Blinken Suggests Russia Should Be Kicked Off Human Rights Council

( The United States and many other nations have done their best to punish Russia for invading Ukraine, and now, a top Biden administration official says yet another step should be taken in that regard.

This week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the United Nations Human Rights Council that Russia should be stripped of its membership on the Council.

On Tuesday, Blinken spoke in front of the council telling members that Russia’s military strikes in Ukraine “are hitting schools, hospitals and residential buildings.” Those strikes have resulted in innocent civilians being killed.

As Blinken said on a video address to the council:

“They are destroying critical infrastructure, which provides millions of people across Ukraine with drinking water, gas to keep them from freezing to death and electricity. Civilian buses, cars and even ambulances have been shelled. Russia is doing this every day — across Ukraine.”

The Human Rights Council is a subgroup of the larger international organization. It’s dedicated solely to preserving the rights of humans across the globe. It’s a rather select group, as there are 47 countries that are members of the council, while there are 193 countries that are members of the UN.

The council isn’t without its controversy. Russia is still a part of the council, as are other countries that have been accused in the past of violating human rights, such as China.

Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, has accessed Russia of committing war crimes during their invasion of his country, pointing specifically to instances in Kharkiv. Just this week, Russia has stepped up the intensity of their attacks in Ukraine, too, with Blinken saying they are no longer just targeting the infrastructure of Ukraine’s military.

On Tuesday, Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to the Interior Ministry in Ukraine, said rocket strikes initiated by Russia in Kharkiv injured 35 people and killed at least 10 others. The United Nations has also estimated that 104 civilians have been killed in Ukraine thus far, with another 304 people being injured.

A government building in Kharkiv was also destroyed during a large explosion.

Amnesty International has also backed the statements made by Blinken and other world leaders. In a statement of their own recently, the organization’s secretary general, Agnes Callamard, said:

“The Russian military has shown a blatant disregard for civilian lives by using ballistic missiles and other explosive weapons with wide-area effects in densely-populated areas. Some of these attacks may be war crimes.”

Russia is also being accused of using a vacuum bomb in regions in Ukraine. Those weapons were prohibited by the Geneva Conventions.

Russia has launched other strikes near both a hospital and kindergarten in Ukraine.

All of this is what has convinced Blinken that Russia needs to be removed from the Human Rights Council. As he said this week:

“One can reasonably ask whether a UN member state that tries to take over another UN member state — while committing horrific human rights abuses and causing massive humanitarian suffering — should be allowed to remain on this council.”