The High Commissioner for Human Rights called on Russia to immediately end its war against Ukraine

Верховный комиссар по правам человека призвал Россию немедленно прекратить войну против Украины

A mother and two children are hiding from bombing in the Kiev metro. January 2024. The High Commissioner for Human Rights called on Russia to immediately end its war against Ukraine Peace and Security

The Russian Federation’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has taken a horrific toll and caused enormous suffering to millions of civilians, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said on Thursday.

“Russia’s full-scale armed attack on Ukraine, now in its third year with no end in sight, continues to result in serious and widespread human rights violations and destroy lives,” he said.

Thousands of dead and injured

In its latest report, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) confirmed that since 24 February 2022, the conflict has claimed 10,582 civilian lives and injured 19,875, with the real figures likely to be significantly higher.

Millions of people were forced to flee their homes, thousands lost their homes, hundreds of health and educational facilities were damaged or destroyed, significantly limiting people’s ability to exercise their right to health and education.

“The long-term impact of this war in Ukraine will be felt for generations,” Turk said.

10 years of annexation of Crimea

This month marks not only two years since Russia’s full-scale armed attack, but also 10 years since it illegally annexed the Ukrainian Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the Supreme Commander recalled Commissioner.

Since 24 February 2022, the already dire human rights situation in occupied Crimea has worsened due to repression against those who criticize the occupation. Next week, the UN Human Rights Office will release a report on the ten-year Russian occupation.

Violations in occupied territory

For Over the past two years, the UN Human Rights Office has documented numerous cases of torture, ill-treatment and arbitrary detention of civilians by the Russian military. Mass executions, enforced disappearances, and suppression of the rights to freedom of expression and assembly have also been reported in the occupied territory.

In addition, HRMMU interviews with more than 550 former Ukrainian prisoners of war and civilian detainees revealed that Russian military forces committed serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including summary executions and torture.

Ukrainian Violations

“The ongoing Russian attack does not absolve Ukrainian forces from their own obligations to comply with international human rights law and international humanitarian law,” Turk said. Over the past two years, the Office has documented a number of violations committed by Ukrainian military and security forces, although not as extensive as violations committed by Russian forces. Turk said that the UN Human Rights Office is constantly working with the Ukrainian authorities to resolve these problems.

The High Commissioner called for a thorough and independent investigation into all violations of human rights and international humanitarian law , and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice and that victims are compensated.

End the war immediately

He also repeated his called on the Russian Federation to immediately end the war – in accordance with its obligations under international law and the UN Charter, and emphasized the need to achieve peace.

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