New UN Rights Chief Urges Halt to Drone Attacks on Civilians in Ukraine

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GENEVA (Reuters) – The new United Nations human rights chief, who took office on Monday as Russian drones struck the Ukrainian capital, said attacks on civilians in Ukraine had to stop.

“We have received reports from our colleagues on the ground about these drone attacks and it is absolutely important that…civilians are not targeted, this is very difficult in densely populated urban areas,” Volker Turk of Austria, the new High Commissioner for Human Rights, said.

Respecting international human rights law and humanitarian law was “absolutely critical, so the big call is to de-escalate”, he told reporters.

A new wave of Russian drone attacks hit Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities on Monday, causing people to scramble for cover during the morning rush hour for the second successive week.

Turk, a UN veteran who had been a senior aide to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, succeeded Chile’s Michelle Bachelet, whose term ended on Aug. 31.

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(Reporting by Cecile Mantovani, Writing by Michael Shields)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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