Russia-Ukraine War Highlights: UN To Vote On Suspending Russia From Human Rights Council

Russia-Ukraine War LIVE Updates: Two-thirds of the countries who cast votes in the 193-member assembly must support suspension for Russia to be temporarily removed from the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.

Russia-Ukraine War Highlights: UN To Vote On Suspending Russia From Human Rights Council

Russia-Ukraine War: Ukraine's President likened Russia's actions to violence carried out by "terrorists".

New Delhi:

The UN General Assembly will vote Thursday on suspending Russia from the UN Human Rights Council following allegations that Russian troops deliberately murdered civilians in Bucha, Ukraine, the assembly presidency said.

The vote is "confirmed for 10:00 am," Paulina Kubiak, a spokeswoman for the presidency, said Wednesday.

Two-thirds of the countries who cast votes in the 193-member assembly must support suspension for Russia to be temporarily removed from the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.

The vote comes amid international outrage over horrific scenes of civilian killings in areas of Ukraine recently retaken from Russian forces, like Bucha outside Kyiv, including people apparently executed with their hands tied behind their backs.

"The images out of Bucha and devastation across Ukraine require us to now match our words with action," US ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Monday.

"We cannot let a member state that is subverting every principle we hold dear to continue to participate" in the council, she said.

The UN Human Rights Council is the world body's main forum in this domain. Founded in 2006, it is composed of 47 member states which are chosen by the General Assembly.

Libya was suspended from the council in 2011.

"Russia should not have a position of authority in that body, nor should we allow Russia to use its seat on the Council as a tool of propaganda to suggest they have a legitimate concern about human rights," the US ambassador said.

Here are the Highlights on Russia-Ukraine War:

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Apr 07, 2022 05:21 (IST)
Ukraine's Zelenskiy: Delay on Russia oil embargo decision is costing lives
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Thursday called on Western politicians to quickly agree on an embargo of Russian oil, complaining that their failure to do so was costing Ukrainians their lives.

In an early morning video address, Zelenskiy also said he would continue to insist Russian banks be completely blocked from the international finance system.
Apr 07, 2022 02:47 (IST)
West ramps up sanctions as Russia threatens Ukraine's east
The United States and Britain announced new sanctions against Russia Wednesday after Ukraine said hundreds of civilians were found dead around its capital, as Kyiv warned residents in the east to get out "now" ahead of a feared assault.

The White House unveiled measures targeting Russia's top banks and two daughters of President Vladimir Putin, while Britain sanctioned two banks -- and vowed to eliminate all Russian oil and gas imports by year-end.
Apr 07, 2022 01:47 (IST)
Russia hiding 'thousands' killed in Mariupol: Zelensky
Russia is blocking humanitarian access to the besieged port city of Mariupol because it wants to hide evidence of "thousands" of people killed there, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday.

"The reason why we cannot get into Mariupol with the humanitarian cargo is precisely because they are afraid... that the world will see what is going on there," Zelensky told Turkey's Haberturk TV.
Apr 07, 2022 00:40 (IST)
Pentagon says Ukraine can 'absolutely' win the war
The Pentagon said on Wednesday it assessed that Ukraine could win the war against Russia, even as U.S. officials speak of the risk of a protracted conflict.

"Of course they can win this," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told a news briefing.
Apr 06, 2022 23:39 (IST)
Russian strikes kill four in Donetsk region: Ukraine official
Russian strikes Wednesday killed four people and wounded four others near a humanitarian distribution point in the east Ukraine region of Donetsk, the regional governor said. 

"In the morning, the enemy cynically fired at civilians of Vugledar who came to receive humanitarian aid," Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Facebook. "Four died and four were wounded as a result of the shelling."

The strikes come shortly after Moscow pulled back its invading forces from major cities in the centre of Ukraine and announced it would focus its military offensive on taking control of the eastern Donbas region.
Apr 06, 2022 23:14 (IST)
Ukraine needs new Marshall Plan after Russian invasion -EU Commission
Ukraine will need a reconstruction plan after the war with Russia similar to the one the United States offered to Europe after the Second World War, European Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn said on Wednesday.

Under the post-World War Two U.S. scheme known as the Marshall Plan, the United States granted Europe the present-day equivalent of some $200 billion over four years in economic and technical assistance.

"I think that what we need for Ukraine, at the end of the day, is an updated model of the Marshall Plan," Hahn told a news briefing.

Hahn said it would help Ukraine recover quickly, rather than over decades, from the massive destruction by the Russian army and would lead to a faster convergence of Ukraine with the European Union.
Apr 06, 2022 22:53 (IST)
Biden denounces 'major war crimes' in Ukraine
US President Joe Biden on Wednesday denounced the widespread killing of Ukrainian civilians allegedly by Russian troops in Bucha as "war crimes."

