HRC49 – ID on High Commissioner’s oral update on Ukraine – 30 March 2022 – Statement by Estonia

Mr President,

Estonia fully aligns with the statement delivered by the EU.

Due to the Russian unprovoked, unjustified and unlawful aggression against Ukraine, the world is witnessing one of the fastest growing refugee crises in history. Over 10 million people have been forced to leave their homes, over 3 million have left Ukraine. More than half of the refugees are children.

The Russian armed forces continue to bomb Ukrainian cities, killing innocent people, including women and children, and destroying civilian infrastructure, including the orphanages, kindergartens, schools and hospitals. Numerous attempts to evacuate the remaining civilian population from the war zone have been disrupted by the Russian deliberate shelling. Ukraine is becoming a full-scale humanitarian catastrophe.

We strongly condemn the recruitment of residents of the Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea regions 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.

The failure of the Russian army in the planned Blitzkrieg has become an act of revenge by the occupying forces against the people of Ukraine. Russia’s actions in Ukraine have all the characteristics of war crimes and crimes against humanity. We urge Russia to end this war and violations of humanitarian and human rights law.

Madame High Commissioner,

To what extent can human rights organizations in the current situation monitor and document the gross and massive human rights violations committed by the Russian Federation in Ukraine to ensure accountability for these violations?