June 14, 2024

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War in Ukraine | “This is tantamount to genocide”, pleads Cave

War in Ukraine |  “This is tantamount to genocide”, pleads Cave

(Kyiv) Evidence of Russian genocide is piling up, Ukraine argues.

Throughout the territories liberated by the Ukrainian army, authorities have found signs of atrocities and crimes against humanity.

This was confirmed by the official spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oleg Nikolenko. According to Ukraine, it is fighting in favor of the establishment of a special court – which still raises questions from its allies, including Canada.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Mr. Nikolenko argued that the evidence was “terrible”.

It renews a debate that has been going on since the spring about whether or not Russia will implement a genocidal plan and operations in the war-torn country since February.

Mr. Nikolenko thus lends his voice to Ukraine’s attorney general, who told the BBC on Sunday that Russian strikes against energy infrastructure, particularly the electricity network, amounted to genocide. Fewer than 10 million people were then plunged into darkness, mainly in the capital. The drinking water network has also failed, which we fear will be worse in the coming winter.

According to Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office, which compiles the reports, 49,471 war crimes and crimes of aggression have been committed since the Russian invasion began on February 24.

Vladimir Putin’s troops occupied up to a quarter of Ukrainian territory but had to retreat, and 15% of the territory is now under Russian control, mainly in the east and southeast.

However, by withdrawing the aggressor leaves traces of the crime behind him. Researchers who have developed tools to detect abuses, including through social networks, have found that the Russian military committed more crimes and atrocities shortly before it gave up land, according to results presented at a recent seminar at the University of Ottawa.

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“Every place we liberate, we see mass atrocities, mass graves, torture chambers,” Nikolenko explained during an interview at the Foreign Ministry’s underground bunker. Foreign Affairs, Kyiv.

“All these cases are currently under investigation,” he continued.

For example, in Balaklia, a town recently released in September and recently visited by The Canadian Press, a torture chamber was set up in the local police station.

Evidence is piling up, leaving little doubt about the genocidal abuses of the Moscow regime, the Ukrainian government judges.

“There is appalling evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity,” an official spokesman said. If you look at the sum total of the crimes committed by the Russians in Ukraine, this could be genocide. »

The use of the term genocide is so loaded and cannot be used at all times, the Holocaust and the establishment of the United Nations during World War II, which codified this crime in a convention.

According to the United Nations (UN) Genocide Convention, genocide is defined as “the crime committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group”.

In the view of the Kiev government, civilians are being massacred simply because they are Ukrainians.

“Russia is behaving like a terrorist state that is killing innocent people, without any particular reason or motive, because they are Ukrainians and they continue to resist,” Mr. Nikolenko said.

Researcher Mary Lamensch, who is a project coordinator at Concordia University, recently spoke of the “extreme violence” of the war in Ukraine, which is far greater than we have seen before.

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An earlier study of the Rwandan genocide compared the abuse documented in Ukraine to that reported in Rwanda.

During a discussion on Ukrainian studies in Ottawa, he spoke about “mutilations practiced on bodies even after the murders.”

On Ukrainian soil, he described Russian troops as committing, among other things, “rape, forced transportation of children, destruction of homes and civilian infrastructure.”

The use of the term genocide is not unanimous and is subject to political and legal debate.

An expert on the Ukrainian issue called for some caution. In a recent example on social media, French researcher Anna Colleen Lebedev acknowledged Russia’s “environmental genocidal political discourse and deep contempt for Ukraine.”

Author of the book “Never Brothers? Regarding the complicated relations between Ukraine and Russia, it notes that the Russian command has “failed on the ground” and is losing control of the situation.

However, she clarified that she had no evidence to conclude that there was a “direct order to destroy the troops”.

Called to clarify his analysis, Mme Colin Lebedev did not respond to our interview request.

A special court

Ukraine wants the International Criminal Court (ICC) to punish perpetrators of atrocities, but that may not be enough. The Zelenskyi government also wants a special court to be set up for matters that the ICC cannot cover.

“The ICC cannot cover crimes of aggression (by one country against another country), a special court is needed,” Mr. Nikolenko pleaded.

Canada does not yet have an official position on the issue of creating a new tribunal, but has reservations.

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“We are continuing to review this proposal,” a foreign affairs official said during a technical briefing.

“There are practical and legal obstacles,” he continued, adding that discussions with other G7 partners on this particular point are ongoing.

“There is some doubt about the feasibility of the matter. »

As of October, more than 40 countries have approached the ICC to investigate crimes committed in Ukraine.me Lamensch.

Countries such as Germany, Sweden, France and the United Kingdom have launched investigations and sent investigators to Ukraine to gather evidence.

Experts and elected officials have established the Global Parliamentary Coalition Against Atrocities (GPAAAC) to better challenge alleged crimes committed by the Russian military and bring those responsible to justice.