"I'm sure you've seen the pictures from Bucha, just outside of Kyiv: bodies left in the streets as Russian troops withdrew, some shot in the back of the head with their hands tied behind their backs," Biden said at a labor union event.

"There's nothing less happening than major war crimes," he said.

Apr 06, 2022 21:30 (IST)
Putin says Ukraine behind 'crude and cynical' provocations in Bucha
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday accused Ukrainian authorities of being behind "crude and cynical provocations" in the city of Bucha as he spoke to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the Kremlin said.

"Vladimir Putin informed (Orban) about the situation regarding talks between Russian and Ukrainian representatives and also gave (his) principled assessment of the Kyiv regime's crude and cynical provocation in the city of Bucha," the Kremlin said, after Ukrainian officials said hundreds of civilians were found dead when Russian troops withdrew from the town.
Apr 06, 2022 20:06 (IST)
"Impotency Of UN": Pope As He Kisses Flag From Ukraine Mass Grave Town
Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned "the massacre of Bucha" and kissed a Ukrainian flag sent from the town where tied bodies shot at close range littered the streets after Russian troops withdrew and bodies poked out of a mass grave at a church.

The deaths in Bucha, outside Kyiv, have triggered a global outcry and pledges of further sanctions against Moscow from the West.

"Recent news from the war in Ukraine, instead of bringing relief and hope, brought new atrocities, such as the massacre of Bucha," Francis said at the end of his weekly audience in the Vatican's auditorium.

Apr 06, 2022 18:31 (IST)
UN to vote on suspending Russia from Human Rights Council
The UN General Assembly will vote Thursday on suspending Russia from the UN Human Rights Council as punishment for invading Ukraine, the assembly presidency said.

The vote is "confirmed for 10:00 am," Paulina Kubiak, a spokeswoman for the presidency, said Wednesday.
Apr 06, 2022 17:43 (IST)
UK's PM says Bucha killings in Ukraine not 'far short of genocide'
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday the alleged massacre of Ukrainian civilians by Russian troops in the town of Bucha "doesn't look far short of genocide to me".

The UK government has consistently refused to use the word "genocide" with regard to Ukraine and other conflicts, arguing that designating the worst of war crimes is up a competent court.

But Johnson told reporters: "I'm afraid when you look at what's happening in Bucha, the revelations that we are seeing from what (Vladimir) Putin has done in Ukraine doesn't look far short of genocide to me.

"It is no wonder people are responding in the way that they are," the prime minister added.

"I have no doubt that the international community, Britain very much in the front rank, will be moving again in lockstep to impose more sanctions and more penalties on Vladimir Putin's regime." 
Apr 06, 2022 15:43 (IST)
Two civilians killed in Russian strike on Ukrainian aid distribution point - Donetsk governor
The governor of Ukraine's Donetsk region said at least two civilians were killed and five wounded on Wednesday when Russian artillery fire struck a humanitarian aid distribution point in the town of Vuhledar.

In an online post, Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko shared photos of the alleged attack which showed two women stretched out on the ground, another person with serious wound to the leg and another person with a bloodied leg being helped into a rescue vehicle.

Russia denies targeting civilians.
Apr 06, 2022 15:03 (IST)
Ukraine's Zelensky slams European 'indecisiveness' over Russia sanctions
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Wednesday condemned hesitancy in Europe over barring Russian energy imports, arguing some leaders were more concerned with business losses than with war crimes.

New "rhetoric" about sanctions had emerged, he told the Irish parliament, "but I cannot tolerate any indecisiveness after everything we have gone through and everything that Russia has done to us".
Apr 06, 2022 14:44 (IST)
Greece to expel 12 Russian diplomats: foreign ministry
Greece announced Wednesday that it was expelling 12 Russian diplomats, becoming the latest EU country to order such expulsions amid increasing outrage over the war in Ukraine.

"Greek authorities have declared 12 members of diplomatic and consular missions of the Russian Federation accredited in Greece... as personae non gratae," the foreign ministry said.
Apr 06, 2022 14:30 (IST)
Russia wants to keep diplomatic ties with West despite expulsions: Interfax news agency
Russia wants to maintain diplomatic relations with Western countries despite a series of expulsions of its diplomats, the Interfax news agency cited Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko as saying on Wednesday.

