HRC50 – ID on the High Commissioner’s oral presentation on Ukraine and on the interim report of the Secretary-General on human rights Crimea – 5 July 2022

Mr President, Madam High Commissioner, Mr Secretary-General

Estonia fully aligns with the EU statement and thanks the High Commissioner and Secretary-General for their updates.

As we have seen over the course of four months during Russia’s unprovoked large-scale military aggression against Ukraine, Russia continues to achieve its aim by terrorizing civilians: maternity hospitals, schools, kindergartens, residential buildings, and also shopping centres are targeted indiscriminately and without any remorse. The shelling of a crowded shopping centre of Kremenchuk as well as numerous other intensified attacks on Slovyansk, Harkiv, Mykolaiv, Serhiivka and many other Ukrainian settlements in recent days have no justification whatsoever. No justification other than to kill, injure and cause extensive human suffering. We condemn in the strongest possible way these attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, and urge Russia to immediately and unconditionally withdraw all its troops and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.

These systematic violations of humanitarian law and human rights by Russia, deliberate attacks on civilian objects and civilians, executions, torture and ill-treatment, sexual and gender-based violence, arbitrary arrests, abductions, enforced disappearances and forced deportations of civilians, including unaccompanied children to Russia, as well as their illegal adoption, committed against Ukrainian people amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and possibly even genocide.

Those who incite and commit atrocity crimes in Ukraine must and will be held accountable. We need collectively to give our strongest support to the ongoing work by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine and the work of the Expert Missions under the Moscow Mechanism of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s as well as the national investigations by the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine. Justice will be brought to victims and their families.

In Crimea, the already limited civic space to express dissenting and critical opinions is further curtailed by the introduction of new vague legislation introducing sanctions for “discrediting” or “obstruction” of Russian armed forces. We strongly condemn the recruitment of residents of the Crimea region into the Russian army and their use in the war against Ukraine. We reiterate that Russia has committed the human rights violations during the previous 8 years in eastern Ukraine and in Crimea, including violations against Crimean Tatars.

Madame High Commissioner,

How can we help human rights monitoring mechanisms and international investigators to examine and document the massive human rights violations committed by the Russian Federation in Ukraine?