Ukraine War, April 7, 2022 (I): U.S. secures suspension of Russia from Human Rights Council, in Pyrrhic victory and shocking failure of American diplomacy; New York Times verifies video of Ukrainian execution of wounded Russian soldier, an apparent war crime

Developing

Due to rapidly-breaking developments and in order to facilitate readers’ access to the latest dispatches, we are publishing this article as it is being written. please check back for updates and additions.

To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.

Dispatches

1) “Video zeigt Hinrichtung eines russischen Soldaten durch Ukrainer; Für die Ukraine kämpfende Soldaten töten einen schwer verletzten russischen Kombattanten: Das Video kursiert seit Tagen im Netz, die Tat wäre ein Kriegsverbrechen. Nun hat die »New York Times« die Aufnahme überprüft,” Der Spiegel, April 7, 2022 (11.08 Uhr);

2) Jenn Selby, “Video appears to show Ukrainian soldiers shooting Russian prisoner of war; The BBC has confirmed the location west of Kyiv and found satellite images showing bodies on the ground,” The Guardian, April 7 2022 (19.12 BST):

3) Farnaz Fassihi and Nick Cumming-Bruce, “U.N. members vote to suspend Russia from the body’s Rights Council,” New York Times, April 7, 2022 (11:52 a,m. ET);

4) Jessica Corbett, “By an historic vote of 93 to 24 (58 abstain) — far more than the two-thirds of those voting that was needed — the UN General Assembly suspends Russia from the UN Human Rights Council because of its war crimes in Ukraine,” Common Dreams, April 7, 2022 (9:03 AM);

Commentary

The U.S. and the West achieved a victory of sorts on April 7, 2022, when the General Assembly voted to suspend Russia from its participation on the 48 member Human Rights Council, based in Geneva.

The vote was something of a Pyrrhic victory, and in fact represented a shocking failure of American diplomacy. The U.S.-initiated resolution was approved 93-24 with 58 abstentions.

Our initial assessment of U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield as a potentially rising star appears to have been overstated. It was perhaps influenced by the relief the Observer felt when he heard the U.S. articulate its international legal arguments for what seemed to be the first time.

Thomas-Greenfield does not have the independent stature to resist the imperious directions of Biden’s foreign policy team. This hasty vote, before the diplomatic footwork could be done in New York and in foreign capitals, had all the hallmarks of having been rushed by orders from on high. Those issuing the orders don’t seem to have understood the significance of the vote, beyond securing their immediate objective.

After Bucha, the  fact that 24 nations voted against the resolution, while a whopping 58 abstained, signifies a dramatic failure of U.S. diplomacy.

See,

(Image details how each country voted)

Jessica Corbett, “By an historic vote of 93 to 24 (58 abstain) — far more than the two-thirds of those voting that was needed — the UN General Assembly suspends Russia from the UN Human Rights Council because of its war crimes in Ukraine,” Common Dreams, April 7, 2022 (9:03 AM).

Russia warned countries that a vote in favor of the resolution would adversely affect that country’s relations with Russia. The U.S. does not appear to have applied any such pressure.

Beyond the American failure, the vote signaled one of the darkest days in the history of the United Nations General Assembly.

Governments will be held accountable by history, and perhaps one day also by their citizens, for the shameful vote or abstention they cast on April 7, 2022.

The Trenchant Observer

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