Religious studies scholar, religious journalists, co-founder of Cerkvarium, Director of Religious Security Centre
Besides the mere acknowledging this fact, the Bill envisions support of Ukrainian state and nation facing Russian war crimes, as well as the establishment of International Tribunal on holding Russian civil and military leadership accountable.
Acknowledging the war crimes as genocide is by no means any “political desire”, but a strict following the international law and legal treaties, specifically Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December, 9, 1948.
According to the Convention, genocide is the acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. The Convention clearly defines genocide criteria as such:
Sadly, we can clearly see all the stated above criteria in the war Russia wages against Ukraine. Mass murders of civilian, unarmed Ukrainians posing no immediate danger whatsoever. It has happened in Bucha, Mariupol, Izium, or during the missile strikes across all temporarily occupied territories. Presently we can hardly estimate the actual number of victims. In Mariupol alone, according to the most optimistic estimates there could be tens of thousands of victims. This is nothing less than murders on a national basis. Russia kills anyone who identifies him(her)self with Ukrainian political nation.
Numerous reports on torture, humiliation is what we witness in the victims of mass burials. These facts are verified by the freed prisoners of war.
Russia undertook attacks on civilian critical infrastructure providing civilian population with running water, electricity and central heating – instead of targeting military installations. Food blockade, Russian-made food crisis when vegetables from the occupied Southern regions are prohibited from distributing to the rest of the regions by Russian occupation forces, is in full scale. Technological supply chains are broken, people on the occupied territories lose jobs, which leads to deficit, price growth and spread of poverty on the territories controlled by Ukrainian government. Artificial natural gas crisis, Russia refusing to fulfill its legal obligations all lead to natural gas supply shortages, while central heating prices sky-rocket as winter is coming. All that is no less than purposeful inflicting of sever conditions of life.
Mass sexual crimes, rapes, castrations of Ukrainian servicemembers, purposeful attacks on maternity hospitals are no less than preventing child births within the Ukrainian nation.
Widely known are the facts of children kidnappings from Mariupol and other occupied territories and their further transfer to Russian territory. According to the Children’s Ombudsman Office, more than 7000 Ukrainian children were forcefully moved to Russia, where they obviously would be told they are Russian, not Ukrainians, and with that forcefully breaking their connection to Ukrainian social and cultural heritage in which they were born and brought up.
All these deeds demonstrate that the war Russia wages against Ukraine has all signs of genocide. The United States of America and the whole world should, and must reach the decision to qualify Russian aggression against Ukraine as genocide, as actions taken by Russian military and political establishment clearly fall into that category.
What’s more, such global acknowledgment and reaction should have been taken even before the fullscale war began, as international law and the mentioned above Convention envisions not only reaction to genocide, but the prevention of one. So the acknowledgment of Russian actions as genocide should have happened earlier on.
War crimes and genocide has no limitation period. All accused must be held accountable even years after the crimes were committed. The most vivid example is the recent start of the International UN Court and special tribunal on Rwanda genocide investigation against Felicien Kabuga, a producer of the propaganda “Thousands Hills” radio station on a charge of inspiring the mass killings. Similar fate awaits all Russians involved in the genocide of Ukrainian nation.