Only 4 countries side with Russia as U.N. rejects annexations in Ukraine

U.N. Ambassador from Ukraine Sergiy Kyslytsya uses binoculars in the U.N. General Assembly before a vote condemning Russia's move to illegally annex parts of Ukraine. [Bebeto Matthews/AP]

The U.N. General Assembly roundly rejected Russia's move to illegally annex four regions of Ukraine, with only four countries voting alongside President Vladimir Putin's regime.

"The world had its say," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said as he expressed his gratitude — a message he issued in seven languages. He called Russia's push for annexation "worthless," saying free nations will never recognize it.

There were 35 abstentions, but 143 countries voted in favor of Ukraine's resolution, which cited not only the need to protect the sovereignty of a country that has now withstood a Russian invasion for more than seven months, but also to defend the U.N. charter itself.

Some 143 delegations to the U.N. voted to condemn Russia's move to illegally annex parts of Ukraine, with Russia joined by only four other countries: Belarus, Nicaragua, North Korea and Syria. [U.N. News Service]

Only Belarus and Nicaragua joined Syria and North Korea to go on the record opposing a resolution that calls on countries to not recognize Russia's claim on the Ukrainian regions.