Statement of the Association of Azovstal Defenders’ Families

October 5, 2022

Ms. Liliia Stupina, co-founder of the Association of Azovstal Defenders’ Families and wife of Azovstal defender prisoner of war, spoke at the UN Human Rights Council on behalf of WFUWO during the interactive dialogue on the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Ukraine on 4 October.

Mr. President,

– After the cynical murder of Ukrainian prisoners of war by Russian occupiers in the Olenivka concentration camp located on a temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine,

– After inhumane tortures,

– After cruelty upon human dignity,

– After international humanitarian organizations and missions never gained access to places of deprivation of liberty,

We – wives, sisters and mothers of Ukrainian prisoners of war, defenders of “Azovstal”, who bravely withstood the siege of the enemy in Mariupol for 86 days, 

In front of the whole world, turn to the UN Human Rights Council with questions:

How many more merciless deaths need to occur in Ukraine, for the world to listen and take action?

The Geneva Conventions no longer work!

Despite the release of some of the captured defenders of Mariupol, more than 1000 defenders of “Azovstal” still remain in Russian captivity. 

Among them – 40 women and young women, including ones who are pregnant, a 70-year-old woman and other elderly people. The Kremlin is trying to paint them as terrorists in your eyes, and then cynically kill them to put on another show.

They are doomed to martyrdom in real concentration camps created by Russia, a country, which the world is gradually recognizing as a terrorist state!  In the center of Europe, the Russians are committing a real genocide against the Ukrainian people!

Doing nothing to prevent this – is complicity in this crime!

The Council must take all measures, use all its mandates, to send its representatives to places where Ukrainian prisoners of war are held. 

Today, more than ever, the United Nations must prove its ability to protect human rights!