Ukraine calls for UN investigation into possible Russian war crimes

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Ukraine and its allies called for a United Nations inquiry into possible Russian war crimes committed in the invasion of the country. 

“Russian forces attempt to sow panic among the population by specifically targeting kindergartens and orphanages, hospitals and mobile medical aid brigades, thus committing acts that may amount to war crimes.” Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations, Yevheniia Filipenko, said to the Human Rights Council, Reuters reported. 

British minister of state Tariq Ahmad echoed the calls for an investigation into possible Russian human rights violations. 

“There are various discussions taking place here at the Human Rights Council on this investigative mechanism. There are other engagements that we are having, including with the ICC [International Criminal Court], to ensure there is accountability for those crimes that are being committed every hour, every day on the sovereign territory of Ukraine,” Ahmad said, according to the news service.

Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Gennady Gatilov said his country had begun “special operations to stop the tragedy,” noting that Moscow was not to attack civilian targets — though civilian deaths have been reported in the invasion.  

On Monday, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to hold an “urgent debate” scheduled for Thursday to discuss the invasion as well as a Ukrainian draft resolution. 

The resolution calls for an investigation of a commission composed of three independent experts to examine Russian violations of international law in Crimea as well as in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions since 2014 and across Ukraine since the invasion last week, Reuters added. 

On Sunday prior to that vote, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that the United Nations would work to isolate Russia as a penalty for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

“We can isolate them in the United Nations. We can isolate them in U.N. specialized agencies. They are feeling that isolation,” Thomas-Greenfield said of Russia during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

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