Biden singles out Putin in UN address, slams ‘overt nuclear threats’

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US President Joe Biden took to the world stage on Wednesday to single out Russian President Vladimir Putin for brazen actions that he said are in direct violation of the UN’s founding principles. 

Addressing the 77th UN General Assembly, the US president said Putin has “shamelessly violated the core tenants of the United Nations Charter” after he authorized Russia’s forces to invade Ukraine in February — a decision that is a violation of the “clear prohibition against countries taking the territory of their neighbor by force.”

“Just today, President Putin has made overt nuclear threats against Europe in a reckless disregard for the responsibilities of the non-proliferation regime,” he said as world leaders convened in New York.

“Now, Russia’s calling up more soldiers to join the fight. The Kremlin is organizing sham referenda, trying to annex parts of Ukraine, an extremely significant violation of the UN Charter,” he added.

Putin announced earlier Wednesday a mass mobilization in Russia of 300,000 reservists to support his flagging war effort in Ukraine, issuing a dire warning ahead of planned referenda in parts of Ukraine denounced by the West as a “sham” effort to annex additional Ukrainian territory.

“When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people. This is not a bluff,” said Putin.

The move comes one day after the announcement of referenda in the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and parts of Zaporizhzhia. Putin and his regional proxies are seeking to use the polls to claim the territories as part of Russia.

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