Top news of the day | Wednesday: Ukraine, Secretary General in Brussels, Gaza, Belarus

Главные новости дня | среда: Украина, Генсек в Брюсселе, Газа, Беларусь

Protest march in Minsk in November 2020. Top news of the day | Wednesday: Ukraine, Secretary General in Brussels, Gaza, Belarus UN

The main news of the day in the UN and in the world: actions of the Russian Federation in the occupied territories of Ukraine; the head of the UN is on a visit to Brussels; less than half of humanitarian convoys reach northern Gaza; Belarusian authorities violate the rights of their citizens.

Actions of the Russian Federation in the occupied territories of Ukraine

The Russian Federation has created a “suffocating atmosphere of fear” in the areas of Ukraine it occupies, according to a report released Wednesday by the UN Human Rights Office. The authors of the document report that in an effort to consolidate their control over the population of these territories, the Russian authorities are committing “large-scale violations” of international law. The report, based on more than 2,300 interviews with victims and witnesses, details measures taken by the Russian Federation to impose the Russian language, citizenship, laws, judicial system and educational programs in the occupied territories. At the same time, as the document states, manifestations of Ukrainian culture and identity are suppressed in these regions and the Ukrainian system of governance is dismantled.

UN Head in Brussels

Today in Brussels, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres took part in a joint press conference with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. The UN chief said that the European Union is a reliable partner of the UN, including with regard to efforts to resolve conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine. “For two years now, Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has caused terrible suffering [to the population] and fueled global tension,” the Secretary General said. Guterres repeated his call for a just peace, respect for the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.

Aid to Gaza

Despite repeated calls from the international community for more aid reaching northern Gaza, less than half of the aid convoys have reached it this month. According to the latest UN, in the first two weeks of March, Israeli authorities facilitated only 11 of 24 humanitarian missions. The remaining missions were either rejected or postponed. Secretary-General António Guterres called on Israeli authorities to “ensure full and unimpeded access to humanitarian supplies throughout Gaza” and on the international community to fully support United Nations efforts to deliver aid.

Human Rights Violations in Belarus

In 2023, thousands of Belarusian citizens were subjected to arbitrary arrests and detentions for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly. This was stated on Tuesday in Geneva by the representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Christian Salazar Volkman. Most of those detained, he said, were prosecuted and convicted in trials that were not objective or fair. Their lawyers were subjected to pressure, arrest and, in some cases, ill-treatment or torture, and were often deprived of their lawyer’s licenses. Arrests of “real or alleged” opponents of the Belarusian authorities continued in 2024.


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