UN Human Rights Council to investigate rights violations by Russia in Ukraine

Council votes to investigate all alleged violations, rights abuses, violations of international humanitarian law, related crimes.

UN Human Rights Council to investigate rights violations by Russia in Ukraine

The UN Human Rights Council voted Friday to set up an independent investigative commission on alleged human rights violations committed by Russia in Ukraine where war rages on.

The council voted to investigate all alleged violations, human rights abuses, violations of international humanitarian law, and related crimes.

Of the 47-member council, 32 voted for the resolution and two – Russia and Eritrea – opposed it. China, which said it opposes the setting up of the investigation commission, abstained.

Before the vote, Yevheniia Filipenko, Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN, called for a moment of silence for all those killed in the Russian-Ukraine war, with the whole council observing it.

"Thousands of innocent civilians have now lost their lives. Russian forces continue deliberate and indiscriminate shelling of Ukrainian cities," said Filipenko.

"The number of people who were displaced has already exceeded 1 million," the Ukrainian envoy added.

The destruction of civilian infrastructure, she said, has left hundreds of thousands without access to electricity or water, and other essential needs.

"The shelling of Europe's largest nuclear plant may lead to a global catastrophe," Filipenko also said. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed the UN decision. 

"Evidence will be documented and used in international courts. Russian war criminals will be held accountable," he said on Twitter.

Belarus joined Russia in rejecting the resolution, but did not have a vote as it is not in the Human Rights Council.

China, France, Russia, the UK, and US are all in the Human Rights Council, but unlike the UN Security Council, they do not have a veto.

Hüseyin Demir

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