Statement on the grave human rights and humanitarian situation in Mariupol

June 16, 2022

Oral statement delivered by Dr. Kateryna Bondar, WFUWO’s Main Representative to the UN Geneva, at the Interactive Dialogue on UN High Commissioner’s update on the grave human rights and humanitarian situation in Mariupol, during the 50th session of the Human Rights Council (16 June 2022)

Mariupol, once beautiful, free and developing city, after months of heavy shelling was completely destroyed by Russian forces. There, the Russian army committed unspeakable atrocities and war crimes, including massive killing of Ukrainians, causing serious bodily and mental harm, destroying civilian infrastructure and inflicting conditions incompatible with life, forcible deportations of thousands of Ukrainian children to the Russian Federation, and rapes to prevent births. Genocidal intention and acts are obvious.

Civilians who managed to survive are lacking access to clean drinking water and risking infectious disease outbreak such as cholera. Similar to other territories temporarily occupied by Russian forces, reports about denial of basic human rights, looting of civilian property, grain and metal products on a mass scale, attack on Ukrainian culture, education, and destruction of Ukrainian books, are overwhelming.

Azov regiment that resisted the brutal slaughter of Ukrainians in Mariupol was subject of massive disinformation campaign by the Russian Federation, which started long before the full-scale attack on Ukraine. Now we still have important concerns over the fate of more than 2500 soldiers from Mariupol who are in Russian captivity. Our organization, in the name of families of Ukrainian soldiers and all Ukrainians, call to mobilize international efforts to improve their conditions and help them return safely to Ukraine.

Thank you.