Oct 5, 2022 - World

UN warns of rights violations in Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine

 Workers fix a Russian national flag on wires with a damaged building in the background in Mariupol on September 25.

Workers fix a Russian national flag on wires in front of a damaged building in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol on Sept. 25. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

"Disturbing accounts" are emerging of torture, widespread enforced disappearances and the arbitrary detention of Ukrainian civilians in territories controlled by Russian forces, United Nations human rights monitors warn.

The big picture: The update to the UN Human Rights Council raising concern about a "dire human rights situation" in Ukraine came as Ukrainian forces recaptured more territory in the east and south, in areas Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed to have annexed into Russia.

Details: Christian Salazar Volkmann, director of UN field operations, told the Human Rights Council in Geneva that UN officials had received reports of two Ukrainian servicemen being "tortured to death," along with other allegations of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

  • Volkmann said officials were concerned "about the rights to freedom of opinion, expression and peaceful assembly" in Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine, with multiple civil and political rights violations and Ukrainian TV and radio stations replaced with Russian media.
  • "The people in Ukraine have experienced unspeakable suffering and devastation," said Volkmann, whose report was based on over 1,000 interviews and dozens of visits by UN officials.

The other side: Russian officials to the UN called Volkmann's report "one-sided and unbalanced."

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