During his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, President Biden called out Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying its aggression was about “extinguishing Ukraine’s right to exist as a state … and Ukraine’s right to exist as a people.”
JOE BIDEN: Let us speak plainly-- a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council invaded its neighbor, attempted to erase the sovereign state from the map. Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the United Nations Charter, no more important than the clear prohibition against countries taking the territory of their neighbor by force. Again, just today, President Putin has made overt nuclear threats against Europe in a reckless disregard for the responsibilities of the non-proliferation regime.
Now, Russia is calling up more soldiers to join the fight. And the Kremlin is organizing a sham referenda to try to annex parts of Ukraine, an extremely significant violation of the UN Charter. This world should see these outrageous acts for what they are-- Putin claims he had to act because Russia was threatened. But no one threatened Russia, and no one other than Russia sought conflict.
In fact, we warned it was coming. And with many of you, we worked to try to avert it. Putin's own words make his true purpose unmistakable. Just before he invaded, Putin asserted, and I quote, "Ukraine was created by Russia," and never had, quote, "real statehood." And now we see attacks on schools, railway stations, hospitals, on centers of Ukrainian history and culture.
In the past, even more horrifying evidence of Russia's atrocity and war crimes, mass graves uncovered in Izyum, bodies, according to those who excavated those bodies, showing signs of torture. This war is about extinguishing Ukraine's right to exist as a state, plain and simple, and Ukraine's right to exist as a people. Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever you believe, that should not-- that should make your blood run cold.