Russia has incited genocide in Ukraine, independent legal experts conclude

By | May 28, 2022

The Washington Post reports:

Russia is responsible for inciting genocide and perpetrating atrocities that show an “intent to destroy” the Ukrainian people, a new legal analysis signed by more than 30 independent experts concluded.

The report, published Friday by the Washington-based New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy and the Montreal-based Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, also concludes that there is “serious risk of genocide in Ukraine,” and that states have a legal obligation to prevent genocide from occurring.

It cited denials from high-level Russian officials and state media commentators of the existence of a distinct Ukrainian identity, and dehumanizing claims that Ukrainians are Nazis and “are therefore deserving of punishment.” The report also points to Russian authorities’ rewarding soldiers suspected of mass killings in Ukraine, among other evidence.

“The purveyors of incitement propaganda are all highly influential political, religious and State-run media figures, including President Putin,” the report says. “There is mounting evidence that Russian soldiers have internalized and are responding to the State propaganda campaign by echoing its content while committing atrocities.”

Genocide, often seen as the ultimate crime, has a precise legal definition: “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”

The joint report Friday included input from about three dozen experts on genocide and international law, including several former ambassadors and others who were involved in the creation and proceedings of international criminal tribunals.

Their analysis pointed to a genocidal pattern of Russian forces’ targeting of Ukrainian civilians, including evidence of mass executions and torture of civilians in areas that were occupied by Russian forces, such as the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, as well as deliberate attacks on shelters, evacuation routes and humanitarian corridors; sieges of Ukrainian cities; and indiscriminate bombing of residential areas. The report also cited sexual violence and reports of the forcible deportation of Ukrainians to Russia. [Continue reading…]

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