Grushko said European countries disrupting the work of Russian diplomats were damaging their own interests.
Apr 06, 2022 13:58 (IST)
Pope slams 'horrendous cruelty' in Ukraine's Bucha
Pope Francis on Wednesday hit out at the "ever more horrendous cruelty" in the town of Bucha in Ukraine, where dozens of bodies have been found in mass graves or littering the streets.

"The recent news about the war in Ukraine, instead of bringing relief and hope, instead attests to new atrocities, such as the Bucha massacre. Ever more horrendous cruelties, also perpetrated against defenceless civilians, women and children," Francis said during the weekly general audience.
Apr 06, 2022 13:43 (IST)
EU will put more sanctions on Russia, says EU chief
The European Union will put more sanctions against Russia on top of the latest package announced on Tuesday, likely including measures against imports of Russian oil, the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday.

"These sanctions will not be our last sanctions," she told European Parliament in a presentation of the latest sanctions package that includes a ban on buying Russian coal.

"Now we have to look into oil and revenues the Russia gets from fossil fuels," she said.
Apr 06, 2022 13:31 (IST)
The world must act to stop 'mass murder' in Ukraine, says UK health minister
The world must act to stop the mass murder in Ukraine, British Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on Wednesday.

"This is mass murder on an unprecedented scale in Europe. We haven't seen the likes of this I think since 1995," he told BBC television.

"I don't want to be commemorating another genocide in Europe years from now. We have the power, the world has the power to stop this, and it must act."
Apr 06, 2022 13:22 (IST)
Ukraine makes new attempts to evacuate civilians from trapped cities
Ukraine will try to evacuate trapped civilians through 11 humanitarian corridors on Wednesday but people trying to leave the besieged city of Mariupol will have to use their own vehicles, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

Efforts to get convoys of buses into the southern port city to evacuate tens of thousands of residents who are trapped there have repeatedly failed since Russian forces encircled Mariupol.
Apr 06, 2022 13:11 (IST)
Putin ally Medvedev vows international legal battle over property seizures
Moscow will fight attempts to seize Russian property abroad in courts around the world, former president Dmitry Medvedev said in a post on the Telegram social network on Wednesday.

"Opponents of Russia... should understand that they will face a large number of cases in courts. Both in the national courts of the United States and Europe and in international courts," said Medvedev, who served as president from 2008 to 2012 and is now deputy secretary of Russia's Security Council.
Apr 06, 2022 13:10 (IST)
Dutch seize 14 yachts over Russia sanctions: government
Dutch customs authorities have impounded 14 yachts in shipyards, including 12 still under construction, as part of Western sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, the Netherlands' foreign minister said Wednesday.

"Given the current measures, these vessels cannot be delivered, transferred or exported for the moment," Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra wrote in a letter to the Dutch parliament.
Apr 06, 2022 13:10 (IST)
Russia strikes fuel depot in central Ukraine
Russian forces struck a fuel depot near the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro overnight, regional authorities said Wednesday, hitting an area that has avoided the brunt of fighting.

"The night was alarming and difficult. The enemy attacked our region from the air and hit an oil depot and a factory. The oil depot with fuel was destroyed," the region's governor, Valentin Reznitchenko, said in a statement on social media.

He said that no one was wounded in the attack and that firefighters fought for eight hours to extinguish the flames.
Apr 06, 2022 12:51 (IST)
Russian border guards came under fire in region bordering Ukraine, Russian official says
A Russian regional official said on Wednesday that border guards in the Kursk region bordering Ukraine had come under fire.

"Yesterday, on April 5, they tried to fire mortars at the position of our border guards in the Sudzhansky district," said Roman Starovoit, the governor of the Kursk region. "Russian border guards returned fire... There were no casualties or damage on our side."

Russia last week accused Ukrainian forces of carrying out an air strike against a fuel depot in the Russian city of Belgorod near the border with Ukraine, but a senior Ukrainian official denied responsibility.
Apr 06, 2022 12:49 (IST)
Ukraine's Luhansk region tells civilians to evacuate while they can
Authorities in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk hope to evacuate civilians through five "humanitarian corridors" on Wednesday and urged residents to get out "while it is safe."

Ukraine has said Russian troops that invaded on Feb. 24 are regrouping and preparing for a new offensive in the Donbas area, which includes Luhansk.

"We will take everyone out if the Russians allow us to get to the meeting places (for evacuation). Because, as you can see, they don't always observe ceasefires," the Luhansk region governor, Serhiy Gaidai, wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

"I appeal to every resident of the Luhansk region - evacuate while it is safe ... While there are buses and trains - take this opportunity. "
Apr 06, 2022 12:04 (IST)
Russia-Ukraine War: 1 Dead After Car Catches Fire, Crashing Into Russian Embassy In Romania
A driver died ramming his car into the gate of the Russian embassy in Bucharest early on Wednesday, police in the Romanian capital said in a statement. Watch here.
Apr 06, 2022 11:53 (IST)
African support of Russia indicative of Kremlin's soft power
African leaders, opposition figures and social influencers are stepping up their support for the Kremlin even as Russia's image elsewhere is being shredded by the war in Ukraine.

