The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights evokes “war crimes” and blames Russia
In a lengthy accusation, Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said Wednesday that the large-scale and indiscriminate attacks by the Russian armed forces “could be war crimes”. Before the Human Rights Council, Mr.I Bachelet used the conditional by convention, war crimes had to be proven in court but left little doubt. Chile’s former president has left no doubt that she believes Russia is the main culprit, even though she has not fully acquitted the Ukrainian forces.
SUBWAYI Bachelet recalled in particular that the Russian armed forces attacked and bombed many cities in Ukraine and also detailed the attacks perpetrated against health infrastructure. “The massive destruction of civilian objects and the high number of civilian casualties clearly indicate that the fundamental principles of distinction [entre cibles militaires et les civils]proportionality and precaution have not been sufficiently applied”she said.
“The terror and agony that the Ukrainian people are experiencing is felt all over the world. He wants the war to end, for peace, security and human dignity to return. And it’s about time his call was heard.”he added, calling Moscow “act immediately to withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory”.
SUBWAYI Bachelet expressed concern about the use of high-powered and wide-ranging weapons in populated areas, causing “massive damage to civilian property”. He pointed out that his services had “Credible allegations that the Russian armed forces have used cluster bombs in populated areas at least 24 times”. Its services are investigating to see if the Ukrainian army has also used this type of weapon.
Neither Moscow nor kyiv adhere to the convention that prohibits the use of these weapons considered especially lethal and dangerous for civilians because very often they do not explode immediately and become mines.
SUBWAYI Bachelet also drew up a detailed chart of attacks on health structures. Some 77 were damaged. Fifty hospitals and a dozen of these structures were totally destroyed, but the High Commissioner estimates that the real number “probably considerably higher”.
This is also the case for the number of civilians killed, of which the High Commission has kept an accurate count since February 24. According to their data, as of March 29, 1,189 civilians, including 98 children, were killed in Ukraine. An assessment far below reality, its teams do not have direct access to the most exposed places such as Mariupol, where the High Commission recently detected, thanks to satellite images, the presence of mass graves. The Ukrainian authorities evoke between 5,000 and 10,000 dead in this port alone, besieged for weeks.
“Civilians are suffering enormously and the humanitarian crisis is critical”M insisted.I Bachelet, emphasizing that populations often lack basic needs. “But above all they need the bombs to stop falling and the weapons to fall silent”, pleaded the high commissioner. In the besieged cities, mortality has especially increased, beyond the direct victims of weapons. “This can be attributed to the interruption of medical care, as well as the deprivation and stress created by the conflict”according to meI Bachelet.