(NewsNation Now) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken departs for Europe Thursday to meet with G7 leaders and NATO allies in Belgium, Poland, Moldova and the Baltic States, as the international criminal court opens a case to investigate whether Russia is committing war crimes.
On Wednesday, an overwhelming majority of nations voted to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attack. The vote on the resolution, entitled “Aggression Against Ukraine,” was 141-5 with 35 abstentions.
Assembly resolutions aren’t legally binding, but they do have clout in reflecting international opinion. Wednesday’s resolution condemned Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine “in the strongest terms” and demanded an immediate and complete withdrawal of all Moscow’s forces.
“141 countries voted to do that. Several abstained. China abstained. Didn’t vote with them, but abstained,” President Joe Biden said Wednesday.
Only a few countries voted against it, including Russia, Belarus, North Korea and Syria.
The New York Times reported China asked Russia to wait until after the Olympics in Beijing to invade Ukraine.
“It is disturbing that the Chinese didn’t take a stronger view to stop the invasion, but it’s not surprising,” Colonel Mark Cancian, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired), said on “Morning in America.” “They have a close relationship.”
Cancian said Russia launching the invasion during the Olympics would have brought “extra attention.”
Biden is expected to call quad leaders of Australia, India and Japan Thursday to discuss how the crisis in Ukraine will impact the Indo-Pacific.
“They’re alone. And he did what he did in my view because he thought he could split NATO, split Europe and split the United States. We’re going to demonstrate to the whole world no one can split this country,” Biden said from Wisconsin Wednesday.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield has pleaded with Russians to end fighting.
“Your leaders are lying to you. Do not commit war crimes. Do everything you can to put down your weapons and leave Ukraine,” she said.
Senior defense officials say Russian soldiers’ morale is struggling, and they’re running out of food and fuel.
Ukrainian president Zelenskyy declared his nation has “[broken] the enemy’s plans,” claiming 9,000 Russians have been killed in a week — a number of casualties that cannot be confirmed.
Currently, a senior U.S. defense official said a Russian column of hundreds of tanks and other vehicles appeared to be stalled roughly 16 miles from Kyiv and had made no real progress in the last couple of days.