Mr Chair, it is not even a week since our last Special Permanent Council was held to address the atrocities committed by invading Russian forces in towns such as Irpin and Bucha. And since our last Permanent Council on Thursday, we gather here again – in shock and horror – following the news from Kramatorsk. Two missile strikes in the middle of the day on a crowd reported to be over a thousand people waiting for trains to escape Russia’s onslaught. Strikes on a station whose role in this evacuation has been noted around the world. Over fifty people – innocent civilians – women, men, and children – reported killed in this barbaric attack, and over 100 injured.

One further horrific act in this premeditated, unjustified invasion by Russia of Ukraine. One further incident involving innocent civilians.

As we have come to expect, the Russian disinformation machine immediately kicked into work. The Russian government continue their futile attempts to distract and deflect us from their own actions through their blizzard of lies. It has not succeeded over the past 7 and a half weeks and it will never succeed.

Mr Chair, the world continues to watch, and we continue to take concrete steps in response to Russia’s brutal, unjustified and illegal invasion against its sovereign, democratic neighbour. Last week, the UN General Assembly voted to suspend Russia’s membership of the UN Human Rights Council. We are awaiting the OSCE’s Moscow Mechanism Report to release the first initial examination of alleged war crimes in Ukraine. And this is only the start.

An International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation is already underway. UK Government Departments are working closely together to identify and collate evidence of atrocities so that we, alongside international partners, can assist the investigation. Those responsible for the atrocities that have been committed in Ukraine will be held accountable. Mechanisms are being created to bring perpetrators to justice. Soldiers and commanders who issue or follow illegal orders should know that their actions are being broadcast around the world. Mr Chair – we are watching; we are documenting; and we will not forget. Justice will be served.

Mr Chair – We will use all the tools available to us to ensure that President Putin fails in his war of choice. The UK has imposed further sanctions on Russia. On 6 April, we announced a full asset freeze on Russia’s largest bank and an end to all new UK outward investment into Russia. We also announced an end to all imports of Russian coal and oil by the end of 2022. These measures have been delivered in lockstep with our global allies. Collectively, we are implementing the strongest set of economic sanctions ever imposed, to deprive the Russian government’s war machine of funds.

Mr Chair, as the Prime Minister said on Friday at the Stand-up for Ukraine pledging conference, ‘President Putin has inflicted the worst humanitarian crisis in Europe since 1945’. Faced with this horror, and in solidarity with of Ukraine, our Prime Minister visited Kyiv on Saturday to emphasise our unwavering support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, whose profound courage in the face of adversity inspires us all.

Thank you Mr Chair. I request that you attach this statement to the journal of the day.

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    Appalling attack on Kramatorsk railway station on 8 April 2022: UK statement to the OSCE

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