“Ukraine is, today, a slaughterhouse right in the heart of Europe.”
— Amal Clooney
That is noted human rights attorney Amal Clooney, delivering a stark warning about the alleged war crimes committed by Russia during its invasion of Ukraine.
“Putin’s aggressive war is so outrageous that even after repeated warnings from the U.S. and Russia’s long criminal record, Ukrainians couldn’t believe that this could happen,” Clooney told the United Nations Tuesday. “And I still read news headlines not knowing quite how to process them.”
“Could it be that thousands of children are being forcibly deported to Russia?” Clooney asked. “Could it be that teenage girls are being raped in the street in front of their family and their neighbors? Was a building that had the word ‘children’ on it really bombed? And are civilians today in Mariupol systematically being tortured and starved to death? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.”
The United Nations had taken an intense interest in alleged human rights abuses during the war, which will soon be entering its third month. As the Associated Press noted, “Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned the atrocities visited on towns like Bucha where evidence of mass killings of civilians was found after Russia’s retreated from the area in the face of stiffer than expected Ukrainian resistance.”
Ukraine has noted that, in the country’s east, where much of the worst fighting has taken place, civilians are facing unsanitary conditions. In Mariupol, the sewer system is in shambles, causing the city to warn citizens of the spread of “deadly epidemics.”