HRC52 – Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine – Statement by Estonia to be delivered by H.E Ambassador Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi – 20 March 2023

Mr President,

Estonia fully aligns itself with the EU statement and with the statements of the groups it belongs to.

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has brought nothing but tears and intolerable suffering to the people in Ukraine.

In one recorded incident, Russian soldiers gangraped a pregnant woman who then had a miscarriage a few days later. In another incident, Russians ordered a priest, who was undressed and beaten, to parade naked in the streets of his village. These atrocities cannot go unpunished and perpetrators should be brought to justice.

Moreover, hundreds of thousands of children have been systematically put through filtration camps and forcefully transferred and deported to Russia’s controlled territories and to Russia, many of them separated from parents and illegally adopted. This Commission clearly stated that this is a violation of international humanitarian law and amounts to a war crime.

We must do everything we can to support Ukraine and hold Russia fully accountable for war crimes and other grave violations of international law. We commend all the efforts and initiatives taken to ensure accountability, including by this Commission. The ICC’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin and his main architect of child deportations and forced adoptions – Ms Maria Lvova-Belova – is an important step towards accountability. The humanity will prevail.


I thank you!