Ukraine calls on the United Nations to investigate alleged Russian war crimes – National

Ukraine and its allies on Monday called for a United Nations investigation into possible war crimes committed by Russia during its military actions in Ukraine.

The UN Human Rights Council voted on Monday to accept Ukraine’s request to hold an emergency debate on the Russian invasion on Thursday. A Ukrainian draft resolution will be considered during the emergency debate.

If passed, a commission of three independent experts will investigate all alleged violations of international law in Crimea and the Donetsk and Luhansk regions since 2014 and in other parts of Ukraine since the Russian invasion last week. .

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Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Yevheniia Filipenko, told the Human Rights Council: “Russian forces are trying to sow panic among the population by specifically targeting kindergartens and orphanages. , hospitals and mobile medical aid brigades, thereby committing acts that may constitute war crimes. .”

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Sheba Crocker, US ambassador to the UN in Geneva, said in a statement to Reuters that Monday’s vote to hold the debate showed Russia was completely isolated in the council.

“Only four countries supported Russia’s position, clearly demonstrating that the international community is united in condemning Russia’s blatant action,” she said.

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Tensions continue to rise as Russian troops approach Kiev

Tensions continue to rise as Russian troops approach Kiev

Russian Ambassador Gennady Gatilov said he had launched “special operations to stop the tragedy” in Ukraine’s breakaway region of Donbass, and that Russian forces were not firing at civilian targets in Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday canceled his planned visit to Geneva to address the forum, which the Moscow mission said was “due to an unprecedented ban on his flight in the airspace of a number of EU countries that have imposed anti-Russian sanctions”. but gave no details.

The cancellation coincided with neutral Switzerland imposing financial sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Lavrov.

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British Minister of State Lord Ahmad has called for an investigation into alleged human rights abuses by Russia.

“There are various ongoing discussions here at the Human Rights Council about this investigative mechanism. There are other commitments we have, including with the ICC (International Criminal Court), to ensure accountability for these crimes that are being committed every hour, every day in the sovereign territory of Ukraine. he told Reuters.

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He said Russia was increasingly isolated economically, politically and diplomatically.

“We will continue to work with our international partners to ensure that again a very clear message is sent to Russia that there is a major economic cost for Russian institutions, Russian banks, that this invasion is going to cost them dearly. .”

Canada’s Foreign Minister, Mélanie Joly, told the UN rights forum: “Let me convey something directly to the representative of Russia: human rights are universal and cannot be manipulated. to justify wars and crimes.

Additional reporting by Emma Farge; written by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Peter Graff and Angus MacSwan

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