“The extent and gravity of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that have taken place as a result of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine are staggering. Providing redress and support for victims and their families and delivering justice will be an incredibly daunting but imperative task,” said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, at the end of a 4 day visit to Kyiv and its region.
The war has severely affected the enjoyment of virtually all human rights by people in Ukraine. The bombing and destruction of a theatre and hospital in the besieged city of Mariupol, the ordeal of many evacuees and the dramatic struggle for survival of the people trapped in the city’s remains – despite the recent evacuation of hundreds of people – as well as the continuing shelling and destruction of cities and towns across Ukraine, are all poignant examples of how the war has been waged with little regard for human life or dignity.
The Commissioner’s field visit to several localities outside of the capital Kyiv, all of which suffered artillery shelling, heavy fighting and the brutality of the Russian forces, provided a painful illustration of the extent of such egregious human rights and humanitarian law violations, with mounting evidence of widespread arbitrary killings, torture, and enforced disappearances. “The names of Bucha, Borodyanka, Irpin or Andriivka have come to symbolise the horrific acts that were committed here. But unfortunately, their residents are not alone in their suffering. There are many more people across Ukraine who have suffered unspeakable atrocities. Each of them deserves justice and must not be forgotten,” added the Commissioner.