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Russia expelled from the United Nations Human Rights Council due to its actions in Ukraine.

Moscow is one of the council’s most outspoken members, and its suspension prevents it from speaking or voting, according to authorities, but diplomats could still attend deliberations. “They’d almost certainly try to sway the Council through proxies,” a Geneva-based official added.

The United Nations General Assembly suspended Russia from the Human Rights Council on Thursday, citing claims of “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” by Russian troops entering Ukraine.

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Despite clear proof that Moscow’s troops massacred people indiscriminately before leaving over the previous several days, Ukrainian authorities continued to gather the dead in destroyed communities outside the city.

In other news, the United States and its Western allies have moved to put further penalties on Russia for what they call war crimes.

According to a US defence official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Russia completed the departure of all of its estimated 24,000 or more troops from the Kyiv and Chernihiv districts in the north, moving them into Belarus or Russia to replenish and regroup.

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The movement spearheaded by the United States received 93 votes in favor, 24 votes against, and 58 abstentions. Suspension of Russia from the 47-member council required a two-thirds majority of voting members — abstentions do not count.

Suspensions are uncommon. Libya was suspended in 2011 due to violence perpetrated by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi against protesters.

The 193-member General Assembly draught resolution expresses “grave concern” over the continued human rights and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, including claims of Russian rights violations.

According to a note seen by Reuters, Russia had warned countries that a yes vote or abstention would be perceived as an “unfriendly gesture” with ramifications for bilateral ties.

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The Geneva-based council, which cannot make legally enforceable decisions, was in its second year of a three-year tenure for Russia. Its rulings, on the other hand, carry crucial political messages and can authorize probes.

Moscow is one of the council’s most outspoken members, and its suspension prevents it from speaking or voting, according to authorities, but diplomats could still attend deliberations. “They’d almost certainly try to sway the Council through proxies,” a Geneva-based official added.

Since Russia’s incursion, the council has begun an investigation into claims of human rights breaches, including probable war crimes, in Ukraine.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, the United Nations General Assembly has passed two resolutions condemning Russia, with 141 and 140 votes in favor, respectively. Moscow claims to be conducting a “special operation” in Ukraine to demilitarize the country.

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After Ukraine accused Russian troops of killing hundreds of people in the village of Bucha, the US declared that it would pursue Russia’s suspension.

Russia denies targeting the Ukrainian people. On Tuesday, United Nations Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia declared that while Bucha was under Russian control, “not a single civilian was subjected to any form of violence.”

Ukrainian authorities urged people living in the Donbas to evacuate now, ahead of an impending Russian offensive, while there is still time.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/un-general-assembly-votes-to-suspend-russia-from-un-human-rights-council-india-abstains/article65300553.ece

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