UN Calls For Russia To Pay War Reparations: A Breakdown Of The Vote

On Monday the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for Russia to pay war reparations for its invasion of Ukraine, now nine months in. This is to include the billions of dollars in damage and destruction, as well as reparations for loss of life

The UN resolution states that the Russian Federation "must bear the legal consequences of all its internationally wrongful acts, including making reparation for injury, including any damage, caused by such acts."

It further seeks to establish "an international mechanism for reparation for damage, loss or injury" as a result of the war, and further calls for an "international register” to document evidence and claims of "damage, loss or injury" to Ukrainians and public buildings and entities.

UN Calls For Russia To Pay War Reparations: A Breakdown Of The Vote

In a Monday night video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed the UN measure, saying: "The reparations that Russia will have to pay… are now part of the international legal reality."

Western officials have from near the start of the invasion floated the idea of using seized Russian assets abroad due to sanctions enforcement to create a reparations fund for rebuilding Ukraine. 

The Kremlin was quick to condemn the UN resolution

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday said Russia stands “categorically against” the proposal, adding that Moscow would do “everything possible” to stop the West from seizing its frozen international reserves or “plundering” them to pay for reparations to Ukraine.

The draft resolution passed in the UNGA with a clear majority and will now proceed to the next stage (a Generally Assembly plenary, likely next month). 

Out of 193 members...

  • 94 countries voted in favor
  • 14 against 
  • 73 nations abstained

The breakdown of how countries voted is along familiar geopolitical fault lines...

Member states voting "no" (or a position seen by the West as "in favor of Russia") ...

  • The Bahamas
  • Belarus
  • Central African Republic
  • China
  • Cuba
  • North Korea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Mali
  • Nicaragua
  • Russian Federation
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Zimbabwe

Below: the majority of countries (in green) voted "yes" - while many abstained...

UN Calls For Russia To Pay War Reparations: A Breakdown Of The Vote

Notably India was an absention.

The UN website described the words of Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya as follows, "The Ambassador outlined the impact of the Russian war on his country, including bombings targeting residential buildings and infrastructure, the demolition of nearly half of the power grid and utilities, massive displacement, and atrocities such as murder, rape, torture and forced deportations."

In considering all of the above war atrocities, one wonders, where was the big Western push at the UN to make Washington pay war reparations over the 2003 "shock and awe" regime change invasion of Iraq, which by some estimates killed up to one million people?

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