Ukraine war: Biden, Zelenskyy speak by phone for 30 minutes

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President Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke for over half an hour via phone on Tuesday, a White House official said, as Zelenskyy’s country remains under assault from invading Russian forces.

Zelenskyy confirmed that the call took place, tweeting about it afterward.

“Just had a conversation with @POTUS . The American leadership on anti-Russian sanctions and defense assistance to Ukraine was discussed,” Zelenskyy said. “We must stop the aggressor as soon as possible. Thank you for your support!”

President Biden and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy meet in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Sept. 1, 2021.
(Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The two talked about “ongoing deliveries of security assistance, economic support, and humanitarian aid,” and Russia’s attacks on civilians, including the bombing near the Babyn Yar Holocaust memorial, the White House said. 

As Russia continues its operation and moves toward the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, Secretary of State Antony Blinken chastised the Kremlin during a virtual meeting of the UN Human Rights Council.

“Reports of Russia’s human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law mount by the hour. Russian strikes are hitting schools, hospitals and residential buildings,” Blinken told the council. 

“One can reasonably ask whether a UN member state that tries to take over another UN member state – while committing horrific human rights abuses and causing massive humanitarian suffering – should be allowed to remain on this council,” he added. 

Blinken condemned placatory language by nations on the 47-member council and argued they are contributing to the security threat Ukraine already faces.

“Council members should stop using language implying that all sides bear equal responsibility for the unprovoked attack of one side. This isn’t evenhanded – it’s wrong – and fails to place accountability where it belongs,” the secretary of state said. “The same goes for members who argue, falsely, that denouncing human rights abuses is ‘politicizing’ the situation. 

“It is failing to speak up about human rights abuses that politicizes the situation,” he added.

Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.

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