Dear Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Sergej Viktorovič Lavrov
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
32/34 Smolenskaya-Sennaya Ploshchad
Moscow 119200
Russian Federation

I am writing to demand that Russia and its armed forces abide by international humanitarian law and human rights law obligations in Ukraine.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February the Russian armed forces have committed numerous violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes.

Russia is committing war crimes, and likely crimes against humanity, through the forcible transfer and deportation of civilians from Ukraine. As they leave their homes, people must undergo an invasive screening process called filtration. They are interrogated, searched, and many are detained and subjected to torture and other ill-treatment which is a war crime against civilians.

In the face of overwhelming evidence that Russia's armed forces have committed war crimes, I am appalled by your government's ongoing denial of its responsibility for such violations. Rather than its shameful denials, your government and the Russian armed forces must urgently take measures to halt the commission of international humanitarian law violations, including war crimes, and to prevent their occurrence. All those individually responsible for crimes under international law committed in Ukraine - including senior political leaders and military commanders - must be brought to justice.

I demand that Russian and Russian-controlled forces immediately stop the forcible transfer of all civilians from Ukraine to Russia or other occupied areas of Ukraine; end the abusive process known as ‘filtration’ and release all those who are being held unlawfully in detention; and facilitate the safe evacuation of civilians from Ukraine directly to government-held parts of Ukraine if that is their choice.