as he derided Russia, which he said “alone bears responsibility” for the conflict.
His voice rising as he approached the climax of his speech, Mr Biden said: “If we abandon the core principles of the United States to appease an aggressor, can any member state in this body feel confident that they are protected?
“If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure? I’d respectfully suggest the answer is no.
“We have to stand up to this naked aggression today, and deter other would-be aggressors tomorrow.”
But Mr Biden did appear to make a gaffe during his address when he claimed the US and China should work together on “accelerating the climate crisis”.
Mr Biden, who was the second world leader to address the delegation, quickly corrected himself, saying that the two nations needed to jointly tackle “the accelerating climate crisis”.
The event was widely seen as an opportunity for Mr Biden to assert himself with the absence of Putin and Xi Jinping, who skipped this week’s meeting.
Rishi Sunak’s absence makes him the first British Prime Minister to miss the annual event in a decade. Oliver Dowden, the Deputy Prime Minister, is leading the delegation in his absence and is expected to attend the UN Security Council debate on Wednesday.
Mr Dowden is expected to warn against seeking an end “Russia’s war of choice” on the aggressor’s terms.
He is also expected to praise Ukraine’s counteroffensive.
Mr Dowden will say: “They have shown on the battlefield that they are capable of restoring the sovereignty and territorial integrity that must be the foundations of this peace.”
On Monday night, Mr Biden attempted to quell concerns about his age, which has become a thorn in his side as he gears up for next year’s race for the White House.
“A lot of people seem focused on my age”, he said. “Believe me, I know better than anyone.”
Using his experience to justify his bid for re-election, he told the event at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York: “When I came to office, this nation was flat on its back ... When Russia invaded Ukraine, I knew what to do to rebuild Nato and the alliances and rebuild our alliances and rally the world.”
He also claimed Mr Trump is a threat to democracy, saying: “No, I will not side with dictators like Putin. Maybe Trump and his MAGA friends can bow down and praise him, but I won’t.”
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on Tuesday the Ukraine counteroffensive has to be “slow and methodical”.
Speaking at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr Cleverly said: “I know sometimes there’s frustration with the pace of their counter offensive… The Russian occupying forces have spent a huge amount of time and effort fortifying the whole of that southern part of Ukraine, meaning that any advance would inevitably need to be both slow and methodical.”
He added that we must “ensure that the conflict in Ukraine has a proper and good resolution where the Ukrainians get their country back” because other dictators will “look at how we respond to this challenge”.
07:57 PM BST
Today’s liveblog is now closed
Thanks for following today’s liveblog.
We will be back tomorrow with all the latest updates on the Ukraine war.
Read the latest news on the conflict here.
07:55 PM BST
Sombre Zelensky asks world leaders to stop 'Russian genocide'
“We have to stop it,” said Zelensky half-way through his speech, addressing the plight of the tens of thousands of Ukrainian children known to have been kidnapped by the Russian state during its occupation, Francis Dearnley writes. “What will happen to them? This is clearly a genocide.”
It is ironic that a country whose President would have spoken to a mostly empty chamber only a handful of years ago – very few leaders are treated with the audience here they think they deserve – was not only the General Assembly’s most anticipated speaker, trumping the US President in his own country, but the most passionate articulator of the day of the values the UN purports to defend. He pleaded for support and the need for unity, attacking Russia’s illegal invasion and highlighting the threats of nuclear violence if President Putin is not stopped. Each point was greeted with warm applause from a chamber starved of such oratory.
But this was a more muted Zelensky than some expected – his gravelly voice seemed sombre, exhausted. Perhaps it was the subject, or perhaps he was aware that his country is only one of 193 represented here. For once, Ukraine is not the only talking point: fast-evolving events in Armenia are causing considerable concern among delegates. You know things are serious when leaders dare not address a subject on stage: they cannot say anything they may regret later.
Ukraine’s President has clearly aged due to the toll of the past 18 months. He has given many such speeches, yet the real words of importance are taking place behind closed doors. Will Ukraine’s supporters give it the weapons it says it needs to break through the Russian defensive positions? Will they put pressure on him to have an election next year? It will be a long night ahead.
