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We urge the Russian authorities to release British national Vladimir Kara-Murza on humanitarian grounds immediately: UK statement at the UN Security Council

Thank you, President. 

I would like to join others in thanking DPPA and OCHA for their informative briefings.
Colleagues, again, this Council meets following a brutal campaign of airstrikes by Russia, a permanent member of this Council, against Ukraine. Since 20 March, these attacks have intensified, with over 1,000 missiles, drones, and guided aerial bombs dropped in one week alone. Dozens of civilians, including children, have been injured or killed in the last days alone. As a result of Russia’s continued aggression, approximately 40% of Ukraine’s population will need humanitarian assistance this year.
I would like to make three points. First, Russia is deliberately targeting energy infrastructure. Just this morning, Russia’s strikes destroyed Trypillya power plant, one of Ukraine’s largest providers of electricity and heat to civilians. Russia’s attacks are leaving millions of people without power and water, cutting electricity to hospitals, threatening the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, and delaying life-saving humanitarian operations. We urge Russia to immediately cease its targeting of civilian infrastructure and comply with its obligations under international humanitarian law.
Second, since Russia’s invasion, the international community has come together in support of the people of Ukraine. The UK has committed over £350 million in humanitarian aid since February 2022 to support the valiant efforts of the UN and international and local NGOs to help those people in the most dire humanitarian need. But millions of these people are currently living on the frontlines and in Ukrainian territory illegally controlled by Russia, where Russia continues to deny humanitarian access. Russia needs to heed the repeated calls of Council members, to allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access, so humanitarian aid can reach those who need it most.
Third, Russian aggression in Ukraine is enabled by repression at home. The Russian authorities are curtailing freedoms of association, assembly and expression. They also continue to disregard British national Vladimir Kara-Murza’s declining health in Russian prison. On today, the second anniversary of Vladimir’s arrest, we urge the Russian authorities to release him immediately on humanitarian grounds. Madam President, Ukraine is facing a protracted humanitarian emergency. There is an easy solution to this suffering: for Russia to end this war, withdraw from Ukrainian territory, and respect its commitments under international law and the UN Charter.


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