The United Nations General Assembly suspended Russia from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday, citing claims of “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” by Russian troops invading Ukraine.
The US-led initiative received 93 votes in favor, 24 votes against, and 58 abstentions. Suspending Russia from the Geneva-based Human Rights Council required a two-thirds majority of voting members in the 193-member General Assembly in New York (abstentions do not count).
Suspensions are uncommon. Libya was suspended in 2011 due to violence perpetrated by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi against protesters.
It was the 193-member General Assembly’s third resolution since Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine on February 24. The two previous UN General Assembly resolutions condemning Russia received 141 and 140 votes in favour, respectively.
The resolution, which was passed on Thursday, expresses “grave concern” about the ongoing human rights and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, particularly reports of Russian human rights violations.
Russia claims to be conducting a “special military operation” aimed at destroying Ukraine’s military infrastructure while denying striking civilians. Ukraine and its allies claim that Moscow invaded without warning.
According to a note seen by Reuters, Russia had warned countries that a yes vote or abstention would be perceived as an “unfriendly gesture” with ramifications for bilateral ties.