UN on violence against civilians: 1,000 bodies found just outside Kyiv

Status: 12.05.2022 6:24 p.m.

The United Nations has expressed outrage at the level of violence against civilians. Many murders could be attributed to Russian soldiers, said Commissioner Bachelet. Fighting continues in eastern Ukraine.

UN human rights commissioner Michelle Bachelet has denounced “gross human rights violations” in areas of Ukraine that were previously under Russian control. In the Kyiv region alone, more than 1,000 civilian bodies have been found, she told a special session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

There are apparent unlawful killings and mass executions on a “shocking” scale. His office has information on 300 of those murders, Bachelet said. She expects the numbers to increase as more information is added. People trying to get water or food or trying to flee were apparently shot by snipers and soldiers.

UN Human Rights Council calls for clarification of possible war crimes in Ukraine

Sabine Krebs, ARD Warsaw, today’s news at 8 p.m., May 12, 2022

Air raids in residential areas

The majority of civilians killed and injured in the conflict are the result of the use of heavy artillery, multiple rocket launchers and airstrikes in residential areas, Bachelet said. Although both warring parties are responsible for such incidents, the “overwhelming majority” of casualties can be attributed to the Russian military and allied armed groups.

Hundreds of schools and medical facilities have also been destroyed or damaged, according to the Commissioner for Human Rights. Bachelet reported rapes in areas controlled by Russian forces. A dozen cases nationwide have been confirmed. Many victims, regardless of gender, were reluctant to testify out of fear and shame.

Resolution calls for investigation

Bachelet said his office continues to investigate allegations of human and international rights abuses. Many of them could constitute war crimes. During its extraordinary session, the UN Human Rights Council then increased diplomatic pressure on Moscow. A clear majority condemned the alleged war crimes of Russian troops in a resolution.

33 panel members voted for, China and Eritrea were against. Twelve other countries abstained. In addition, investigations into the atrocities committed in Ukraine must be opened. The Council called on Russia to allow humanitarian workers immediate access to people smuggled to Russia from Ukraine. It is about one million people, said Ukrainian Ambassador to Geneva Yevheniya Filipenko.

Ukraine had previously announced that it would open a first war crimes trial against a Russian soldier. The 21-year-old is accused of shooting dead a civilian from a stolen car, the Kyiv prosecutor general’s office said.

UN: 100 children dead in one month

Russia has been waging a war of aggression against Ukraine for more than two and a half months. The goal is at least the complete conquest of the eastern Ukrainian regions of Lugansk and Donetsk. The United Nations has already recorded around 3,500 civilian deaths, but like Ukraine’s leadership, the number of casualties is much higher.

The deputy director of the United Nations children’s fund Unicef, Omar Abdi, told a Security Council meeting that at least 100 children had died in the past month. “And we think the real number is much higher,” he said. Abdi added that many children were also injured in the fighting. Millions of people have been displaced, schools are attacked.

Apparently unstoppable advance

Russia apparently continued its airstrikes on the Azovstal factory in Mariupol today. This is reported by the Ukrainian army. The pressure to attack places in eastern Ukraine also continues. In the situation report of the 78th day of the Russian Aggression War, the Ukrainian General Staff said that Russian troops were firing artillery and mortars at Ukrainian forces near Zaporizhia, where many people from Mariupol had fled.

Additionally, Russian troops fired artillery at Ukrainian units north of the city of Kharkiv. Russian attacks also took place in the Chernihiv and Sumy regions in the north of the country.

conflicting parties as a source

In the current situation, the information on the course of the war, the shelling and the victims provided by the official bodies of the Russian and Ukrainian parties to the conflict cannot be verified directly by an independent body.

In the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, where fighting has continued since the start of the war, the Ukrainian army has recorded “partial success” in the Russian advance. Ukrainian troops repelled nine Russian attacks and destroyed several drones and military vehicles. The information could not be independently verified.

In the Luhansk region, Ukrainian troops say they destroyed two Russian military pontoon bridges over the Seversky Donets River. In the morning report, however, the Ukrainian General Staff stated that the enemy had nevertheless managed to cross the river.

Is the Kremlin regrouping troops?

According to the British military, Ukraine was able to retake several towns and villages in the northeast of the country from Russian forces. The Ministry of Defense in London says Russia’s focus on Donbass, Ukraine’s industrial heartland, has left remaining Russian troops around the city of Kharkiv “vulnerable to counterattack force mobile and highly motivated Ukrainian woman”.

The British said in a situation report posted by intelligence on social media that Russia had withdrawn units from the region to reorganize and replenish its troops after heavy losses. The withdrawal was a “tacit recognition of Russia’s inability to capture key Ukrainian towns where it expected limited popular resistance”.

Special session of the UN Human Rights Council on the situation in Ukraine

Kathrin Hondl, ARD Geneva, May 12, 2022 3:11 p.m.

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