UN chief Antonio Guterres has condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine as a “disgrace” against the world’s collective conscience, almost a year after he addressed the General Assembly.
The meeting debated a motion demanding Russia’s immediate and unconditional withdrawal, backed by Ukraine and its allies.
Ukraine hopes to show solidarity by supporting the movement.
The Kremlin has accused the West of wanting to defeat Russia anyway.
Vasily Nebenzia, the Kremlin’s ambassador to the United Nations, said the United States and its allies were ready to plunge the entire world into war.
At least 7,199 civilians were killed and thousands injured in the devastating war. To the one who lovesRussia and Ukraine have lost at least 100,000 of their soldiers killed or wounded, according to the US military.
More than 13 million people were made refugees abroad or displaced within Ukraine.
Mr Putin’s claim that his move was necessary to “militarize and destroy” Ukraine, which has historic ties to Russia, was dismissed as a ploy for unprovoked aggression by Ukraine and its allies.
“That invasion is an affront to our collective conscience,” Mr Guterres told the General Assembly. “This is a violation of the United Nations Charter and international law.”
The potential consequences of a “spiral conflict,” he said, are a “clear and present danger.”
Mr Guterres said the war “fuels regional instability and fuels global tensions and divisions, while diverting attention and resources from other crises and pressing global issues”.
There, he said, there were “implicit threats to use nuclear weapons.”
“It’s time to step back from the limelight,” he said.
“Complacency will only deepen the crisis, while further eroding our shared principles enshrined in the Charter. War is not the solution. War is the problem. People in Ukraine are suffering greatly. Ukrainians, Russians and people beyond need peace.”
Sixty countries have sponsored the resolution, which emphasizes the “need to quickly achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.”
In his address to the nation on Tuesday, Mr Putin also announced Russia’s decision to suspend a key nuclear arms deal after US President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Kiev and praised Western democracies for standing up to Russian aggression.
Mr Biden called the decision to suspend the 2010 treaty designed by the US and Russia to prevent nuclear war a big mistake.
On Wednesday, Mr Putin met China’s top foreign policy official Wang Yi in Moscow and said “cooperation with Beijing is very important to stabilize the international situation”. The visit ended China’s claim of neutrality over the Ukraine conflict.