Oral presentation by the High Commissioner on the findings of the OHCHR periodic report on the situation of human rights in Ukraine – Statement of the Nordic-Baltic countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden) – delivered by Ambassador Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi – 15 December 2022

Thank you, Mister President,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country Estonia.

We thank the High Commissioner for the update.

Russia´s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine continues already for 10 months. Because of the war, the human rights situation is constantly deteriorating. The consequences of Russia’s continued deliberate attacks against critical infrastructure leading to lack of access to electricity, water and heating are catastrophic, not least with the winter approaching. We are also witnessing ever-increasing number of civilian casualties across the country. Russia bears full responsibility for the war and for the immense suffering its aggression is bringing upon the Ukrainian people. The effects of Russia’s warfare on the civilians is simply appalling.

On a daily basis, we receive information about acts committed by the Russian armed forces that may constitute war crimes: summary executions, torture, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, sexual and gender-based violence, ill-treatment, torture and execution of prisoners of war.

We will continue to pursue justice and accountability for war crimes committed during Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and to seek remedy and reparations to victims. We will never recognize Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories. We are firm in our support to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and we stand in solidarity with its brave people.

Mr. High Commissioner, is the OHCHR planning to follow up on the reports of forced transfers, filtration camps and expedited adoptions of Ukrainian citizens by Russian authorities?

I thank you.