Friday, April 15, 2022

UN General Assembly Excludes Putin’s Russia from Human Rights Council Just as It Did Khadafi’s Libya in 2011

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 6 – While the number of UN members voting with Russia about its removal from the UN Human Rights Council was larger than the number of those who voted to condemn it for Putin’s war in Ukraine, the General Assembly nonetheless voted overwhelmingly to expel Russia, 93 to 24 with 58 abstentions.

            This is only the second time UNGA has taken such an action: the first was in 2011 when it expelled Muammar Khadafi’s Libyan regime. Putin’s Russia is now in the same category, an international outcast denounced by most of the world for its violations of UN principles (

            The only major power that voted against excluding Russia was China, itself a totalitarian state. The others who did so were a laundry list of the vicious, the excluded, and the dependent on Russian assistance: Zimbabwe, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Central African Republic, Belarus, and four former Soviet Central Asian republics.

            Reacting to this event, Moscow commentator Igor Yakovenko says that in addition to its growing political isolation, Moscow faces growing economic isolation as well, trends that will only intensify because “each day that the war continues brings new exposure of the crimes of the Putin occupiers.”

            Ukraine’s capacity to resist is growing as well thanks to programs like the US World War II lend-lease arrangements that will mean that weapons and ammunition from the West will reach Ukraine far more rapidly and in larger quantities than has been the case up to now, Yakovenko continues.

            But there is another, “more important” factor underlying the changed situation around Putin’s war in Ukraine and that is Ukraine’s heroic resistance and its new understanding of the kind of country it must be as long as its existence is threatened as now by an aggressive and revanchist Russia, the commentator says.

            In remarks to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky says that his country will now seek to “emulate the Israeli state” even after the defeat of Russia’s “special operation.” Faced with neighbors who wish it ill, he adds, Ukraine like Israel will have soldiers “in movie theaters and supermarkets, and people with guns will be Ukraine’s future.”

            As Yakovenko points out, “the Jewish state of Israel has for a long time and successfully stood up to much larger enemies who have set as their goal its destruction. Israel today is a response to the Holocaust which German fascism carried because the destruction of the Jewish people was its chief ideological dictum.”

            “Russian fascism has officially declared its goal to be the destruction of Ukraine as a state and the Ukrainian people as a community because it says that Ukraine and Ukrainians are unworthy of a separate existence,” the Moscow commentator says. That means the Ukraine is wise to define its future as Israel has defined its.

            It is far too early to declare that Russia has lost and Ukraine won the current round, Yakovenko concludes; but it is already obvious that Russia will lose in the end and that Ukraine, like Israel, will not only survive but ultimately force Russia to change or to be further reduced to outcast status among the nations of the world.

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