Live Updates: Russia invades Ukraine

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Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Aiiarovna Dzhaparova is seen on a TV screen as she delivers a speech from a distance during an urgent debate on the Ukrainian conflict at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva , in Switzerland, on March 3. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova on Thursday accused the Russian Federation of engaging in acts amounting to war crimes, adding that Russian forces in Ukraine had committed “gross violations” of human rights. ‘man.

“Recent events clearly show that Russian troops fighting in Ukraine are committing the most flagrant violations and abuses of human rights, systematically engaging in acts that clearly constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. “Dzhaparova said.

“Russian bombs are destroying towns and villages in my homeland, targeting residential areas, schools, orphanages, hospitals, churches, museums, TV towers, central squares and critical infrastructure,” a- she added.

Speaking to the UN Human Rights Council via video link, Dzhaparova called on the UN to hold the Russian Federation accountable for its invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing military aggression.

“We believe that the Human Rights Council has a leading role to play in uniting efforts to ensure Russia’s accountability for its crimes against my country,” the Deputy Foreign Minister said in the statement. advice.

“This is the very moment of truth, not just for my country as it struggles to survive, but for the entire international human rights system and its fundamental institutions, and for those who have been tasked with promoting the human rights as members of this council,” she said.

More context: US President Joe Biden said it was clear civilians were being targeted by Russia, echoing an accusation by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces were dropping munitions on innocent people.

Unlike Johnson, however, Biden refrained from calling Russia’s actions a war crime. “We are following it very closely,” Biden said. “It’s too early to say that.”

Russia routinely denies targeting civilians in Ukraine; however, media and international observers have extensively documented civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, the UN has confirmed at least 752 civilian victims, including 227 killed, Tuesday evening. However, accounts of civilian death tolls vary widely across jurisdictions and agencies. CNN cannot independently verify the number of deaths.

Speaking on Thursday, Dzhaparova said Russia stands ‘above international law and above the rules-based order’ but noted that Ukraine is ‘resisting’ Russian military aggression. .

“Our international coalition is getting stronger every day,” she added. “At this extraordinary time, we must come together to ensure accountability.”

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