Michelle Bachelet announced the launch of an investigation into the use of cluster bombs by Russia.
“Ukrainian cities have suffered from airstrikes and heavy artillery shelling during the (ongoing) five–week Russian invasion, which killed civilians and destroyed hospitals, which can be equated to war crimes,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said on Wednesday.
Addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Bachelet called on Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine.
She also said that her staff had received “credible allegations” that “Russian troops used cluster munitions at least 24 times in populated areas of Ukraine.”
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is now investigating this evidence.
Bachelet said that today approximately 60 of her employees work in Ukraine, who are engaged in monitoring the observance of human rights in Ukraine. 77 attacks have already been confirmed, during which Ukrainian medical institutions, including 50 hospitals, were damaged.
“Indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets are prohibited by international humanitarian law and can be equated to war crimes,” Bachelet said.
She noted that “the massive destruction of civilian objects and the large number of civilian casualties strongly indicate that the fundamental principles, proportionality and precautions were not sufficiently observed by the Russian military,” referring to the rules of warfare enshrined in the Geneva Conventions.
According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, “the people of Ukraine live in a state of incessant nightmare.”