High Commissioner updates on Ukraine

Thank you High Commissioner.

Last week, the Commission of Inquiry confirmed to this Council that Russia is committing numerous violations of international humanitarian law in Ukraine, many of which amount to war crimes. Your thoughtful update only reinforces the devastating impacts of Russia’s war. Impacts tragically denied by Russia this morning.

In territory under Russian control, including illegally annexed Crimea, innocent civilians bear the brunt of Russia’s aggression, subjected to unimaginable abuse and denied even the most basic rights and freedoms. Russia’s disinformation machine is in full swing, including in this room, and their statement that Ukraine is committing violations against children is farcical and insulting. Let me remind this room that the COI has found that war crimes are being committed by Russian Forces on a large scale.

This is a deliberate attempt to break the Ukrainian people’s spirit by instilling terror and maximising hardship. That it is not working does not make Putin’s disregard for their human rights or dignity any less horrifying.

We urge Russia once again to cease its senseless attacks, and withdraw its forces from Ukraine’s sovereign territory and end the lies.

High Commissioner,

What more can we do to support those living under Russian oppression, particularly those who are most vulnerable, such as children and persons with disabilities?

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