07:33 PM BST
Zelensky finishes speech to applause
Wrapping up his speech, Volodymyr Zelensky said: “While Russia is pushing Ukraine to the final war, Ukraine is doing everything to ensure that after Russian aggression no one in the world will dare to attack any nation.
“Weaponisation must be restrained, war crimes must be punished, deported people must be back home, and the occupier must return to their own home.
“We must be united to make it and we will do it. Slava Ukraini.”
07:26 PM BST
'Evil cannot be trusted'
Volodymyr Zelensky has pointed to the fate of Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin to argue that a deal cannot be struck with Vladimir Putin over Ukraine.
He said: “Evil cannot be trusted. Ask Prigozhin if one bets on Putin’s promises.”
07:19 PM BST
Zelensky: 'Russia is guilty of genocide'
Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of “genocide” for kidnapping “hundreds of thousands” of children in his address to the UN.
He said: “Never before the mass kidnapping and deportation would become a part of the government policy - not until now
“We know the names of tens of thousands of children... I have evidence on hundreds of thousands of others kidnapped by Russia in the occupied territories of Ukraine and later deported.
“We are trying to get children back home but time, time goes by.
“What will happen to them... those children in Russia aretaught to hate Ukraine and all ties with their families are broke. And this is clearly a genocide when hatred is weaponised against one country.”
07:15 PM BST
Watch: Zelensky takes to the stage in New York
The @UN chamber sparks into life with the arrival on the stage of @ZelenskyyUa.
He's easily the most anticipated speaker of the day, and faces little competition in the oratory department.
It's his first time here in New York since the full-scale invasion. pic.twitter.com/g0HMhjbfJA
— Francis Dearnley (@FrancisDearnley) September 19, 2023
07:14 PM BST
Zelensky: Russia has weaponised food and energy
Volodymyr Zelensky has condemned Russia’s attempts to impose a blockade on Ukraine’s exports and attack its ports.
He told world leaders gathered at the UN: “It is a clear Russia [attempted] to weaponise the food shortage on the global market in exchange for recognition for some if not all of their captured territories.
“Russia is launching the food prices as weapons.”
He also claims the Kremlin has “weaponised” oil, gas and nuclear energy.
07:11 PM BST
'Russia has no right to be a nuclear power'
Russia has “no right” to be a nuclear power, Volodymyr Zelensky has said, adding: “Terrorists have no right to hold nuclear weapons.”
07:09 PM BST
Zelensky starts his speech
Volodymyr Zelensky has taken to the stage and is addressing at the UN General Assembly in New York.
06:49 PM BST
Moscow 'launching counterattacks after losing key villages'
Kyiv says it has repelled a number of counterattacks by Russian troops in the south and east of the country after recapturing key settlements in recent weeks.
The armed forces said in a statement: “In the direction of Bakhmut, the defence forces successfully repelled an enemy attack in the area west of Yahidne, Donetsk region.
“The enemy tried to restore the lost position in the Andriivka area of the Donetsk region, but was unsuccessful.
“In the Zaporizhzhia direction, the defence forces successfully repelled an enemy attack in the Robotyne region of the Zaporizhzhia region.”
06:36 PM BST
Britain pledges 'tens of thousands' of artillery shells to Ukraine
Britain will supply “tens of thousands” more artillery shells to Ukraine this year, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced.
It comes amid warnings that Russia’s military machine was churning out weapons and equipment up to seven times faster than the West.
Defence minister Grant Shapps said: “We’ve demonstrated the UK’s unwavering commitment to Ukraine and set out more military support, including pledging tens of thousands more artillery shells to enable Ukraine to defend itself.
“We have also set out how the UK will go further in the coming months in our priority support areas, including air defence and long-range strike capabilities, and training.”
06:33 PM BST
Russia 'using civilians as human shields in Tokmak'
Ukraine has accused Russia of using civilians as “human shields” in a sought-after city on the southern front.
According to a statement from the armed forces: “Russian occupiers continue to violate the norms of international humanitarian law: they forcibly live together with civilian residents in their homes, using civilians as human shields.
