U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers a speech during the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva

Blinken calls on U.N. Human Rights Council to ‘hold Russia accountable’ for Ukraine invasion

GENEVA — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on the U.N.’s top human rights body to hold Russia accountable for its invasion of Ukraine.

The top U.S. diplomat also singled out Russia in recorded remarks delivered to the Human Rights Council for repression within the country, citing reports that thousands of protesters in Russia who were opposed to the invasion had been detained.

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Blinken urged the council Tuesday to send a message that Russian President Vladimir Putin should unconditionally stop the “unprovoked attack” and withdraw its forces from Ukraine.

“We must condemn firmly and unequivocally Russia’s attempt to topple a democratically elected government and its gross human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, and we must take steps to hold the perpetrators accountable,” he said.

The comments came as the United States returned to its seat at the council, which had been abandoned under President Donald Trump, who alleged that the 47-member-state body was too accepting of autocratic governments and too biased against Israel.