Russia’s invasion has triggered “the most massive violations of human rights,” UN chief says

Xiaofei Xu in Paris

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered “the most massive violations of human rights we are living [through] today,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Monday.

“It has unleashed widespread death, destruction and displacement,” Guterres continued.

“The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has documented dozens of cases of conflict-related sexual violence against men, women and girls,” he added.

Guterres made the speech at the UN Human Rights Council’s meeting commemorating the 75-year anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Geneva.

He called on international governments to respect and revitalize the declaration, which he said is often “misused and abused.”

Some context: Russian war crimes and human rights abuses during the war in Ukraine add up to a “litany of violations of international humanitarian law,” Human Rights Watch said in January.

In the rights group’s annual report, it said that evidence of war crimes in Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv, were part of a pattern that “has been repeated countless times.”

HRW’s World Report 2023 also highlighted the bombing of a theater in Mariupol, despite signs warning that children were sheltering there, as well as strikes on other non-military targets.

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