“For example, in the Tokmak settlement of the Zaporizhzhia region, servicemen of the Russian occupying ofrces are being resettled on masse with elderly civilians in their homes.”
It comes after reports that Moscow had rushed reinforcements to Tokmak, which is seen as critical in preventing Kyiv’s forces from advancing to sever Russia’s “land bridge” to Crimea.
06:03 PM BST
Ukraine 'turned down faulty German Leopard tanks'
Ukraine reportedly refused to accept 10 faulty 1A5 Leopard tanks supplied by Germany, saying it was not able to carry out the necessary repairs.
According to Spiegel, the German news outlet, officials subsequently sent by Berlin concluded the vehicles had been worn down while training Ukrainian soldiers.
Germany’s defence ministry told Spiegel it could not comment on individual cases but said the tanks were being repaired.
05:50 PM BST
Erdogan echoes calls for UN security council expansion
President Erdoğan of Turkey is speaking now. He starts by thanking @UN countries for their assistance during its earthquake.
Like Brazil's President, he then attacks the make up of the Security Council. The world is bigger than five, he says.
Could reform be on the cards? pic.twitter.com/2HEqrXEcpf
— Francis Dearnley (@FrancisDearnley) September 19, 2023
05:19 PM BST
US 'accelerating the climate crisis', says Biden in latest gaffe
05:07 PM BST
World leaders 'let their hair down' at UN assembly
Another striking feature of the UN General Assembly is how few delegates stay for the speeches, Francis Dearnley writes.
Even presidents speak to rows of empty chairs - the content of their remarks are widely shared beforehand. Spill out rooms surround the central chamber, where politicians and their staffers conduct ad-hoc meetings and interviews with the worldwide press.
There’s an informality about the whole affair; as if the stakes are somehow lower here than the politicians find in their own countries - something which is no doubt true for the majority of the speakers, though it certainly will not be for President Zelensky of Ukraine.
Leaders can let their hair down. In the café downstairs, I saw the prime minister of one small European country eating a Mars bar; later, I shared a lift with one of the world’s most important defence officials, apparently without bodyguards. There’s even a gift shop. It’s a democracy of sorts - but only for the anointed.
04:52 PM BST
'Dig deep' and send air defences to Ukraine, says US defence secretary
The US defence secretary has urged allies send air defences to Ukraine, amid fears that Russia could launch a winter bombing campaign on power stations.
“Air defence is saving lives,” Lloyd Austin said as he opened a meeting of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group at a German air base.
“So I urge this group to continue to dig deep on ground-based air defense for Ukraine. We must continue to push hard to provide Ukraine with air-defense systems and interceptors.”
04:47 PM BST
We know West can give us more weapons, says Ukraine’s spy chief
Ukraine’s chief spymaster says he knows the West can give more aid and weapons to Kyiv because “warehouses in Western countries are not completely empty”, Joe Barnes writes.
Maj Gen Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence agency, said the country must prepare to build up its arsenal in order to outlast Russia, which he predicted could run out of weapons in 2026.
But he told The Economist that Ukraine could not do this without Western governments because its domestic arms industry had been blighted by decades of corruption, underinvestment and sabotage.
“We are dependent on external players,” he said. “Russia is mostly dependent on itself.”
Read the full story here.
04:35 PM BST
'Russia will be in Ukraine for the long term'
G7 countries recognise the need for enduring military and economic support as Russia settles into a “long-term” war in Ukraine, a US official has said.
The ministers from the G7 advanced economies, including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, met for dinner yesterday evening on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
“There was a recognition that we see Russia settling into this war for the medium and long term,” said a senior U.S. State Department official, who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity.
04:27 PM BST
Read the full exclusive interview with Joe Biden's national security adviser
Joe Biden’s national security adviser revealed the US president would call to expand the UN security council in an exclusive Telegraph interview on Sunday.
John Kirby told The Telegraph: “I think President Biden, and you’ll hear him talk about this a little bit more next week, we have been clear that we believe that it is time to take a look at the architecture of the Security Council.
“We believe it should be more inclusive and more comprehensive.”
