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UN Human Rights Council 56: UK Statement on the human rights situation in Ukraine and Crimea

Thank you, Mr Vice President, and thank you High Commissioner for your sober update, and for the work your office and the monitoring mission do, day in, day out, to capture the appalling reality of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, an aggression that is as illegal today as it was when Russia attacked Crimea in 2014 or launched its full scale invasion in 2022.

On Monday, we saw the horrific airstrike on a children’s hospital in Kyiv. “Senseless suffering” as you said, High Commissioner. Not the first Russian atrocity in this war. Nor surely the last. But we are determined to hold those responsible to account. Just as we do with the decapitated Ukrainian soldiers, the tortured POWs or the use of sexual violence against detainees and those living under Russian occupation.

Last month the European Court of Human Rights found Russia to have committed multiple human rights violations since its illegal annexation of Crimea. Justice must and will be done for every crime Russia has committed across Ukraine. And let me assure both our Ukrainian friends and the Russian aggressor that under our new Government the UK’s support for Ukraine is iron-clad.

High Commissioner, you said that Russia’s latest attacks against energy infrastructure have been the most extensive since the winter of 2022-2023. What more can be done to protect vulnerable communities living in these regions?

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