‘Major violations’ took place in Mariupol: UN


Death and destruction in the port city point to serious violations of international law, the UN human rights commissioner says, adding that the tragedy is far from over.

  • The United Nations’ human rights commissioner says the death and destruction in the port city of Mariupol point to “gross violations” of international human rights law.
  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, on their first trip to Kiev since the start of the war in February, welcomed Ukraine’s bid for candidate status at the European Parliament. Union supported.
  • The Ukrainian city “Irpin, like Bucha, has become a symbol of the unimaginable brutality of the Russian war,” Scholz said after the three leaders visited the city.
  • Russia says it has banned 121 Australian citizens, including top journalists and defense officials, accusing them of a “Russia-phobic agenda”.

These are the latest updates:

US did not ask Russia about two missing Americans

The United States has said it has not asked Russia about two US citizens reported missing after traveling to Ukraine to fight against Russian forces and said there are reports of a third American missing.

“As of today, we have not brought this up with the Russian Federation… (We) have not seen anything from the Russians that indicates that two such individuals are in their custody,” US State Department spokesman Ned told Price told reporters, who described reports about the two men as unconfirmed.

Alexander Drueke, 39, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Andy Huynh, 27, of Hartselle, Alabama, went to Ukraine as volunteer fighters against Russian forces, have been missing for a week and feared capture, relatives said.

EU leaders’ visit to Ukraine was ‘historic’: Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has described the visit to Kiev by leaders of Germany, France and Italy, all of whom have been criticized by Kiev for support in the past, as too cautious and “historic” and took “great strides” during their meeting. .

“Today is a truly historic day. Ukraine has felt the support of four powerful European states. And in particular support for our move towards the European Union. Italy, Romania, France and Germany are with us,” he said during his evening speech.

“All four leaders … support Ukraine’s candidacy. Of course, all relevant procedures must be followed, all EU Member States must accede. But a big step has been taken at our meeting today,” Zelenskyy said.

The leaders, accompanied by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, toured Irpin, a town northeast of the capital that was destroyed shortly after the invasion began on February 24, where retreating Russian troops left bodies lying in the streets.

‘Major violations’ took place in Mariupol: UN

The intensity and extent of the death and destruction in Mariupol suggested that “serious violations” of international humanitarian law and “gross violations” of international human rights law took place during the battle for the Ukrainian city, the United Nations High Commissioner for the human rights said. †

Michelle Bachelet made the observation when she presented her agency’s report on the situation in Mariupol to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

She said the “tragedy of Mariupol” was far from over and explained that the full picture of the devastation was not yet clear.

Local residents transport a box in Mariupol
Local residents transport a box on a wheelbarrow past a badly damaged apartment building near Azovstal Iron and Steel Works, during the Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol [File: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters]

European leaders back Ukraine’s EU bid

The leaders of France, Germany and Italy support the European Union’s “immediate” candidate status for Ukraine during their ongoing visit to Kiev.

“All four of us support immediate accession candidate status,” French President Macron said at a joint press conference with his EU colleagues.

In addition, he said Ukraine must “resist and win” the war and announced that France will donate six additional long-range artillery systems.

Russia’s war of ‘unimaginable cruelty’: Scholz

The Ukrainian city of Irpin, like Bucha before it, has become a symbol of the “cruelty” of Russia’s war in Ukraine and its senseless violence, German Chancellor Scholz said during a visit to the Kiev suburb, adding that the war must end.

“Irpin, like Bucha, has become a symbol of the unimaginable brutality of the Russian war, of senseless violence,” Scholz wrote on Twitter. “The brutal destruction of this city is a warning: this war must end.”

Read all updates from June 16 here.

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