DiCarlo: the war in Ukraine is a war of choice

Дикарло: война в Украине – это война по выбору

Rosemary DiCarlo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine. DiCarlo: the war in Ukraine is a war of choice Peace and Security

The incident with a Russian Il-76 military transport aircraft that crashed in the Belgorod region near the border with Ukraine occurred in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing war. UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo stated this at a meeting of the UN Security Council.

“To avoid further escalation, we urge all concerned to refrain from actions, rhetoric or accusations that could further inflame an already dangerous conflict,” DiCarlo said.

According to Russian authorities, there were 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war, six Russian crew members and three Russian military personnel on board the plane, all of whom died. According to Ukrainian authorities, the plane could have been carrying missiles. Both the Russian and Ukrainian sides are investigating what happened, and Kiev has also called for an international investigation into the incident.

Two years since the conflict began

DiCarlo recalled that in just a month the world will mark the tragic anniversary – two years since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which is a flagrant violation of the UN Charter and international law.

“In recent times weeks, the scale and intensity of attacks on Ukraine have only increased, highlighting the dangerous trajectory of the war. Shelling and missile attacks on civilian areas continue to kill and maim civilians,” DiCarlo said, adding that Russian strikes are destroying critical infrastructure.

Total since February 2022 Office The High Commissioner for Human Rights documented 10,312 civilian deaths, including 576 children. 19,530 people were injured, including 1,277 children.

These numbers continue to grow rapidly. On January 23, Russian missile strikes in Ukraine reportedly killed at least 18 civilians and injured more than 130. The fighting led to losses and destruction in Kyiv, Kharkov, Dnieper and Odessa.

On January 21, 28 civilians were reportedly killed and 30 wounded in shelling of the Russian-controlled Ukrainian city of Donetsk. The area of ​​cross-border strikes within the Russian Federation is also expanding, DiCarlo noted.

“The Secretary-General unequivocally condemns all attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, wherever they occur . They are prohibited by international law and must be stopped immediately,” DiCarlo said.

The situation of prisoners of war

The incident in the Belgorod region, which was allegedly linked to a planned prisoner exchange, is a reminder of the plight of prisoners of war, the deputy UN chief stressed.

Since February 2022, the UN has spoken with more than 280 Ukrainian prisoners of war who returned from Russian captivity, DiCarlo said. Over the past week alone, employees of the Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine interviewed 31 prisoners of war who returned in early January.

“What we hear in these interviews is shocking. Very few were able to communicate with their families during internment. More than 90 percent say they have been tortured. Many said they did not receive enough food or the medical care they urgently needed,” DiCarlo said.

“We call on Russia to allow independent international monitors unhindered access to prisoners of war “, she added.

DiCarlo reminded the parties that they must fulfill their obligations under the Geneva Conventions, and praised the progress made by Ukraine in this regard.

She also stated that yesterday’s incident should not affect the future fate of those who were in the hands of the enemy, and called on the parties to continue to exchange prisoners of war.

“Families both sides are waiting to be reunited with their loved ones. The war in Ukraine is a war of choice. Its tragic consequences are obvious to everyone. The longer it lasts, the more death and destruction it brings,” DiCarlo said.


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