World community shuns Putin

World community shuns Putin. By The Australian’s Editorial Board.

Vladimir Putin’s defeat in the overwhelming vote against him in the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, which reportedly left him shaken, shows the world’s abhorrence of his monstrous assault on Ukraine. …

Even small, developing countries that usually do not take a stand on global crises lined up to condemn Moscow, some comparing Russia to “colonialist aggressors” of the past.

The vote deploring Russia in the strongest terms for its aggression, its violations of international humanitarian law and abuses of human rights, and demanding its unconditional withdrawal from Ukraine, was backed by 141 countries. Only fellow dictatorships and serial human rights abusers voted with Russia — North Korea, Belarus, Eritrea and Syria. Even Cuba, long tied to Moscow’s apron strings, abstained.

Mr Putin may try to take some comfort from the abstention by the world’s largest democracy, India, a key member alongside Australia, the US and Japan in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue formed to defend democracy in our region. It was among 35 countries that abstained. About 60 per cent of India’s military inventory is of Soviet-Russian origin and it is reliant on Russian resupplies of missiles and other weapons for its defence against potential aggression from Pakistan and China. …

India’s abstention was regrettable. So was that of South Africa … The African National Congress has longstanding ties to Moscow.

In abstaining, India placed itself alongside China. Beijing’s UN ambassador gave no clear reason, given the close ties between Mr Putin and President Xi Jinping, why it did not back Moscow. After dithering, Indonesia, a leader of the Moscow-linked Non-Aligned Movement, supported the resolution, to its credit.

Oddly enough, countries don’t like to see borders trampled by military force. Putin went too far. If he wanted Ukrainians to join Russia and scorn the West, he should have asked nicely and persuaded. Maybe annexing and occupying parts of Ukraine a few years ago was ultimately the wrong approach?

Ukrainians are entitled to self-determination, just like anywhere else. There isn’t some special set of rules for countries near Russia, whereby they miss out on some rights.

Stephen Neil:

Rape when seduction was needed — comment of the month!