Ukraine first lady cites rights violations, urges tribunal

Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska has given a video tour of human rights violations in the country following Russia’s invasion almost a year ago

UNITED NATIONS — Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska gave a video tour of human rights violations in the country following Russia’s invasion almost a year ago, telling a U.N. meeting Wednesday: “We have the right to live free, not to be killed or tortured.”

She showed destruction in the eastern frontline city of Bakhmut, which Russia is trying to capture, where shelling is killing civilians and water is scarce; the mass graves of Ukrainians left behind after Russian occupiers left the city of Izium; the Kramatorsk train station, which was hit by a missile killing 50 people and wounding dozens more trying to flee the war; and many other examples.

At a meeting on “Gross Human Rights Violations Due To The Aggression Against Ukraine” organized by the Kyiv government, Zelenska also pointed to ill-treated emaciated Ukrainian prisoners of war, and the thousands of children Russia has taken from Ukraine and the reported adoption of some of them by Russian families.

“We are fighting for human rights,” she said, speaking virtually. “We are fighting for what unites us, the right to freedom, life, not to get tortured and to live freely.”

The wife of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that Ukraine’s victory in the war will mean the victory of human rights over “lawlessness, torture and destruction.”

She called on the United Nations t