Russia trying to frame war as ‘West vs rest’ but Putin ‘weaker’ every day ahead of United Nations vote

Russia trying to frame war as ‘West vs rest’ but Putin ‘weaker’ every day ahead of United Nations vote

Russia will be thoroughly defeated in a United Nations vote condemning the annexation of four Ukrainian regions, Western officials believe.

British diplomats are working to shore up support among the 193-nation general assembly for the motion that condemns the "attempted illegal annexation" of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia through sham referendums.

Western officials said on Tuesday that Russia is trying "very hard" to frame the war and annexation of Ukraine as a "West verses the rest" conflict.

But added that the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin were "sounding and looking weaker and weaker and more isolated" every day.

Officials are pushing hard to deliver a large defeat in the non-binding vote, eying earlier polls that saw around 140 countries vote against Moscow.

They are expected to vote on Wednesday or Thursday, and hope that counties previously loyal to Russia will turn against the Kremlin leaving Putin feeling "very bruised and isolated" on the international stage.

One western official said they were "very confident" of winning the motion, but wanted to deliver as large a blow as possible.

”Apart from the specific issue about the annexation of the four regions of Ukraine, this is an issue of interest to the wider General Assembly membership,” they said.

“Because it's about a principle which is core to the UN Charter about the rule of law and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all 193 member states.

“If we concede this fundamental principle, we move to a point where any leader, any rogue head of state, could by force or by fiat, simply annex another country and that's what we've seen Putin try to do.

“And when we look across the UN membership, you can think about some quite important areas of border which could be contested in this way.

“So that is the fundamental principle and that I think is why so many member states have engaged on it.”

Moscow used its veto to prevent a legally binding security council resolution, so the western-backed resolution is now going to the general assembly.

Russia has tried and failed to get it held as a secret ballot, which it believes would get more support.

The General Assembly decided, with 107 votes in favor, that it would hold a public vote on a draft resolution that condemns Russia's "illegal so-called referenda" and the "attempted illegal annexation."