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The UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly condemned Russia's proclaimed annexation of four Ukrainian regions in eastern and southern Ukraine.
More than three-quarters of the 193-member General Assembly on October 12 voted in favor of a resolution that called Moscow's move illegal.
Only Syria, Nicaragua, North Korea, and Belarus joined Russia in voting against the resolution. Thirty-five countries, including China, India, South Africa and Pakistan, abstained.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Twitter he was "grateful to 143 states that supported historic #UNGA resolution... [Russia's] attempt at annexation is worthless."
The resolution "condemns the organization by the Russian Federation of so-called referendums within the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine" and "the attempted illegal annexation" announced last month of four regions by President Vladimir Putin.
It calls on all UN and international agencies not to recognize any changes announced by Russia to borders and demands that Moscow "immediately and unconditionally reverse" its decisions.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the vote showed international unity against Russia and repeated Washington would never recognize the "sham" referendums.
The vote "is a powerful reminder that the overwhelming majority of nations stand with Ukraine, in defense of the UN Charter and in resolute opposition to Russia's ongoing war against Ukraine and its people," Blinken said in a statement.
"With very few nations voting with Russia today, it is clear that international unity on this question is resolute and support for Ukraine at the UN and beyond is unwavering," Blinken said.
Russian UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia told the General Assembly ahead of the vote that the resolution was "politicized and openly provocative," adding it "could destroy any and all efforts in favor of a diplomatic solution to the crisis."
The General Assembly vote, which the United States and other Western countries had lobbied for, followed a veto by Russia last month of a similar resolution in the 15-member Security Council on the annexation of the Ukrainian territory.
Moscow last month proclaimed its annexation of four partially occupied regions in Ukraine -- Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya -- after staging what it called referendums. Ukraine and its allies denounced the votes as illegal and said some voters were coerced into participating under threat of being shot.
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