Asked if that meant changing the veto rules or the membership structure, Mr Kirby said: “We just think it’s time to have a discussion about the architecture in the organisation. I think President Biden, the United States, would support more members.”
You can read the full interview here.
04:19 PM BST
Pictured: Biden condemns Russia's 'war of conquest' in speech to world leaders
04:05 PM BST
Biden closes speech with call to 'bend the arc of history'
Wrapping up his address, Mr Biden said: “Let’s deliver progress for everyone. Let’s bend the arc of history for the good of the world.”
03:56 PM BST
'Nobody is safe if Russia carves up Ukraine'
No country is safe if the UN stands by and allows Ukraine to be “carved up”, Joe Biden has said.
His voice rising as he approached the climax of his speech, the US president said: “I ask you this: if we abandon the core principles of the United States to appease an aggressor can any member state in this body feel confident that they are protected?
“If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure? I’d respectfully suggest the answer is no.
“We have to stand up to this naked aggression today, and deter other would-be aggressors tomorrow.”
03:48 PM BST
UN assembly 'darkened by the shadow of war'
Joe Biden has said the UN General Assembly has been “darkened by the shadow of war” as he hit out at Russian aggresion.
He called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “an illegal war of conquest”, adding: “Like every nation in the world, the United States wants this war to end. No nation wants this war to end more than Ukraine.”
03:45 PM BST
Russia is making “the entire world less safe”
Russia is making “the entire world less safe”, Joe Biden has said in a speech at the UN General Assembly.
He said: “After more than 50 years of progress under the non-proliferation treaty, Russia is shredding long-standing arms control agreements.
“The United States is gong to continue to pursue good faith efforts to reduce the threat of weapons of mass destruction and lead by example no matter what else is happening in the world.”
03:38 PM BST
Biden makes climate change gaffe
Mr Biden appeared to commit a gaffe as he declared that the US would work with China on “accelerating the climate crisis”.
He quickly corrected himself, saying that the two nations needed to jointly tackle “the accelerating climate crisis”.
Noting “record breaking” heat waves in the US and China, along with wildfires in America and Europe, the US president warned of the “existential threat” of climate change.
“These snapshots tell an urgent story of what awaits us if we fail to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels”, he said.
03:36 PM BST
Biden: AI must not be 'weapons on oppression'
Mr Biden also used his speech to raise concerns over the power of Artificial Intelligence and the need for regulation.
He said the technology holds “both enormous potential and enormous peril”, adding: “We need to be sure they’re used as tools of opportunity, not as weapons of oppression”.
Mr Biden also said it is essential to ensure humans “govern this technology” rather than the technology governing us.
03:35 PM BST
'US will push back on Chinese aggression'
Joe Biden has said he wants to “responsibly manage” competition between the US and China so it does not tip into conflict.
He told the UNGA: “We are for de-risking not decoupling with China. We’ll push back on aggression and intimidation and defend the rules of the road.
“But we also stand ready to work with China on issues where progress hinges on our common efforts.”
03:34 PM BST
Biden: 'We will not retreat from democratic values'
Joe Biden has launched a defence of democracy after a series of coups across western and central Africa.
The US president said: “We will not retreat from the values that make us strong. We will defend democracy, our best tool to meet the challenge that we face around the world.
“And we’re working to show how democracy can deliver in ways that matter to people’s lives.”
03:26 PM BST
Biden: 'We need to break UN gridlock'
Joe Biden has restated his call to expand the UN security council, saying: “We need to be able to break the gridlock that too often stymies progress and blocks consensus.”
He continued: “We need more voices, more perspectives at the table... The United Nations must continue to preserve peace prevent conflict and alleviate human suffering.”
03:23 PM BST
Vietnam visit shows 'adversaries can become partners'
President Joe Biden kicked off his UNGA address with an anecdote about visiting Vietnam last week.
He said while it would have once been “unthinkable” for an American president to stand with a Vietnamese leader, it is an example of how “adversaries can become partners” and that “deep wounds can heal”.
03:22 PM BST
Biden: 'No nation can meet challenges alone'
Joe Biden has issued a plea for international cooperation as he addresses the UN General Assembly.
