UNGA suspends Russia from UNHRC
The United Nations General Assembly votes to suspend Russia over the war in Ukraine despite Russia calling for a session on Kiev's actions.
The United Nations General Assembly voted Thursday on suspending Russia from the UN Human Rights Council as "punishment" for the war in Ukraine following a US-led initiative.
93 members of the assembly's 193 voted in favor of the suspension, 24 voted against, and 58 abstained.
This is the second-ever suspension of a country from the council since its establishment, with Libya being the first in 2011 when the whole West, mainly NATO members, conspired against Tripoli and led a devastating military campaign that ran the country to the ground in addition to numerous war crimes.
What is noteworthy is that the suspension came after Moscow pushed for the UN Security Council to hear about the Ukrainian crime in Bucha, where Kiev and the West accused Russian soldiers of killing civilians in the town.
"All photos and video materials published by the Kiev regime allegedly testifying to some 'crimes' committed by Russian soldiers in the town of Bucha, Kiev region, is another provocation," Moscow's Defense Ministry said.
Russia requested a Security Council session to discuss what it described as a provocation by Ukrainian extremists.
Russia's Ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, had said that with regards to the shelling of Bucha, Ukraine's authorities are shifting the blame, as the civilian casualties may have occurred as a result of an attack by Ukrainian forces.
Russia's deputy envoy to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyanskiy, said Monday his country would continue pushing for holding a UN Security Council meeting to discuss the latest round of provocations carried out by the Ukrainian armed forces despite the United Kingdom tugging the other end of the rope in a bid to obstruct Moscow.
This would not be the first violation committed by the Ukrainian side in Mariupol, as the Azov battalion, a notorious far-right neo-Nazi group, opened fire on civilians during their evacuation from the city, killing at least two people and injuring four others.
On the other hand, throughout the time the Russian armed forces had control of the town, its residents, Moscow said, could freely move around and use means of communication, and its exits were not blocked. "Residents could flee the settlement in the northern direction, including to Belarus, at any time," the ministry explained.
Russia also recalled the Mariupol maternity hospital incident, among others, saying the photos and video footage from Bucha were a production by Ukraine for the Western media.
Kiev had previously claimed that hospitals in this city had been the target of Russian attacks, but the allegations were proven false.
Russia had launched a special military operation in Ukraine due to NATO's eastward expansion, the Ukrainian shelling of Donbass, and the killing of the people of the Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic, in addition to Moscow wanting to "denazify" and demilitarize Ukraine.