Russia has been suspended from the UN Human Rights Council by the United Nations General Assembly. The suspension bars Russia from speaking and voting, although Russian diplomats can still attend debates.

There are 193 voting members of the General Assembly. There were 93 votes in favour of the suspension, 24 countries voted no and 58 countries abstained. The Council initially opened an investigation into allegations of rights violations, inclusive possible war crimes, in Ukraine since Russia’s attack.

The United States announced it would seek Russia’s suspension subsequent to Ukraine accusing Russian troops of the slaughter of hundreds of civilians in Bucha. Russia warned countries that a yes vote or abstention would be viewed as an “unfriendly gesture” with consequences for bilateral ties. Furthermore, Russia’s UN Ambassador Gennady Kuzmin said “We reject the untruthful allegations against us based on staged events and widely circulated fakes”.

Ukraine’s UN Ambassador made a speech prior the vote and said that a vote of yes to suspend would “save the Human Rights Council and many lives around the world and in Ukraine”, however a no vote was “pulling a trigger, and means a red dot on the screen — red as the blood of the innocent lives lost”.

The United States have indicated they will be providing new weapon systems to Ukraine. Furthermore, NATO foreign ministers have agreed to accelerate arms deliveries in response to Russia’s invasion.

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