UN launches probe into Russian abuses in Ukraine

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                Geneva, May 12 (AFP/APP):The United Nations Human Rights Council voted overwhelmingly Thursday to launch an inquiry into alleged serious violations committed by Russian troops in Ukraine, putting their conduct further under the microscope.

                  Concerned by extrajudicial executions, civilian casualties, the use of torture and abuses against children, the council voted 33-2 to create an investigation into alleged violations, with a view to holding the perpetrators to account.

                  China and Eritrea voted against the resolution, while 12 countries including India, Pakistan and Cuba abstained. Russia branded the extraordinary meeting of the UN’s top rights body a politicised stunt and refused to attend.

                  Telling the council that an 11-year-old boy, now traumatised, had been raped in front of his mother, Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces were inflicting “pure evil”.

                  Russia was committing “the most gruesome human rights violations on the European continent in decades”, she said, speaking from Kyiv.

                  “These have been 10 weeks of sheer horror to the people of my country.

                  “Torture and enforced disappearances, sexual and gender-based violence; the list of Russia’s crimes is endless.

                  “Only the world standing strong in solidarity with the Ukrainian people can defeat this pure evil.”