What is the U.N. Human Rights Council and how does it work?

The results of the votes from U.N. General Assembly members to expel Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council are seen on a screen at the organization’s headquarters in New York City on April 7. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

The United Nations General Assembly voted Thursday to suspend Russia from its main human rights body, the U.N. Human Rights Council, for “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” by Russian forces in Ukraine.

The United States led the push to vote to suspend Russia from the council, amid growing condemnation of Moscow over apparent atrocities committed by Russian troops in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.

The resolution passed 93 to 24, with 58 abstentions. But the consensus was not as strong as the General Assembly’s vote last month to urge an immediate cease-fire in Ukraine, which passed 140 to 5, with 38 abstentions.

After the vote, some nations said the suspension was too premature given that investigations into alleged war crimes in Ukraine are ongoing. Russia called the resolution “illegally and politically motivated.”

Here’s what to know about the U.N. Human Rights Council and how it works.

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