Russia Ukraine conflict

Russia should be removed from UN Human Rights Council: US Secretary

Blinken warned that Russian crimes in Ukraine were “mounting by the hour.”

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggested stripping Russia of its membership on the UN Human Rights Council during a speech on Tuesday.

“One can reasonably ask whether a UN member state that tries to take over another UN member state, while committing horrific human rights abuses and causing massive humanitarian suffering, should be allowed to remain on this council,” Blinken said in a virtual speech to the council in Geneva.

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Blinken also warned that Russian crimes were “mounting by the hour,” citing missile attacks on civilian targets like hospitals and schools.

“If President Putin succeeds in his stated goal of toppling Ukraine’s democratically-elected government, the human rights and humanitarian crises will only get worse,” the top US diplomat said.

Ukraine is seeking an international investigation into human rights violations by Russia, which invaded Ukraine last week upon orders from Putin.

Blinken welcomed such a probe as “important” to ensure “documentation and accountability.”

Blinken also said that the Kremlin was “ramping up its repression within Russia,” cracking down on opposition to his decisions.

He added: “We must send a resolute and unified message that President Putin should unconditionally stop this.”

Read more: Russia’s isolation grows as Ukraine fighting rages, denying Putin decisive early gain

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