Russian military commanders should be held accountable for atrocities – Ireland

UN Security Council meeting focuses on the situation of women and children in Ukraine

Ireland’s Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Brian Flynn speaks during a United Nations Security Council meeting on Monday, April 11th. Photograph: UNTV via AP

Russian military commanders as well as individual military personnel who carry out atrocities in Ukraine should be held accountable, Ireland has argued.

In a presentation to the United National Security Council on Monday Irish Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Brian Flynn said the widespread scenes of human misery and suffering inflicted on the people of Ukraine by Russia's illegal war had created both displacement and child protection crises.

The meeting of the UN Security Council on Monday specifically focused on the situation of women and children in Ukraine as a result of the Russian invasion.

Mr Flynn said the images of the grim reality of war had been seen widely.

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“A pregnant woman carried on a stretcher from the ruins of a maternity hospital. A young child on a train looking longingly at the father who cannot board. Bodies lying abandoned in improvised mass graves.

"People lying dead following the indiscriminate attack against a train station in Kramatorsk by the Russian Federation on Friday."

He said reports of sexual violence perpetrated by Russian soldiers, including rape, proliferated, “with bone-chilling allegations that children are among those violated”.

“Conflict-related sexual violence can constitute a war crime and those responsible must be held to account.

“Accountability must not only be for those who physically perpetrate such acts, but also for those military commanders who fail to take all necessary and reasonable steps to stop them, or fail to ensure that they are investigated and prosecuted.”

Mr Flynn said the reverberations of the war reached far beyond Ukraine’s borders and would “also reach beyond this generation”.

“This war will mark Ukraine for many years to come. We all have a responsibility to support them long after this war has ended.”

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is the former Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent