UN to set up inquiry into possible Russian war crimes

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The United Nations Human Rights Council voted to launch an inquiry into alleged serious violations committed by Russian troops. The council voted 33-2 to create an investigation into alleged violations. China and Eritrea voted against the resolution.

GENEVA, May 12: The United Nations Human Rights Council voted overwhelmingly Thursday to launch an inquiry into alleged serious violations committed by Russian troops in Ukraine, putting their conduct further under the microscope.

“The areas … which have been under Russian occupation in late February and March have experienced the most gruesome human rights violations on the European continent in decades,” Ukraine’s First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Emine Dzhaparova, told the Council.

Russian War Crimes - Human Rights Council
The crimes committed against the civilian populations of the cities on the outskirts of Kyiv have horrified the whole world. The roads suburban residents once used every day in peacetime to commute to their jobs in Kyiv are now beyond recognition (Photo: Kyiv City State Administration, Oleksiі Samsonov).

Concerned by extrajudicial executions, civilian casualties, the use of torture and abuses against children, the council voted 33-2 to create an investigation into alleged violations, with a view to holding the perpetrators to account. China and Eritrea voted against the resolution, while 12 countries — including India, Pakistan and Cuba — abstained.

Russia, which has as usual denied carrying out abuses in what it calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine, left its seat at the Geneva-based Council empty in protest. Russia faithfully follows its doctrine “if you deny and lie long enough, people will believe you.”

Images: Kharkivian (Serhii Petrov) & КМДА, Олексій Самсонов

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