China, India and the United Arab Emirates all abstained on the vote which took place on Friday. Led by the US and Albania, the resolution, which was defeated 11-1, would have deplored Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine.
It called for Moscow to immediately to pull out its military and stop using force against Ukraine, and to reverse a decision to recognise two separatist areas in eastern Ukraine as independent.
After the vote, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Twitter: “Russia can veto this resolution, but cannot veto our voices.
“Russia cannot veto the truth. Russia cannot veto our principles. Russia cannot veto the Ukrainian people. Russia cannot veto the UN Charter. And Russia will not veto accountability.”
And UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said that Russia is “isolated” and that “no country votes with them”.
She added on Twitter: “They are a global pariah. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and violation of the UN Charter will have severe consequences.”
The resolution’s failure paves the way for backers to call for a swift vote on a similar measure in the UN General Assembly.
There are no vetoes in the 193-member assembly, but so far there is no timetable as yet for a potential assembly vote.
The vote came as Mr Putin’s military forces advanced on the capital Kyiv amid another day of fierce skirmishes between Russian and Ukrainian troops.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, warned on Friday night that the assault by Russian forces on the capital would be “very hard”.
Speaking shortly after the veto of the UN Security Council resolution, he said: “This night the enemy will be using all available means to break our resistance. This night they will launch an assault.
“This night we must persevere. The fate of Ukraine is being decided right now.”
He added: “It was a difficult but courageous day. We are fighting for our country on all frontlines: in the South, East, North, in many cities of our beautiful country.”
Mr Putin’s continuing aggression towards the country has prompted a fresh set of sanctions from the US, EU and Britain.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the US was preparing individual sanctions on Mr Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, likely to include travel bans.
The announcement came hours after the EU announced it intended to freeze Putin’s assets, and Boris Johnson told Nato leaders the UK would also sanction Mr Putin and Mr Lavrov.
Additional reporting by agencies
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