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PTI

The UN General Assembly voted Thursday to suspend Russia from the world organisation's leading human rights body over allegations of horrific rights violations by Russian soldiers in Ukraine, which the United States and Ukraine have called tantamount to war crimes.

The vote was 93-24 with 58 abstentions, significantly lower than the vote on two resolutions the assembly adopted last month demanding an immediate cease-fire in Ukraine, withdrawal of all Russian troops and protection for civilians. Both of those resolutions were approved by at least 140 nations.

Russia is the second country to have its membership rights stripped at the Human Rights Council which was established in 2006. In 2011, the assembly suspended Libya when upheaval in the North African country brought down longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield launched the campaign to suspend Russia from its seat on the 47-member Human Rights Council in the wake of videos and photos of streets in the town of Bucha strewn with corpses of what appeared to be civilians after Russian soldiers retreated. The deaths have sparked global revulsion and calls for tougher sanctions on Russia, which has vehemently denied its troops were responsible.

India Abstains In UN General Assembly On Vote To Suspend Russia From UN Human Rights Council

India abstained in the UN General Assembly on a vote moved by the US to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council over allegations that Russian soldiers killed civilians while retreating from towns near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

The 193-member UN General Assembly voted to adopt the resolution suspending Russia from the world body's top human rights organisation. The draft received 93 votes in favour, 24 against and 58 abstentions.

Russia stands suspended from the Human Rights Council.

India has abstained on the resolution with regard to suspension of the Russian Federation from the Human Rights Council adopted in the General Assembly today. We do so for reasons of both substance and process, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti said in the Explanation of Vote after the voting.

"Since the inception of the Ukrainian conflict, India has stood for peace, dialogue and diplomacy. We believe that no solution can be arrived at by shedding blood and at the cost of innocent lives. If India has chosen any side, it is the side of peace and it is for an immediate end to violence, he said.

Since January this year, India has abstained on procedural votes and draft resolutions in the UN Security Council, the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council that deplored Russian aggression against Ukraine.

New Delhi had on Tuesday unequivocally condemned the deeply disturbing reports of civilian killings in the Ukrainian city of Bucha and supported the call for an independent investigation, as it underlined that when innocent human lives are at stake, diplomacy must prevail as the only viable option.

Tirumurti said India continues to remain deeply concerned at the worsening situation and reiterates its call for end to all hostilities. When innocent human lives are at stake, diplomacy must prevail as the only viable option, he said. He reiterated that recent reports of civilian killings in Bucha are deeply disturbing. We have unequivocally condemned these killings and support the call for an independent investigation.

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