Blinken: Russia 'systematically muzzles' critics

STORY: Blinken described Russia's civil society crackdown as a "systematic muzzling" and also urged U.N.-appointed investigators to continue documenting Russia's abuses in Ukraine to provide "an impartial record of what's occurring, and a foundation for national and international efforts to hold perpetrators accountable".

His video address comes ahead of an expected speech by a senior Russian official Sergei Ryabkov, who is due to appear before the same Geneva-based body for the first time since Moscow invaded Ukraine more than a year ago and since Russia was suspended from the body in April 2022. Dozens of Western ambassadors stood together to protest Rybakov's presence at the United Nations in Geneva holding Ukrainian flags.