Russia ousted from UN Human Rights Council over war crimes in Ukraine

Russia ousted from UN Human Rights Council over war crimes in Ukraine
Sergiy Kyslytsya, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations delivers remarks during an emergency special session of the U.N. General Assembly on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S. April 7, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

On Thursday, 93 nations decided to kick Russia off the Human Rights Council in the UN after its alleged war crimes in Ukraine. Another 24 nations decided to oppose the decision, and 58 abstained (including Brazil, Thailand, India and Mexico), saying they wanted an independent probe before deciding anything.

This is all happening while Russia is floundering a bit economically. In a speech on Thursday, the country’s prime minister said that it was facing its most difficult moment in three decades because of Western sanctions. He also said that the West wouldn’t succeed in isolating Russia through sanctions.

After the vote, Russia’s deputy UN Ambassador, Gennady Kuzmin, announced that Russia was quitting the Human Rights Council.

Key comments:

Voting to suspend Moscow “is not an option, it is a duty,” said Ukraine’s UN envoy, Sergiy Kyslytsya. He added that “voting no means pulling a trigger, and means a red dot” on the UN voting screen. “Red as the blood of the innocent lives lost.”

“No doubt, the current situation could be called the most difficult in three decades for Russia," Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told the Duma, or lower house of parliament. “Such sanctions were not used even in the darkest times of the Cold War."

“I am authorized to make the following statement,” said Kuzmin. “The Russian Federation took a decision to resign from the United Nations Human Rights Council starting from 7 April 2022, before the expiration of its term of membership.”

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