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22 Sep, 2020 20:52

‘War in Europe’: Ukrainian leader Zelensky tells United Nations that Russia wants to divide the world into spheres of influence

‘War in Europe’: Ukrainian leader Zelensky tells United Nations that Russia wants to divide the world into spheres of influence

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused neighboring Russia of trying to divide the world into "spheres of influence" in a speech, delivered remotely from Kiev, to the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.

According to Zelensky, the United Nations (UN) was built on the fact that “humankind should have learned the tragic lessons of World War II,” but Russia’s “occupation of Crimea” and “aggression in the Donbass” are proof that the world has not learned from the past.

“I would like to remind you that it is not only, and not just, war in Ukraine. It’s war in Europe,” Zelensky said. “It’s not just an encroachment on the sovereignty of an independent state. It’s like an attempt to return to the division of spheres of influence in the world.”

During the Cold War, it was said that the Soviet Union had its sphere of influence in much of Eastern Europe, as well as in other communist countries, such as Cuba and Vietnam. The other sphere of influence was controlled by the US and included Australia, Japan, South Korea and Western Europe.

Crimea was re-absorbed into Russia in March 2014, following a referendum. The vote is not recognized by the West, which views Crimea as an illegally occupied Ukrainian peninsula. Following the events of March 2014, sanctions were imposed on Russia. Ukraine also accuses Russia of military aggression in the Donbass, in the east of Ukraine. The 'frozen' war in the region has been ongoing for over six years, and concluding it peacefully was a staple of Zelensky’s election manifesto.

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