Members on Thursday passed a resolution by an overwhelming majority to order an inquiry into events in Ukraine's Kyiv region and other areas that were temporarily held by Russian troops earlier this year, the Reuters news agency reported.
Areas that were under Russian occupation in late February and March "have experienced the most gruesome human rights violations on the European continent in decades," Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova told the Council.
At the same session on Thursday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said there were many examples of possible Russian war crimes in Ukraine, Reuters reported.
"The scale of unlawful killings, including indicia of summary executions in areas to the north of Kyiv, is shocking," she said, as quoted by Reuters.
The United Nations General Assembly last month suspended Russia from the UN Human Rights Council amid reports of "gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights" in Ukraine.
Poland's UN Ambassador Krzysztof Szczerski said at the time that "a country that deliberately kills civilians on a massive scale cannot be an active member of the Human Rights Council, the most important body in the UN system, mandated to protect and respect human rights globally."
On March 24, the 193-member UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to demand aid access and civilian protection in Ukraine, amid a humanitarian crisis created by Russia's invasion of the country.
On March 2, the assembly voted to reprimand Russia for invading Poland's eastern neighbour and demanded that Moscow stop fighting and withdraw its forces from Ukraine.
Source: PAP, Reuters