The United Nations’ General Assembly voted on Thursday to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. The resolution, proposed by the US, received 93 votes, with 24 members opposed and 58 abstaining.
China, a fellow permanent Security Council member, was a prominent “no” vote. Among the abstentions, the most noteworthy were India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.
US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield had called for Russia to be removed from the 47-nation body on Monday, calling its participation a “farce,” after videos and photos emerged from the town of Bucha, near Kiev, showing the dead bodies of what appeared to be civilians. Ukraine and the US accused Russia of conducting a massacre, a charge that Moscow has vehemently denied.
“We believe that the members of the Russian forces committed war crimes in Ukraine, and we believe that Russia needs to be held accountable,” Thomas-Greenfield said on Monday.
When Moscow called for an emergency Security Council session on the investigation of the alleged atrocities, on Monday, the UK – currently presiding over the body – initially refused, but the matter was considered the next day, in a different format. The US and its allies ratcheted up sanctions against Russia, this week.