New York: Russia took ove the presidency of the UN Security Council on Saturday.
A day earlier, the Kremlin said Russia plans to exercise all the rights afforded by the role.
Meanwhile, the United States urged Russia to "conduct itself professionally" while holding the position.
The US said that there was no way to prevent Russia from assuming the presidency. UN member states take on the rotating presidency of the Security Council in alphabetical order according to the English-language names of each country.
The council's presidency will be held by Russia for the month of April, after which it will be replaced by Switzerland. Russia's presidency follows that of Mozambique.
Andriy Yermak, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's chief of staff, said that this represented a “symbolic blow to the rules-based system of international relations.”
An intelligence update from the British Defence Ministry says that Moscow has made only “marginal” gains in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region.
The ministry said the tenure of Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, who took office in January, had been "characterized by an effort to launch a general winter offensive with the aim of extending Russian control over the whole of the Donbas region."