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Russia demands UN Human Rights Council name Russian regions correctly

September 29, 0:31 updated at: September 29, 0:52 UTC+3 GENEVA

The Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol reunited with Russia as a result of a free and direct expression of will by their residents and in full compliance with international law

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GENEVA, September 28. /TASS/. The Russian delegation that took part in a session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva has demanded that the Council use correct official names of two constituent territories of the Russian Federation - the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol in line with their official names.

The representative of the delegation who took the floor at the session on Thursday, Dmitry Vorobyov, called attention to the politically biased character of the report on situation in the sphere of human rights ‘in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol’ drafted by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"In the first place, we demand that the constituent territories of the Russian Federation be named in line with their officially established names - the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol," Vorobyov said. "We’d like to recall a yet another time these regions reunited with Russia [in 2014] as a result of a free and direct expression of will by their residents and in full compliance with international law."

He indicated that Resolutions 68/262 and 71/205 of the UN General Assembly, which report contained references to, stood at variance with international law and reflected the position of a narrow group of countries.

"Most member-states of the UN don’t support them and the Russian Federation sums them up as politically motivated documents that don’t reflect reality," Vorobyov said.

Vorobyov also said the OHCHR had used unverified sources in the processing of drafting the report. "By publishing this document the OHCHR reaffirmed once against its politically biased character," he said.

The 48-page report released by the OHCRH earlier this week alleges "grave human rights violations" have taken place on the Crimean Peninsula after its people decided to sever allegiances to Ukraine and to reunify with Russia.

The report contains twenty recommendations to the Russian government, "urging it to respect its obligations as an occupying power, uphold human rights for all and effectively investigate" the alleged crimes "involving members of the security forces and Crimean self-defense."

Pursuant to the underlying assumption that Crimea is a temporarily occupied territory, the report "[…] highlights the severe impact of judicial and law enforcement changes introduced under Russian occupation".

As a supposed instance of this, it mentions "[…] the arbitrary implementation of Russian Federation criminal law provisions designed to fight terrorism, extremism and separatism […]."

"There is an urgent need for accountability for human rights violations and abuses and for providing the victims with redress," UN High Commissioner for Human rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein said in connection with the release of the document.

The report admits that it "[…] was drafted on the basis of interviews, monitoring and fact-finding missions conducted from mainland Ukraine […]" and not upon the results of any activities rights inside Crimea.

On March 16, 2014, the authorities of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol held a referendum on reunification with Russia after an interval of 60 years, during which Crimea lived under the sway of Ukraine. More than 80% of registered voters came to the polls and of that number, 96.7% in Crimea and 95.6% in Sevastopol voted in favor of reunification.

On March 18, 2014, President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty on accession of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to the Russian Federation, and both houses of Russian parliament ratified it on March 21.

In spite of more than convincing results of the referendum, Kiev and its outside supporters, primarily the U.S. and the EU, refuse to recognize the results of voting.

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