“We know our future is bound to yours,” the US president said, adding: “No nation can meet the challenges of the day alone.”
03:20 PM BST
Biden condemns Russia's 'naked aggression'
The @POTUS President Biden takes to the stage at the @UN.
He is calling for world leaders to stand up to Russia's "naked aggression" in Ukraine.
Russia and China are both absent. pic.twitter.com/SCKHWUB8XO
— Francis Dearnley (@FrancisDearnley) September 19, 2023
03:18 PM BST
Biden has begun his speech
US president Joe Biden has started his speech in New York, addressing world leaders at the UN General Assembly.
03:12 PM BST
Russian invasion 'unleashed a nexus of horror on the world'
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine violated the UN Charter and “unleashed a nexus of horror” on the world, the UN Secretary-General has said.
Antonio Guterres told world leaders gathered in New York: “Our world is becoming unhinged. Geopolitical tensions are rising. Global challenges are mounting. And we seem incapable of coming together to respond.
“If every country fulfilled its obligations under the Charter, the right to peace would be guaranteed. When countries break those pledges, they create a world of insecurity for everyone.
“Exhibit A: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The war, in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law, has unleashed a nexus of horror: lives destroyed; human rights abused; families torn apart; children traumatized; hopes and dreams shattered.”
03:06 PM BST
'Stand by Ukraine', Biden to tell world leaders
The White House has released excerpts from President Joe Biden’s upcoming address at the 78th United Nations General Assembly, Susie Coen writes.
In his speech, which is expected to start before 11am local time, he will call for leaders to stand up to Russia’s “naked aggression” and warn of the dire repercussions if they do not.
Mr Biden, whose appearance today is bolstered by the absence of Russia and China, will warn “Russia believes that the world will grow weary and allow it to brutalise Ukraine without consequence.
“But I ask you this: If we abandon the core principles of the UN Charter to appease an aggressor, can any member state feel confident that they are protected? If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure?”
“The answer is no. We must stand up to this naked aggression today to deter other would-be aggressors tomorrow.
“That is why the United States together with our Allies and partners around the world will continue to stand with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity – and their freedom.”
02:59 PM BST
Over at United Nations HQ...
A hush descended over the UN General Assembly chamber as President Biden took to the stage, followed by a scattering of applause from certain tables of delegates, Francis Dearnley writes.
Actually being in here, one realises that the space has a life far beyond the speaker on the main stage; rather like how the actors of Shakespeare’s Globe had to compete with the chattering and clattering of its audience.
In this contest for attention, the President of Brazil has so far performed best, receiving loud applause for his attack on the legitimacy of the UN Security Council following the actions of some of its permanent members. Emerging economies like his country’s are increasingly frustrated that they are excluded from the top table, especially when they look at powers like Russia behaving with impunity.
Joe Biden, meanwhile, droned on, his intonation rarely changing to match the script he read from. This is an impressive room, built for orators. It has been ill-served so far.
All the world’s a stage, but where are the big players?
02:58 PM BST
Pictured: Zelensky arriving at UNGA
02:56 PM BST
Biden appeals to UN to stop Russia's 'naked aggression' in Ukraine
US President Joe Biden is expected to urge the UN General Assembly to stop Russia’s “naked aggression” in Ukraine, saying otherwise that the independence of all states would be at risk.
“We must stand up to this naked aggression today to deter other would-be aggressors tomorrow,” Mr Biden was to say according to excerpts of his speech released by the White House.
02:36 PM BST
Pictured: Black smoke billows over the city after drone strikes in Lviv
02:34 PM BST
Russia increases tank and missile production 'more than tenfold'
Russia has ramped up the production of some military hardware by more than tenfold to supply its army in Ukraine, its biggest weapon producer has said.
Rostec, the Russian state corporation which controls much of the weapons industry, has significantly increased the output of missiles, drones, combat vehicles and artillery.
Bekhan Ozdoev, industrial director of the armament complex at Rostec, said production volumes for some types of hardware had been boosted “by tens of times”.
