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UN Rights Council approves probe into alleged Russian abuses

Inquiry will examine alleged atrocities in areas near Ukrainian capital that had been briefly held by Russian troops.

The UN Human Rights Council has accepted an investigation into potential warfare crimes by Russian troops in Ukraine.

Members of the council voted 33 to 2 on Thursday in favour of a decision introduced ahead by Kyiv to order a Commission of Inquiry to probe alleged atrocities in a number of areas across the Ukrainian capital that had been briefly held by Russian troops.

China was one of many two members to vote towards Thursday’s decision. The different was Eritrea. Twelve member states, together with Cuba, Kazakhstan, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Venezuela, abstained from the vote.

Moscow’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Gennady Gatilov, criticised the council’s determination.

“Instead of discussing the true causes that led to the crisis in this country and looking for ways to resolve them, the ‘collective West’ is organising another political route to demonise Russia,” the Reuters information company quoted Gatilov as saying in an emailed assertion.

Chinese ambassador Chen Xu additionally complained of the “politicisation” of the Council, saying the decision may “add fuel to fire”.

The UN’s high rights physique additionally known as on Russia to instantly enable humanitarian employees entry to civilians taken from Ukraine to Russia, following accusations from Ukrainian mayors, native officers and residents about individuals being moved throughout the border towards their will.

‘The scale of unlawful killings is shocking’

Russia, which has denied finishing up abuses in what it calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine, withdrew from the 47-member Council final month.

That move got here after the UN General Assembly voted to droop Moscow from the physique and from sitting in judgement of different nations’ human rights information over allegations of rights violations in Ukraine.

A Russian delegation may nonetheless have joined Thursday’s session as an observer however Moscow selected to not ship representatives.

Addressing the council earlier, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, stated there have been many examples of potential warfare crimes dedicated by Russian troops in Ukraine.

“The scale of unlawful killings, including indications of summary executions in areas to the north of Kyiv, is shocking,” she stated, including that 1,000 our bodies had been recovered to date within the area across the Ukrainian capital.

The Kremlin has argued, with out offering proof, that photos of lifeless civilians on the streets of cities comparable to Bucha had been staged to discredit its forces.

Moscow withdrew its troops from areas round Kyiv in early April and refocused its offensive on Ukraine’s japanese Donbas area, the place Russia-backed separatists have held swaths of territory since early 2014.


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