Some of Russian President Vladimir Putin's most vocal defenders are pan-Africanists -- advocates of the doctrine of African unity and anti-imperialism that flowered at the height of the Cold War.

Putin "wants to get his country back," Kemi Seba, a Franco-Beninese pan-Africanist, declared in early March.

"He doesn't have the blood of slavery and colonisation on his hands," Seba argued.

"Putin is not my Messiah but I prefer him to all the western presidents and all the damned African presidents who are under the thumb of western oligarchy."
Apr 06, 2022 11:35 (IST)
Turkey calls for probe into civilian deaths in Bucha
Turkey on Wednesday joined the global condemnation of the murder of civilians in the town of Bucha and other cities in Ukraine, and called for an independent investigation.

"The images of the massacre, which have been published in the press from various regions including Bucha and Irpin near Kyiv, are appalling and sad for humanity," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Aside from a tweeted message by the Turkish embassy in Ukraine on Monday, it was the first official reaction from Turkey after dozens of bodies were found in mass graves or littering the streets near the Ukrainian capital over the weekend.
Apr 06, 2022 10:59 (IST)
US to announce new sanctions on Russia over Ukraine killings
The United States was expected to announce tough new sanctions on Russia Wednesday, including a ban on new investments, a day after Ukraine's president showed the UN Security Council harrowing images of violence and accused Moscow of widespread atrocities.

The sanctions come after an outcry over the discovery of dozens of bodies in civilian clothing in areas from which Russian troops have withdrawn around Ukraine's capital, including the town of Bucha.

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky likened Russia's actions to Nazi atrocities in an impassioned speech by videolink to the 15-member UN Security Council on Tuesday.
Apr 06, 2022 10:26 (IST)
Britain says heavy fighting, Russian air strikes continue in Ukraine's Mariupol
Heavy fighting and Russian air strikes continue in the encircled Ukrainian city of Mariupol, British military intelligence said on Wednesday.

"The humanitarian situation in the city is worsening," the defence ministry said.

"Most of the 160,000 remaining residents have no light, communication, medicine, heat or water. Russian forces have prevented humanitarian access, likely to pressure defenders to surrender."

Reuters could not immediately verify the report.
Apr 06, 2022 09:54 (IST)
Zero Loss In India-US Defence Relationship Despite Ukraine War: Top American Commander
A top American commander has said that there is zero loss of momentum in the India-US defence relationship despite the Ukrainian crisis. Read more here.
Apr 06, 2022 07:37 (IST)
Twitter moves to limit reach of Russian govt accounts
Twitter announced Tuesday it was introducing new measures against Russian government accounts to reduce the impact of official propaganda on the social network.

The official accounts will no longer be "recommended" to Twitter users across all categories of the app, including in searches, the platform said in a statement.

The California company, like its rival Meta, parent company of Facebook and Instagram, had already blocked the accounts of the Russian state-run media RT and Sputnik in the European Union.

Moscow responded by restricting access to Twitter in the country, and blocking Facebook and Instagram.
Apr 06, 2022 07:33 (IST)
New Zealand introduces new sanctions, tariffs on Russian imports
The New Zealand government said on Wednesday it was introducing a 35% tariff on all imports from Russia and would extend existing export prohibitions to industrial products closely connected to strategic Russian industries.

"The images and reports emerging of atrocities committed against civilians in Bucha and other regions of Ukraine is abhorrent and reprehensible, and New Zealand continues to respond to Putin's mindless acts of aggression," Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said in a statement.

She said the government expects to roll out further measures under the Russian Sanctions Act to support Ukraine. The new tariffs and sanctions will come into force from April 25.
Apr 06, 2022 07:32 (IST)
US to provide additional $100 million in security assistance to Ukraine, says Secretary of State
The United States will provide an additional $100 million in security assistance to Ukraine, including anti-armor systems, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday.
Apr 06, 2022 07:18 (IST)
Russia-Ukraine War: "Act Immediately Or Dissolve Yourself", Zelensky Tells UN On Russian Attacks
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky challenged the UN to "act immediately" or "dissolve yourself altogether" during a blistering address in which he showed a harrowing video of dead bodies he said were victims of Russian atrocities.