En Route to the UN, Ukraine’s President Challenges Russia’s Continued Membership

by Lucas Garcia
Ukrainian President UN Visit

Just days before a potential encounter with Russia’s chief diplomat at the United Nations, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday questioned the legitimacy of Russia’s continued presence at key international forums. Zelenskyy raised the issue while visiting Ukrainian military personnel receiving treatment at a New York hospital.

“It is crucial that our voice, our message, is acknowledged by our allies. The presence of Russian aggressors in the United Nations isn’t a question directed towards me, but rather towards all the member nations of the United Nations,” stated Zelenskyy after meeting with wounded Ukrainian soldiers.

Zelenskyy had just landed in the United States to garner global and U.S. support to counter Russia’s ongoing invasion, which has now lasted nearly 19 months and shows no signs of resolution. Russia, for its part, insists that its actions are justified.

Although Ukraine has received armaments and other forms of aid from its Western allies, the U.S. Congress is presently considering President Joe Biden’s proposal to allocate an additional $24 billion in military and humanitarian support to Ukraine.

Legislators in the United States are increasingly polarized on the issue of extending further financial assistance to Ukraine. Zelenskyy is set to make a visit to Capitol Hill on Thursday and is also scheduled for a meeting with President Biden at the White House.

Prior to these appointments, President Zelenskyy will address global leaders at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday and will speak on Wednesday at a U.N. Security Council meeting dedicated to the Ukrainian issue. Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council with veto powers, will be represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is slated to deliver remarks.

When questioned about whether he would remain in the room during Lavrov’s speech, Zelenskyy responded, “The outcome remains uncertain.”

Zelenskyy has previously criticized the United Nations, even before the commencement of hostilities initiated by a neighboring state that holds a Security Council seat with a mandate to preserve global peace and security. Notably, he expressed his disapproval at the 2021 General Assembly, describing the U.N. as “a once-formidable superhero who has long forgotten its past glories.”

On his first trip to the U.S. since last December, Zelenskyy began his visit with a tour of Staten Island University Hospital. This medical institution has treated 18 Ukrainian soldiers who have lost limbs in the ongoing conflict, according to Michael J. Dowling, CEO of parent company Northwell Health.

A New Jersey-based charitable organization, Kind Deeds, has assisted these injured soldiers in acquiring prosthetic limbs and has coordinated their outpatient physical therapy.

During his visit, Zelenskyy interacted with several wounded service members in a rehabilitation gym, inquiring about their conditions, wishing them a rapid recovery, and expressing gratitude for their service.

In a subsequent meeting room within the hospital, President Zelenskyy conferred medals upon the injured soldiers, participated in photo sessions, autographed a sizable Ukrainian flag, and expressed his gratitude both to medical staff and the wounded servicemen.

“We eagerly await your return to Ukraine,” he stated. “The nation is both grateful and proud, and your contributions are indispensable.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ukrainian President UN Visit

What is the main focus of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to the U.S.?

The primary focus of President Zelenskyy’s visit to the United States is to seek international and U.S. support for Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with Russia. He aims to make a strong case for his country at the U.N. General Assembly and in discussions in Washington.

Why is President Zelenskyy questioning Russia’s membership in the United Nations?

President Zelenskyy is questioning Russia’s membership in the United Nations due to its ongoing invasion of Ukraine. He raises this concern as a challenge to the international community, asking why a nation involved in aggression still holds a seat at significant global forums like the United Nations.

What kind of financial aid is the U.S. Congress considering for Ukraine?

The U.S. Congress is currently contemplating President Joe Biden’s request to provide up to $24 billion in additional military and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.

Where did President Zelenskyy visit wounded Ukrainian soldiers?

President Zelenskyy visited wounded Ukrainian soldiers at Staten Island University Hospital in New York.

What is the role of the New Jersey-based charity Kind Deeds?

Kind Deeds is a charitable organization based in New Jersey that has assisted wounded Ukrainian soldiers in acquiring prosthetic limbs and coordinated their outpatient physical therapy.

Is Russia expected to participate in the U.N. Security Council meeting about Ukraine?

Yes, Russia, being a permanent, veto-wielding member of the U.N. Security Council, is expected to participate. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is slated to deliver remarks during the meeting.

What are some of the previous criticisms that Zelenskyy has made against the United Nations?

In the past, President Zelenskyy has criticized the United Nations for its inefficacy, even before the onset of hostilities with Russia. At the 2021 U.N. General Assembly, he described the U.N. as “a once-formidable superhero who has long forgotten its past glories.”

What did President Zelenskyy do during his visit to the Staten Island University Hospital?

During his visit, President Zelenskyy interacted with several wounded Ukrainian soldiers. He conferred medals upon the injured, participated in photo sessions, and expressed gratitude to both medical staff and wounded servicemen.

More about Ukrainian President UN Visit

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Deborah Allen September 19, 2023 - 6:11 am

Kind Deeds charity sounds amazing. Helping wounded soldiers get prosthetics, that’s really something special.

Sarah Lewis September 19, 2023 - 8:29 am

Love how Zelenskyy takes time to visit wounded soldiers. Shows he cares, you know?

Kathy O'Brien September 19, 2023 - 4:15 pm

The U.S. is considering 24 billion more in aid? that’s a lot of money but I hope it helps Ukraine, they really need it.

William Johnson September 19, 2023 - 5:25 pm

Zelenskyy’s previous criticisms of the UN are spot on. They’ve kinda lost their way, haven’t they?

Emily Clark September 19, 2023 - 7:28 pm

This article is really comprehensive! Zelenskyy asking the UN about Russia is like, the elephant in the room finally being acknowledged.

John Smith September 20, 2023 - 12:44 am

Wow, Zelenskyy’s really making waves at the UN, huh? Can’t blame him tho, his country is at stake.

Robert Anderson September 20, 2023 - 1:29 am

gotta say, kinda shocking that Russia is still allowed in the UN despite everything. Makes you wonder what the UN is even for.

Mike Davis September 20, 2023 - 2:31 am

Good for Zelenskyy for taking a stand. but is anyone in the UN actually gonna do anything about Russia? Time will tell I guess.


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