46th session of the UN Human Rights Council
Agenda item 4
Intervention by the Permanent Representative of Ukraine, H.E. Ambassador Yurii Klymenko
12 March 2021
Ukraine expresses deep concern regarding the human rights situations in Venezuela, Burundi, Myanmar, DPRK, South Sudan, Syria, Nicaragua, and the Russian Federation.
The situation in Russia really requires Council’s attention and should be considered under agenda item 4.
Russia gravely violates human rights and fundamental freedoms of its citizens by restricting their civil, political, and cultural space, brutally suppressing peaceful political protests, persecuting independent journalists and bloggers, poisoning and imprisoning opposition leaders like Alexey Navalny, encroaching on the rights of ethnic, religious, and other minorities etc. Moreover, having unleashed aggression against neighbouring sovereign states – Ukraine and Georgia, and illegally occupied parts of their territories, Russia brings and cultivates there the worst features of its repressive domestic policies.
From the first day of the attempted annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Russia has been pursuing there a criminal policy of colonization and assimilation. It systemically violates international humanitarian law and human rights law, uses brutal repressions against all those, who have the courage to resist the occupation. The sentence by the Russian court convicting Ukrainian citizen Oleg Prykhodko to five years of imprisonment based on trumped-up charges is yet another manifestation of such systemic policy of intimidation. So was a recent new wave of politically motivated searches and detentions, mainly targeting activists of the Crimean Solidarity and the Crimean Childhood.
The national, cultural, and religious rights of ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars are being curtailed, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is being persecuted, the freedom of speech is suppressed, and the independent media are destroyed.
The occupiers purposefully persecute the indigenous people of the peninsula, the Crimean Tatars, who oppose the occupation. Russia is trying to criminalize all human rights defenders, illegally detaining them, and convicting on fakeaccusations of "terrorism" and "extremism."
Ukraine believes that the Russian membership in this Council undermines HRC moral authority. The political and sanctions pressure on Russia should be further increased to enforce it to de-occupy the Ukrainian and Georgian territories, release all political prisoners, and abide by norms and principles of international law.
I thank you.