U.S., allies vow to hold Russia accountable for Ukraine crimes – National

The USA and its allies announced Thursday it will hold Russia responsible for the crimes of its forces that have invaded Ukraine on 24 February and has strongly supported the International Criminal Court investigations, United Nation and other agencies.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Uzra Zeya said at a United Nations Security Council meeting on strengthening accountability and justice for serious violations of international law that in nearly 100 days In the past, the world has seen Russian forces bomb maternity hospitals, train stations, apartment buildings and houses and kill civilians riding road bikes.

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“We have received credible reports of Russian forces torturing and killing people by hand behind their backs,” she said. “We have received reports of women and girls being raped, some openly raped, and children being brought to Russia for adoption. And we know that Russian forces continue to deny safe passage to civilians fleeing violence, and to humanitarian organizations trying to reach those in need. “

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Zeya said the United States is working with its allies to support a series of international investigations into atrocities in Ukraine. And she said Biden The authorities have a message for Russia’s political and military leaders: “The world is watching you and you will be held accountable.”

Click to play video: 'Families fleeing war in Ukraine are welcomed with open arms in St-Lazare'

Families fleeing war in Ukraine are welcomed with open arms in St-Lazare

Families fleeing war in Ukraine are welcomed with open arms in St-Lazare

IrishAttorney General Paul Gallagher welcomed the many efforts over the past three months to support calls for justice in Ukraine. He said Ireland was one of 41 countries that quickly referred the situation in Ukraine to the ICC, which has deployed a team of 42 investigators, forensic experts and support staff to investigate Russian crimes and support the country’s efforts.

Ireland was also encouraged by the United Nations Human Rights Council’s creation of an Independent International Commission of Inquiry into Ukraine and the “significant and welcome coordination” in investigative efforts, he said.

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“If we are to achieve justice for the victims and survivors, it is essential that we ensure that this momentum is maintained and that these investigations ultimately lead to prosecutions. criminals are fair and objective when there is evidence to support them,” Gallagher said.

Britain’s deputy UN ambassador James Kariuki called Russia’s “unprovoked and unjustified aggression against Ukraine” a violation of international law and the UN Charter.

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Although Russia’s veto has prevented the Security Council from taking action on Ukraine, it has not prevented the “international system from taking steps in the pursuit of justice,” he said.

United Nations Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia of Russia accused Western nations of “hypocrisy” for abruptly seeking international criminal justice over what Moscow calls “special military operations” in Ukraine,

On the contrary, he claims that in NATO The attacks in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria were “regarded only by international law as an unpleasant obstacle” and the alleged war crimes went unpunished.

Click to play video: 'Russia wins position in Donbas amid battle for Ukraine's industrial heartland'

Russia gains position in Donbas amid battle for industrial center of Ukraine

Russia gains position in Donbas amid battle for industrial center of Ukraine

Nebenzia also accused the West of using the ICC “as a political tool”, claiming that “neither the ICC nor the West are bothered about many of its crimes”. Kyiv regime” came to power in 2014 and continued to attack civilians in the Donbas region, eastern Ukraine.

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The Russian military recently launched a major offensive in the Donbas, and its officials say Moscow’s main goal is to “liberate” the region, which is a predominantly Russian-speaking industrial hub in eastern Ukraine. . Russian-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces there since 2014, when Ukraine’s Moscow-friendly president was kicked out of office due to protests.

The Security Council meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania, who spoke more broadly about accountability and said that “fundamental values ​​are enshrined in the growing body of international law, Humanitarian law, international human rights law and international criminal law continue to be systematically and collectively violated. ”

Rama, whose country holds the presidency of the council this month, said that by not holding the Syrian regime accountable “for crimes against its own people” in the 11-year war of the country, “we may have encouraged atrocities elsewhere.”

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He said Russia’s “reproachable” aggression against Ukraine “violates everything this council stands for – the values, norms, laws and respect we have for each other.” as responsible members of the same community of nations”.

“The terrible crimes committed are revealed every day,” said Rama. “This requires accountability.”

UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet warned that “punishment fuels and exacerbates” many crises and “inflames perpetrators, silences victims and erodes prospects for peace, rights and development”.

© 2022 Canadian Press

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