He said there had been significant growth in the production of tanks, armoured vehicles, rocket launchers, artillery, Iskander short-range ballistic missile, Pantsir air defence systems and hypersonic Kinzhal missiles.
“We are going forward at cruising speed, smoke from all the pipes,” said Mr Ozdoev.
01:54 PM BST
G7 countries recognize Russia settling in Ukraine war for longer term, US says
There is a recognition among the G7 advanced countries that Russia is settling into its invasion of Ukraine for the medium and long term, and therefore the collective response should focus on supporting it accordingly, a senior State Department official has said.
Speaking to reporters on the condition of anonymity, the official said reinforcing Ukraine’s air defences was key not only for the battlefield but also to protect Ukraine’s critical infrastructure as the winter settles in.
01:45 PM BST
Three killed in Russian attack on Ukrainian town of Kupiansk
At least three people were killed in a Russian attack on the northeastern Ukrainian town of Kupiansk on Tuesday, a regional official said.
“Today, the enemy attacked the town of Kupiansk with a guided air bomb,” Kharkiv region governor Oleh Synehubov said on the Telegram messaging app.
Meanwhile, two people, including a policeman, were killed in shelling of the southern city of Kherson
01:13 PM BST
Joe Biden will urge UN to expand Security Council
Joe Biden is expected to call for the UN Security Council to be expanded to counter Russia and China as world leaders gather in New York.
The US president will ask the 193 UN member nations to “take a look at the architecture of the Security Council,” White House National Security spokesman John Kirby told The Telegraph ahead of the General Assembly.
Mr Biden is due to speak on Tuesday, with Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, also expected to address the meeting in person for the first time since the war began.
Read more from Dominic Nicholls and Jamie Johnson here.
01:12 PM BST
Ukraine urges world court to impose 'reparations' over Russia war
Ukraine said the International Court of Justice should impose reparations on Russia for its “war of annihilation”, arguing that international law itself was at stake.
“Russia is not above the law. It must be held accountable,” Ukraine’s lead speaker, Anton Korynevych, told the court, sitting just a few metres from his Russian opponents in the Peace Palace in The Hague.
“You have the power to declare that Russia’s actions are unlawful, that its continued abuses must stop, that your orders must be followed and that Russia must make reparations,” he told the judges.
He later told reporters the exact amount of reparations Ukraine would demand needs to be worked out at a later date, but that Kyiv would use every opportunity in international courts to “prove that the Russian Federation is the biggest violator of international law in the 21st century.”
01:02 PM BST
Russia's defence minister to visit Tehran
Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu will visit Tehran, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, adding that he would meet top Iranian officials.
The agency reported that Mr Shoigu will discuss defence cooperation and regional developments with top Iranian officials, including his Iranian counterpart.
On Tuesday, Azerbaijan said its armed forces had launched what it called “local anti-terrorist activities” in the Nagorno-Karabakh region to restore constitutional order by disarming and forcing the withdrawal of Armenian military formations there.
Iran borders both Azerbaijan and Armenia, and has called upon Baku and Yerevan to uphold a 2020 ceasefire backed by Russia.
12:55 PM BST
Russia claims Ukraine struck Kostiantynivka with missile
Russia said that Ukraine was responsible for an explosion in the Ukrainian city of Kostiantynivka earlier this month that killed at least 16 people.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova alleged Ukraine had fired a 9M38 missile from a Buk surface-to-air missile system which struck the city on September 6th.
“Even if it was done unintentionally, it is obvious to everyone: the complete demilitarisation of the Kyiv regime is not just a requirement, but a vital necessity,” Ms Zakharova said.
The New York Times reported that evidence suggested the explosion had been caused by an errant missile fired by Ukraine.
Ukraine blamed Russia for the attack at the time. President Volodymyr Zelensky said it was evidence of the need to destroy “Russian evil.”
12:40 PM BST
Pictured: A man using a remote control demonstrates an up-armored excavator for demining purposes, in Kryvyi Rig
12:39 PM BST
Seoul summons Russian ambassador after Kim-Putin summit
South Korea summoned the Russian ambassador Tuesday, the foreign ministry said, to warn Moscow over military cooperation with North Korea after Kim Jong Un met President Vladimir Putin in Russia.
