Bachelet condemns ‘horrors’ facing Ukrainian civilians | India is blooming
New York: UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet on Friday condemned the “horrors” being committed against civilians in Ukraine as the World Health Organization (WHO) warned it feared the worst in the devastated areas in the east and south of the country.
In an appeal to all parties to the conflict to abide by the internationally agreed rules of war, the High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement that “international humanitarian law has not simply been ignored, but apparently set aside”.
Russian armed forces have “indiscriminately shelled and bombed populated areas”, she added, “killing civilians and destroying hospitals, schools and other civilian infrastructure, actions that may constitute war crimes”. .
Amid a massive military build-up and clashes in the country’s eastern region, known as Donbass, Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said warns against a new current phase of the war.
“There has already been a bloodbath,” Ms Shamdasani said. “We are talking about 2,343 – at least 2,343 civilians – who have been killed and we are talking about the summary execution of more than 300 civilians. We are very worried, we are very worried about what will follow.
Evidence is mounting that war crimes have been committed, mostly by Russian forces, the OHCHR spokesman said.
“These include shelling and indiscriminate shelling of populated areas, summary executions of civilians. As I said, the vast majority of violations are by far attributable to Russian forces, so if we look only at civilian casualties, 92.3% of what we managed to record were recorded in territories controlled by the government, therefore attributable to the Russian armed forces.
During a mission to Bucha on April 9, UN human rights specialists documented the unlawful killing of around 50 civilians, including by summary execution.
“Almost all the inhabitants of Bucha [that] our colleagues have spoken, told us about the death of a relative, a neighbor or even a stranger,” Ms. Shamdasani said, quoting the High Commissioner. “We know there is still a long way to go to find out what happened there and we also know that Bucha is not an isolated incident.”
During its investigations, the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) had received more than 300 allegations of killings of civilians in cities in the Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy regions by the end of February. all under the control of the Russian armed forces. and early March.
Stressing that the true death toll is almost certainly much higher than confirmed to date, Ms Shamdasani added that “the scale of summary executions of civilians in areas previously occupied by Russian forces” was also emerging.
“Preservation of evidence and decent treatment of mortal remains must be ensured, as well as psychological and other relief for victims and their loved ones.
Health care on the brink of collapse
The plight of civilians caught up in the fighting continues to worry humanitarian agencies and their partners, including the WHO.
To date, the agency has still not been able to reach some of the hardest hit areas in the east where it reported on Friday that the health system “has practically collapsed”.
In Luhansk Oblast, “almost all health facilities and hospitals… are either damaged or destroyed,” WHO spokesman Bhanu Bhatnagar said from Lviv in western Iraq. ‘Ukraine.
“It is absolutely essential that a safe passage is created quickly, we need a cessation of fighting for at least two days in order to bring in vital supplies, but also to assess health needs. We anticipate the worst. »