Russia’s war in Ukraine has inflicted ‘horrific human cost’: UN

Says damage caused by war would be felt for generations

GENEVA  -  Russia’s war in Ukraine has exacted a terrible human cost and in­flicted suffering on mil­lions, the United Na­tions rights chief said Thursday, ahead of the second anniversary of the invasion. The dam­age caused by the war would be felt for gen­erations, said UN High Commissioner for Hu­man Rights Volker Turk, renewing his call for Moscow to stop the war immediately.

“The full-scale inva­sion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation has exacted a horrific hu­man cost, inflicting im­mense suffering on mil­lions of civilians,” Turk said. Russia invaded its neighbour on February 24, 2022.

“Russia’s full-scale armed attack on Ukraine, which is about to enter its third year with no end in sight, continues to cause seri­ous and widespread hu­man rights violations, destroying lives and livelihoods,” Turk said.

Turk called for thor­ough and independent investigations into all violations in the conflict and said victims should be afforded account­ability and reparations.

He said millions of Ukrainians had been displaced, thousands had lost their homes, and hundreds of hos­pitals and schools had been damaged or de­stroyed. “The long-term impact of this war in Ukraine will be felt for generations,” he said.

Turk’s office said that over the past two years it had documented “widespread torture, ill-treatment and arbitrary detention of civilians by Russian armed forces”.

“Summary executions, enforced disappearances and repression of the right to freedom of expression and assembly have also been documented in occupied territory,” it added.

The UN Human Rights Office said it had also documented violations committed by Ukrainian military and security forces, “albeit a frac­tion of the scope of those perpetrat­ed by Russian forces”.

“The ongoing Russian assault does not exempt Ukrainian forces from their own obligations to respect in­ternational human rights law and in­ternational humanitarian law,” Turk noted. He emphasised the urgency of achieving a just peace and appealed for Moscow to allow his office full ac­cess to those deprived of their liberty in the context of the war.

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