Kim spent nearly a week touring Russia’s far east before returning home Monday, visiting a space centre and weapons factories, on a trip which has fanned Western fears that isolated, nuclear-armed Pyongyang could provide Moscow with weapons for its war in Ukraine.
Kim and Putin held a summit, with the Russian leader talking up defence cooperation with North Korea, hinting of “possibilities” for bolstering military ties - something which would violate a raft of separate sanctions on both countries.
The Kremlin subsequently said no agreement has or would be signed.
12:09 PM BST
Russia urges Armenia and Azerbaijan to end 'bloodshed' in Nagorno-Karabakh
Russia on Tuesday urged Azerbaijan and Armenia to “end bloodshed” and pursue peace talks, after Baku launched “anti-terror operations” in the Armenian-majority region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
“The Russian side urges an end to the bloodshed... and a return to a peaceful settlement,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
11:30 AM BST
South Korea urges Russia to halt military cooperation with North Korea
South Korea’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that Russia should immediately halt moves to expand military cooperation with North Korea and vowed to take stern actions.
South Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Chang Ho-jin summoned Russia’s ambassador in Seoul to urge “Russia to immediately halt any moves to expand military cooperation with North Korea and to abide by (UN) Security Council Resolutions,” South Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Chang also said Seoul will coordinate with the international community to sternly respond to any actions that threaten its security.
Seoul’s message comes after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was presented with options for military cooperation when he met Russian President Vladimir Putin last week at Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome space center.
10:49 AM BST
Biden will ask world to stick with Ukraine
Joe Biden will use his speech to the UN General Assembly to make a full-throated appeal for world leaders to stand with Ukraine against Russian invaders - and he hopes Republicans in Congress will take notice too.
Mr Biden’s address at the annual gathering is the centerpiece event of his three-day visit to New York, which will include meetings with the heads of five Central Asian nations, and the leaders of Israel and Brazil.
“We rallied the world to support Ukraine and united Nato because I was convinced at the beginning that [Vladimir] Putin was counting on Nato not being able to stick together and that would be enough” for victory, he said at an election campaign fundraiser in New York on Monday.
10:19 AM BST
Zelensky questions Russia's UN seat as he visits New York
Volodymr Zelensky questioned Russia’s place at the United Nations ahead of the first day of the General Assembly in New York.
The Ukrainian president said that the UN needs to answer for “allowing his country’s invader a seat at the tables of power.”
He said: “For us, it’s very important that all our words, all our messages, will be heard by our partners. And if in the United Nations still — it’s a pity, but still — there is a place for Russian terrorists, the question is not to me. I think it’s a question to all the members of the United Nations.”
Mr Zelensky is due to address world leaders at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday and speak on Wednesday at a UN Security Council meeting about Ukraine.
Russia is a permanent, veto-wielding member of the council, and Foreign Minister Minister Sergey Lavrov is expected to make remarks.
Asked whether he’d stay in the room to listen, Mr Zelensky said: “I don’t know how it will be, really.”
09:51 AM BST
Denmark to donate another 45 tanks to Ukraine
Denmark will donate another 45 tanks to Ukraine, news agency Ritzau reported on Tuesday citing the country’s Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen.
The donation will consist of 30 Leopard 1 tanks and 15 T-72 tanks.
09:22 AM BST
US Abrams tanks to enter Ukraine 'soon,' says Austin
Ukraine will “soon” receive M1 Abrams tanks from the United States, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said in Germany.
Washington had promised the tanks to Kyiv at the beginning of the year, part of more than $43 billion in security assistance pledged by the United States since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
“I’m... pleased to announce that the M1 Abrams tanks that the United States had previously committed to will be entering Ukraine soon,” Mr Austin said at the opening of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group.
09:03 AM BST
War crime investigators prepare case against Russia over food attacks
War crimes investigators say they aim to bring the first international prosecution for starvation following Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian food supplies and farming.
The targeting of Ukraine’s agriculture, its farmland and grains stocks, and even civilians searching for food, amounts to a weaponisation of starvation and a clear war crime, investigators argue.
