For centuries, the Soviet authorities tortured Ukrainian people. Millions were killed, tortured, and starved to death due to Soviet crimes.
We know very well that russian terror and genocide continue to this day, in the 21st century. We believe that the aggressor will be rightfully held accountable for its actions.
The fact that russia is currently committing genocide against the Ukrainian people is acknowledged by the absolute majority of Ukrainians. 89% to be precise — that many Ukrainian citizens surveyed support the recognition of russian military actions in Ukraine as a genocide of the Ukrainian people, according to a poll conducted by the sociological group “Rating”.
Today we explain why the criminal actions of the russian federation in Ukraine today constitute genocide.
The term “genocide” was introduced by a Polish lawyer of Jewish origin Raphael Lemkin. He called genocide “a crime of crimes.” Thanks to his work, 74 years ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Raphael Lemkin became the first international law expert to investigate and identify the crimes of the Stalinist communist regime against Ukrainians as genocide.
What is genocide?
The Article 2 of the 1948 Convention defines genocide as… “acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group as such:
– causing serious bodily or mental harm
– intentionally creating for group members the living conditions that are designed for total or partial destruction
– imposing measures intended to prevent births within a group
– forcibly transferring children of a group to another group.”
All of these features are present in Ukraine today.
The article in “Foreign Affairs” journal “Why russia’s War in Ukraine is Genocide,” by Christina Huck, also provides evidence of the genocide of Ukrainians. Here they are grouped according to the individual signs of the 1948 Convention:
– The presence of russia’s intent to destroy Ukraine and Ukrainians
– Atrocities committed by russians against all population groups in Ukraine
– Rape as one of the weapons of demographic assault
– Deliberate blockade of evacuations in order to exterminate the civilian population
– Creation of filtration camps
– Purposeful coordination and organization of the process of genocide
– russians outside the russian military are massively involved in the process of genocide
– russian propaganda efforts focus on dehumanizing Ukrainians as victims of genocide
The ‘intent’ is essential in determining genocide. To accuse someone of genocide, it is necessary to prove their deliberate intent.
In the case of russia, this intent is very easy to prove. Every day, russian officials and media voice ideas about the desire to destroy the Ukrainian nation, providing arguments as to why our state has no right to exist.
The number of victims is not significant for recognizing criminal actions as genocide. However, as a result of russian aggression, thousands of Ukrainians have died.
Historian and philosopher, Professor Timothy Snyder of Yale University also cites similar signs of genocide of the Ukrainian people in russia’s actions:
– denies the existence of a certain state
– denies the existence of a people
– ‘dehumanizes’ the people
– denies past genocides
– supports the idea of displacing one nation with another
– a ‘postmodern indicator,’ when society is so overloaded with distorted information that it doesn’t even notice the genocide being committed.
“In the situation with russia, we have not a shortage, but an excess of evidence,” emphasizes Timothy Snyder.
Such countries as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Canada, the Czech Republic, and Ireland have already recognized the genocide of the Ukrainian people during this full-scale war.
Although such political statements by states have no legal force, we are confident that other countries will join them to demonstrate solidarity with Ukraine, to show that the civilized world is against the crimes of russia.
Seventy years ago, Raphael Lemkin said: “A Ukrainian is not and never has been a russian. His culture, his temperament, his language, his religion — they are different.”
“The attempts of the russian regime to destroy Ukrainians once again prove that unpunished crimes are repeated. It seems that it is Ukraine and Ukrainians who should put a historical end to this unjustness,” says Anna Ohrenchuk, the President of the Association of Lawyers of Ukraine.
Photo: Jeenah Moon/Reuters