Thank you Mr President. The Special Permanent Council on Tuesday, October 11 denounced Russia’s continued and indefensible attacks on civilians across Ukraine. Later in the day, G7 leaders “condemned these attacks in the strongest possible terms”.

Again yesterday we heard reports of new Russian missile attacks, including on a market in Avdiivka, killing at least seven people and injuring eight.

We mourn with Ukraine all those affected by these unspeakable acts across Ukraine. We will not allow these people to be forgotten. Individuals such as Dr. Oksana Leontieva. On Monday morning, Oksana woke up, got her five-year-old son ready for school, then drove to work at one of Kyiv’s children’s hospitals. She took the same short route as every week – but that day she unknowingly drove straight into the worst missile attack on her country in months – where she was sadly killed. Oksana specialized in the treatment of childhood cancer. Her hospital described her as “a true professional and a supporter of her patients and colleagues”. Her son is now an orphan.

Mr President, Oksana and her son are just two innocent victims of Russia’s intense and continuous barrage of missile attacks on Kyiv and across Ukraine. More civilian infrastructure has been badly affected by the latest attacks. There were multiple blackouts, with areas cut off from water supplies and communications. Let us remember: deliberate attacks against innocent civilian populations constitute a war crime. Russia must end its invasion and withdraw all its forces from Ukraine now.

We condemn Russia’s continued actions at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant and the pressure exerted on the facility’s personnel. This is another irresponsible escalation and we will hold Russia accountable for any incident caused by its actions. The safety, security and safeguards of the nuclear facility are paramount and we support the efforts of the International Atomic Energy Agency in this regard.

Mr President, as latest report of the Moscow Mechanism clear – internal repression and external aggression are two sides of the same coin. I want to highlight the incredible bravery of those who have stood up to defend human rights and democracy – many of whom have been detained or “disappeared”, notably in Russia and Belarus. We congratulate the Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine, Ales Bialiatski in Belarus and Memorial in Russia for receiving the Nobel Prize – three of the seven winners of the OSCE Defenders of Democracy Prize are now Nobel Peace Prize laureates . We are proud to have spearheaded the OSCE Prize with a group of states championing democracy and supporting human rights defenders in the OSCE. The role of these human rights defenders is more important than it has ever been in our region.

The UK also congratulates Vladimir Kara-Murza on receiving the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize. He continued to defend human rights and freedom in the face of aggression from the Russian state. Vladmir Kara-Murza is still being held for political reasons; he must be released without delay. But he is not alone. During the Human Dimension Conference in Warsaw earlier this month, we heard first-hand from the courageous wives, mothers and sisters of Ukrainian political prisoners, detained civilians and forcibly disappeared persons. Many remain detained and missing to this day, their families relentlessly searching for scraps of information about their whereabouts. We urge Russia to engage with and provide access to international humanitarian organizations. These families deserve answers. We will continue to raise cases until the political prisoners are released and the whereabouts of the forcibly disappeared are known.

Mr President, 143 countries are united in condemning Putin’s illegal attempts to annex four regions of Ukraine, as evidenced by yesterday’s UNGA vote. The UK calls on Russia to cease all hostilities and “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all troops and military equipment from Ukraine”. As the G7 leaders said, “We are committed and determined to provide the support Ukraine needs to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military, diplomatic and legal support and we will stand firmly with Ukraine for as long as it takes.” This unnecessary war has inflicted suffering on too many people. Those responsible will be held accountable and will serve justice. We are determined. We are here for the long term. We won’t forget.