Last week, Russia continued to strike Ukrainian grain export ports on the Danube river and in the Odesa region.
Read more from Ben Farmer here
08:23 AM BST
One dead in Lviv attack
Russia struck three industrial warehouses in a drone strike on the western Ukrainian city of Lviv early on Tuesday, causing a huge fire and killing at least one person, local officials said. [see post at 7:56].
Lviv governor Maxim Kozitsky said firefighters were tackling the blaze and that a 26-year-old man had been taken to hospital. City mayor Andriy Sadovyi later said the body of a man who worked at one of the warehouses had been found under the rubble.
“I want to emphasise that these are ordinary industrial warehouses. Nothing military was stored there,” Mr Kozitsky said on the Telegram messaging app.
He said Russian forces had launched 18 drones in the attack and that 15 had been shot down, including seven that were directly over the Lviv region.
08:06 AM BST
Pictured: The Zelensky's arriving in New York
Arrived in New York together with @ZelenskyyUa to participate in the 78th session of @UN General Assembly. It will be about restoring trust and global solidarity. And 🇺🇦 has a lot to say about this. So important meetings are ahead. Solidarity — our main weapon against aggression. pic.twitter.com/Y5EyMVyLYo
— Олена Зеленська (@ZelenskaUA) September 18, 2023
08:05 AM BST
Cargo ship loaded with grain has left Ukraine port, says deputy PM
A cargo ship which entered the Ukrainian Black Sea port of entered Chornomorsk last week has departed with three thousand metric tonnes of grain, Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov has said.
“The vessel RESILIENT AFRICA, carrying three thousand tonnes of wheat, has left the port of Chornomorsk and is heading towards the Bosphorus,” he said on Facebook.
“This is the first of two vessels that entered Chornomorsk last week through a temporary corridor for civilian vessels established by the Ukrainian Navy.”
08:02 AM BST
Pictured: A woman stands next to the tombstone of five Ukrainian border guards near her house
Vera Chernukha, 73, looks on as she stands next to her damaged house in the village of Dementievk.
She is the only remaining resident of Dementievka.
07:56 AM BST
One wounded in warehouse fire in Lviv
Drones attacked Ukraine’s western city of Lviv early on Tuesday and explosions rang out, causing a warehouse fire and wounding at least one person.
The city of Lviv, close to the Polish border, is seen as one of the safest in Ukraine but it has experienced more attacks recently. Three people were killed by air strikes in August.
Several waves of drones buzzed overhead, starting around 0130 GMT. The Ukrainian Air Force said that drones were attacking the city and air defences were in operation.
Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi wrote on Telegram that “as a result of an attack, an industrial warehouse is burning in one of Lviv’s districts”.
“So far, we know of one person who was injured by the attack,” he added.
07:53 AM BST
Ukraine says downed 27 Russian drones overnight
Ukraine said its air defence systems had downed 27 Shahed drones launched overnight in Russia’s latest aerial barrage.
“A total of 30 attack UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) were launched... As a result of combat work, 27 Shaheds were shot down by air defence units,” the Ukrainian air force said on social media.
07:52 AM BST
British troops to get new hi-tech drone software that ‘improves safety of soldiers’
British troops are to be armed with new hi-tech software that works with drones to create 3D models of maps within minutes.
As part of the British Army Warfighting Experiment, which is working with future technologies to prepare soldiers to fight on increasingly complex battlefields, the Army will trial new software that enables drones to capture near-real-time footage of areas of interest and processed it into a high-definition 3D map on a smartphone or tablet in less than 10 minutes.
The Farsight software, made by the American cyber technology company Reveal, uses photogrammetry collected by drones to create 3D digital models.
Read more from Danielle Sheridan here.
07:51 AM BST
Zelensky visits wounded Ukrainian soldiers at New York hospital
I started my visit to the U.S. with the most important thing: meeting our wounded warriors at Staten Island University Hospital.
I thanked them all for their service and wished them a speedy recovery.
I also thanked and awarded medical personnel and the Kind Deeds foundation. pic.twitter.com/VPO5ytor7s
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) September 18, 2023