Statement on war crimes, terror and human rights violations by the Russian army in Ukraine
March 30, 2022
On 30 March 2022, the UN Human Right Council held interactive dialogue on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ oral update on Ukraine. The High Commissioner described the situation of the entire population of Ukraine as “a living nightmare” and called for immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory. Ukraine’s Ambassador Yevheniia Filipenko said that the Commission of Inquiry established by the Human Rights Council would play an important role in ensuring accountability for Russia’s war criminals. Earlier that day, the UN Human Rights Council announced the appointment of Erik Møse of Norway, Jasminka Džumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Pablo de Greiff of Colombia as the three independent members of the Commission.
On behalf of WFUWO, Dr Kateryna Bondar presented the statement where WFUWO pointed out war crimes, terror and human rights violations by the Russian army in Ukraine, such as killings, arbitrary detention, torture and enforced disappearances of activists and officials, vandalism and burglary, and the scale of humanitarian catastrophe in Mariupol and other places in Ukraine. The statement in particular focused on tremendous effect of the war in Ukraine on human rights and lives of women and children: “The hallmark of Russia’s war against Ukraine is the deterioration of human rights and the destruction of the lives of women and children, who are the majority of the internally displaced and almost all of those seeking safety as refugees. Huge number of Ukrainian women have lost their homes, face unemployment and lack basic needs. There are reports of trafficking in women refugees, attempts to abduct Ukrainian women on the border, sexual violence against women and girls by Russian soldiers. About 20% of Ukrainian army and 10% of the National Guard are women. The psychological effects of this war will last for generations.
For more than a month the world has been witnessing war crimes, terror and human rights violations by the Russian army in Ukraine. Ukraine’s citizens are being denied their rights to life, health, food, water, education, housing and a safe, healthy environment. Russian forces are shooting and killing civilians, destroying houses and civilian infrastructure, including medical, cultural and education facilities. The humanitarian catastrophe is overwhelming in Mariupol, Chernihiv and other places. In areas under control of Russian forces, there is widespread incidence of arbitrary detention, torture and enforced disappearances of activists and officials, also vandalism and burglary. Very concerning are reports that over 40,000 of Ukraine’s civilians have been forcibly evacuated into Russia.