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U.N. condemns Russia’s annexation of Ukraine territory; NATO says air defense systems a ‘priority’

Speaking to Group of Seven leaders on Oct. 11, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked for air defense systems to protect Ukraine from Russian attacks. (Video: Reuters)

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The United Nations on Wednesday voted to condemn Russia’s illegal seizure of Ukrainian territory, dealing a symbolic but important blow to Moscow’s diplomatic standing as it ramps up attacks on civilian sites and infrastructure.

“The stakes of this conflict are clear to all—and the world has sent a clear message in response," President Biden said in a statement after the vote. “Russia cannot erase a sovereign state from the map. Russia cannot change borders by force. Russia cannot seize another country’s territory as its own.”

The U.N. General Assembly adopted a U.S.-sponsored resolution that demands Russia reverse its annexation of the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine. The vote came as NATO defense ministers convened in Brussels to discuss sending more air defense systems to Kyiv.

Here’s what to know

  • Russia’s FSB security service accused Ukraine’s military intelligence of being behind Saturday’s explosion on the Crimean Bridge and said it detained eight people Wednesday.
  • Ukraine’s defense minister said an IRIS-T air defense system from Germany and four HIMARS launchers from the United States have arrived. The air defense system is the first of four that Germany is sending, and Chancellor Olaf Scholz said it could protect “an entire major city from Russian air attacks.”
  • A Ukrainian official described the Russian investigation into the Crimean Bridge blast as “nonsense.” Ukraine has not officially claimed responsibility, but a government official told The Washington Post earlier that its special services were involved.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed Washington and its allies for Europe’s energy crisis, criticized plans to introduce a price cap on Russian oil and said Russia is “ready” to supply energy to Europe. “Russia is not to blame for the fact that Europeans, like in the Middle Ages, stock up on firewood for the winter,” he said in a speech at the Russian Energy Week Forum.
  • External power was restored Wednesday to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, which had been relying on generators after losing all external power for the second time in days, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The U.N. nuclear watchdog is trying to establish a security zone at the site, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which Russian forces control.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to meet with Putin in Kazakhstan on Thursday. The leaders are likely to discuss paths to peace in Ukraine, according to Kremlin spokesman Yuri Ushakov, Reuters reported.
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Here's what to know:

Russia’s FSB security service accused Ukraine’s military intelligence of being behind Saturday’s explosion on the Crimean Bridge and said it detained eight people Wednesday.
Ukraine’s defense minister said an IRIS-T air defense system from Germany and four HIMARS launchers from the United States have arrived. The air defense system is the first of four that Germany is sending, and Chancellor Olaf Scholz said it could protect “an entire major city from Russian air attacks.”
A Ukrainian official described the Russian investigation into the Crimean Bridge blast as “nonsense.” Ukraine has not officially claimed responsibility, but a government official told The Washington Post earlier that its special services were involved.
Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed Washington and its allies for Europe’s energy crisis, criticized plans to introduce a price cap on Russian oil and said Russia is “ready” to supply energy to Europe. “Russia is not to blame for the fact that Europeans, like in the Middle Ages, stock up on firewood for the winter,” he said in a speech at the Russian Energy Week Forum.
External power was restored Wednesday to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, which had been relying on generators after losing all external power for the second time in days, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The U.N. nuclear watchdog is trying to establish a security zone at the site, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which Russian forces control.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to meet with Putin in Kazakhstan on Thursday. The leaders are likely to discuss paths to peace in Ukraine, according to Kremlin spokesman Yuri Ushakov, Reuters reported.

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