UN Human Rights Spokesperson Liz Throssell on Concern on Russian attacks in Kharkiv region of Ukraine
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Edited News | OHCHR , UNOG

UN Human Rights office concerns on Russian attacks in Kharkiv region of Ukraine

We are deeply concerned at the plight of civilians in Ukraine, particularly in the Kharkiv region, as Russian armed forces have stepped up their attacks in recent days. This assault has seized more Ukrainian territory, triggered further displacement and potentially threatens Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city,” said spokesperson Liz Throssell at the bi-weekly press briefing in Geneva.

 

Since the latest incursion by Russian forces on 10 May, during which they took control of several small settlements, at least 6,000 people are believed to have fled or been evacuated from areas on the border. Many have reached the city of Kharkiv, which is just some 30 to 40 kilometers from the fighting.  

 

Our human rights monitoring team in Ukraine, which is continuing to analyze information from the ground, has verified that at least eight civilians have been killed and 35 injured in the Kharkiv region since last Friday,” she said.

 

“This follows a pattern of civilian casualties documented for April, when at least 129 civilians were killed and 574 injured, the majority amid attacks by Russian armed forces along the frontlines,” Throssell stated.

 

“In Kharkiv region, the situation is dire, as fighting intensifies. Colleagues in Kharkiv report air raid sirens sounding almost constantly and hearing explosions in the border area and in the city itself. Continuing attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, which since March have affected millions across Ukraine, have also meant daily power cuts in many parts of Kharkiv,” she said.  

 

Reports indicate that in the north-eastern border city of Vovchansk, where there has been significant destruction, heavy fighting has been continuing. Several hundred civilian residents out of a population of some 3,000 prior to 10 May are believed to still be there.

 

The UN Human Rights Office is also looking into reports that falling debris from an intercepted missile hit an apartment block in Belgorod in the Russian Federation, causing civilian casualties.

 

We once again call on the Russian Federation to immediately cease its armed attack against Ukraine - in line with the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly, the binding provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice, and with wider international law - and to withdraw to internationally recognizedborders,” said Throssell.

 

She also urged all parties to make every effort to avoid or at least minimize harm to civilians, including by avoiding the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas. 

 

ENDS

 

 

For more information and media requests, please contact: 

In Geneva

Liz Throssell - + 41 22 917 9296 / elizabeth.throssell@un.org or 

Jeremy Laurence -  +41 22 917 9383 / jeremy.laurence@un.org

 

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SHOTLIST 

1.     Exterior shots: Palais des Nations

2.     Cut Aways: Briefing room.

3.     SOUNDBITE (English)—Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): We are deeply concerned at the plight of civilians in Ukraine, particularly in the Kharkiv region, as Russian armed forces have stepped up their attacks in recent days. This assault has seized more Ukrainian territory, triggered further displacement and potentially threatens Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city.”

4.     Cut Away: Briefing room.

5.     SOUNDBITE (English)—Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): Our human rights monitoring team in Ukraine, which is continuing to analyze information from the ground, has verified that at least eight civilians have been killed and 35 injured in the Kharkiv region since last Friday.”

6.     Cut Away: Briefing room.

7.     SOUNDBITE (English)—Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): This follows a pattern of civilian casualties documented for April, when at least 129 civilians were killed and 574 injured, the majority amid attacks by Russian armed forces along the frontlines.”

8.     Cut Away: Briefing room.

9.     SOUNDBITE (English)—Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): In Kharkiv region, the situation is dire, as fighting intensifies. Colleagues in Kharkiv report air raid sirens sounding almost constantly and hearing explosions in the border area and in the city itself. Continuing attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, which since March have affected millions across the Ukraine, have also meant daily power cuts in many parts of Kharkiv.”

10.  Cut Away: Briefing room.

11.  SOUNDBITE (English)—Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): We once again call on the Russian Federation to immediately cease its armed attack against Ukraine - in line with the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly, the binding provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice, and with wider international law - and to withdraw to internationally recognised borders.”

12.  Cut Away: Briefing room.


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