Updated Jun 29, 2022 - World

Zelensky slams "terrorist" Putin and urges UN to expel Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sits for a press conference on April 23, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during an April news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said Tuesday Russia should be expelled from the United Nations, and he called for an international tribunal to investigate "the actions of Russian occupiers on Ukrainian soil."

Driving the news: Zelensky said in a video address to the UN Security Council that the Kremlin must be "brought to justice," otherwise "it could bring terrorist activity" to other European countries and Asia — specifically the Baltic states, Poland, Moldova, and Kazakhstan.

What he's saying: Zelensky said the UN should send a representative to Ukraine so officials could independently verify that Monday's deadly attack on a Kremenchuk shopping center "indeed was a Russian missile strike," after Russia's military denied targeting the mall.

  • "We need to act urgently to do everything to make Russia stop the killing spree," Zelensky said.
  • "Putin has become a terrorist," Zelensky of the Russian president. "Daily terrorist acts, without weekends. Every day they are working as terrorists."

What they're saying: Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia's deputy ambassador to the UN, called Zelensky's virtual address a "remote PR [public relations] campaign for President Zelensky in order to get more weapons," per Reuters.

Worth noting: Zelensky cited Article 6 of the UN Charter, which states that a member that has "persistently violated the principles contained in the present Charter may be expelled from the organisation by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council."

Yes, but: Russia has the power of veto as a UN Security Council permanent member, so that's unlikely to happen.

Flashback: The UN voted unanimously in April to adopt a rule that would automatically trigger a General Assembly meeting if any of the Security Council's five veto-wielding members use that power to block a resolution.

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from Russia's deputy ambassador to the UN.

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