Russia's history regarding human rights has been strongly criticized in a report from an Istanbul-based watchdog, released Tuesday.
"Russia caused the deaths of millions of people due to its forced exile, assimilation and occupation policies," claims a report from the International Center for Watching the Violation of Rights. The "Violation Report of Russia" discusses the country's role in the Syrian civil war, as well as military operations in Georgia and Crimea.
"Russia has a lengthy record of human rights violations," Mustafa Demiral, Director of Legal Affairs at the center, said on Tuesday. "Syria, especially, has turned into a table upon which the global powers are playing arm-wrestling," he added.
The report says that Russia, "together with Iran and China – which are the two other supporters of the [Bashar al-Assad] regime," is responsible for the war in Syria which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. "During the operations that have been performed since Oct. 2015, thousands of Syrian civilians died even though it has been argued that armed threats are targeted," the report reads.
The document, critical of Russia's foreign policy, claims "to test the accuracy of expressions [by] states which assert that they are representatives of civilization, peace and freedoms." "The unfair structure of the United Nations is the underlying culprit for most of today's problems around the world," Demiral added. "The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council always have the final say – a system which has created chronic problems. This should be turned into a fair system." He continued to say that "Unfortunately, as Russia is one of those permanent members and has veto power, the unfair and cruel practices of Russia cannot be prevented by the U.N.," Demiral complains.
The permanent members of the U.N. Security Council include China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. This setup has long been criticized by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for being unrepresentative of all continents, ethnicities and religions.