Meanwhile, in New York, the Security Council met once again to discuss the war stemming from Russia’s invasion that will mark its bloody two-year anniversary next month.Addressing the Security Council on Monday morning in New York, Adedeji Ebo, Deputy UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, reiterated the “duty” of warring sides to protect civilians.Ms. Shamdasani also stressed the need to ensure strict respect for international humanitarian law and for the parties to the conflict to take all necessary precautions to protect civilians from harm.At the Security Council, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that “the absolute majority of unbiased experts” see clearly that the key factor impeding peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis “is the continued support on the part of the west to the regime in Kyiv.”On Monday and Tuesday, the Committee will hold discussions with Government representatives as well as review reports and submissions made by Russia and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).UN agencies and partners aim to reach 8.5 million people with aid, focusing on the most severe needs and prioritizing communities on the front-line and neighbouring areas.
Mr. Ebo said continued attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure were seriously distressing, adding that the use of aerial drones and missiles had resulted in many deaths and injuries.“The only way to end the suffering and devastation is by ending this war,” Mr. Ebo said.© UNOCHA/Oleksii Holenkov“This is an unambiguous obligation,” he said, briefing ambassadors.
Prevent further escalation
In 2024, 14.6 million people – about 40 per cent of the Ukrainian population – require humanitarian assistance. “Just like any other weapons or weapons systems, armed uncrewed aerial vehicles and missiles must not be used in a manner inconsistent with international humanitarian law,” he said.He added that the reality is that “despite the complete failure” of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the battlefield, “western patrons of the Kyiv regime” continue to push them towards a senseless military confrontation.“Let me say it again: attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure are prohibited under international law. All such attacks must stop immediately.”
Council meeting a distraction: Ukraine
Millions across Ukraine have been forced from their homes, including nearly six million living as refugees outside its borders. “The investigation should establish whether this attack violated applicable law on the conduct of hostilities, with a view to ensuring accountability.”
Western support impedes peace: Russia
OHCHR is trying to obtain more information about the attack, despite its lack of access to the city and other occupied areas in Ukraine, Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said in a statement on Monday.“It is crucial that thorough, prompt and independent investigations be carried out to determine the facts and responsibility for this attack,” she said.Ahead of the meeting, Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukrainian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN criticized Russia for calling for “yet another UN Security Council meeting to criticize lawful arms transfers to Ukraine that are done in support of Ukraine’s inherent right of self-defence.”
Grim humanitarian situation
He reiterated the UN Secretary-General’s call on all States to help prevent further escalation and bring about sustainable peace. This is “despite the fact that is obviously in agony and it is incapable of attaining the goal set to it, namely to inflict strategic defeat on Russia,” he said.Meanwhile in Geneva, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, a body of 18 independent experts monitoring implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by its States parties, is discussing the treatment and conditions facing children in Russia, including the fate of Ukrainian children allegedly deported to Russia during the course of the conflict. Alongside Russia, the Committee will also review the situations in the Congo, Bulgaria, Senegal, Lithuania and South Africa at its ongoing session, which concludes next week.“This meeting today is another attempt by the Russian Federation to distract from its war of aggression against Ukraine and its intensified campaign of systematic air strikes killing civilians and destroying critical infrastructure,” he said at a press stakeout, standing alongside dozens of ambassadors and representatives of other nations and the European Union.
At least 27 civilians were reportedly killed and a further 25 injured in the Donetsk attacks that struck local markets and a nearby residential area in the city, according to media reports.As of Sunday, OHCHR has verified 10,287 civilians killed and a further 19,444 injured sine Russia’s full-scale invasion began on 24 February 2022. The actual figures are likely far higher.The war continues to inflict “immeasurable human suffering” and putting millions at risk of serious violations and generating grave humanitarian needs, according to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)