Norway on The Russian Federation`s ongoing aggression against Ukraine: atrocities discovered in the Kyiv liberated region

As delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 5 April 2022.

Mr. Chair,

We are appalled by the reports coming out of the liberated areas around Kyiv and other regions. We are deeply shocked by the atrocities committed against civilians in Bucha and other places that have been held by Russian forces. In addition, Russian forces have indiscriminately destroyed homes, schools, hospitals, and other civilian infrastructure, and have reportedly left areas mined.

These and the other atrocities which have been reported since the Russian invasion the 24th of February will be investigated, and those responsible for violations of International Humanitarian Law must be brought to justice. We welcome the Human Rights Council’s establishment of a Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine – to investigate all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law. We are also pleased that the ICC has opened an investigation into the situation in Ukraine.

As a supplement to the work of the HRC and the ICC, the Moscow Mechanism expert mission will deliver its report in a few days. The report will shed light on possible war crimes and crimes against humanity, including any due to deliberate and indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure.

The world is watching. There cannot be impunity for war crimes being committed in Ukraine.

Russia’s unprovoked and illegal war against Ukraine –  a free and sovereign country –  is also an attack on democratic values, on freedom.

Norway once again urges Russia to abide by international law. This includes complying with the order of the International Court of Justice to immediately suspend Russia’s military operations and to withdraw its military troops from Ukraine.

Mr. Chair,

Let me also stress how much better it would have been if the Russian Federation had chosen to take part in our discussions under this agenda item. Instead, they put forward current issues on – in reality – the same issue, with a wording that can only be read as a provocation. I therefore urge the distinguished Russian delegation to reconsider this work mode for future meetings.

I kindly ask that this statement be attached to the journal of the day.

Thank you.