46th session of the UN Human Rights Council
agenda item 10
Oral presentation of the 31st OHCHR report
on the situation in Ukraine
Statement by H.E. Mrs. Emine DZHAPAROVA,
First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
22 March 2021
I thank the Deputy High Commissioner for her presentation.
The 31st OHCHR Report reiterates the grave consequences of the Russian armed aggression against Ukraine.
According to the UN, Russian aggression claimed lives of more than 13,000 people, including more than 3,000 civilians, tens of thousands have been injured, and about 1,5 million have become internally displaced persons.
Following Russia’s attempted annexation, the situation in Crimea has been deteriorating in every sphere. Negative trends vary from militarization to changing demographic structure, from political persecution to irresponsible environmental policies, from barbaric treatment of UNESCO heritage to mass indoctrination, from ethnic and religious discrimination to expulsion of independent media from the peninsula.
The occupation has particularly affected the Crimean Tatars. For the second time in 75 years, they are being expelled from their homeland.
Moreover, just in a few days, on 21 March, the Russian President’s Decree № 201 will take effect, thus, literally depriving thousands Ukrainian citizens of their right to land.
The repression campaign is on the rise.
In February this year, Russian occupants broke into homes of Abdulbori Mahamadaminov, Azamat Eyupov, Timur Yalkabov, Ibragimov Ernest, Oleg Fedorov, Lenur Seidametov, and Yashar Shikhametov – mostly activists of the Crimean Solidarity and the Crimean Childhood.
On 3 March 2021, the Russian court sentenced Ukrainian activist Oleh Pryhodko for 5 years in strict regime colony.
And a few days ago Vladyslav Yesypenko, a freelancer for Radio Liberty Ukrainian Service, was detained. His case stands as the latest example of the misuse by Russia of its anti-terrorist and extremist law to silence any dissenting voice in Crimea.
Therefore, it is a high time for more decisive concerted actions to stop this tragedy.
Ukraine has initiated a new consultation and coordination format – the Crimea Platform. It aims to provide the long-term strategic vision of de-occupation of Crimea and to consolidate international efforts to that end.
We believe that engagement of the Office of the High Commissioner, UN human rights bodies and mechanisms in the activities of the Crimea Platform would significantly contribute to the prevention of further gross human rights violations in Crimea.
I wish to reiterate the call made by the Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba at the High-Level Segment as well as at the Ministerial Panel Discussion to the High Commissioner and relevant procedures to contribute to the implementation of the Platform’s objectives.
Madame Deputy High Commissioner,
We are grateful to the OHCHR and the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission, which operates in Ukraine under invitation of my Government, for their focus on the occupied territories, as well as for their contribution to UN Secretary General’s reports on Crimea.
Talking about Donbass, I wish to encourage the Office to be more resolute with regard to Russia.
Mission’s previous conclusions confirmed negative impact of Russia’s weaponry and servicemen on the human rights situation in Donbas. It has testified to an inherent link between peace, security and respect for human rights. Therefore, the reports have to include recommendations to the Russian Federation as a party responsible for the conflict in Donbas.
An aggressor must be called an aggressor.
The reports have already proven to be a valuable source for informed discussions on the occupied territories at our Interactive Dialogues with broad participation of the UN Member States, international organizations and NGOs. Regular reports should remain a backbone of documenting of human rights violations and be prepared on a quarterly basis.
With this in mind, we requested to extend the Mission’s mandate for an additional six-month period.
I wish to reiterate my Government’s readiness to further cooperate with the OHCHR and the HRMMU in protecting and promoting human rights in the whole territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.
The ID format continues to be an important tool for preventing further human rights violations in the occupied territories of Ukraine.
Therefore, at the next session Ukraine with our partners, will present an updated resolution “Cooperation with and assistance to Ukraine in the field of human rights”. I look forward to your support of this document, which represents an important practical tool of the Council to address human rights violations in temporary occupied territories of Ukraine.
I thank you.