In recent years, the international community has witnessed a distressing escalation of threatening rhetoric and aggressive actions by Russia towards Ukraine dating back to at least 2008-2009. The situation further deteriorated with Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, shocking the world.
The hostile language directed at Ukraine, dating back over a decade, has helped shape the relationship between Russia and Ukraine, undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty and portraying it as a threat to Russia.
Genocide alone is described as “the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group, as such.”
When adding a nation’s culture into the fray, the aggressor seeks to remove a nation’s “Identity” with or without mass killings.
A history professor, Francine Hirsch, argued, “These calls for ‘de-Ukrainization’ are an incitement to genocide: to ‘destroy, in whole or in part,’ the Ukrainian nation,” suggesting that Russia fully intends to commit cultural genocide and more.
The international community expressed grave concerns over the genocidal language from Russia, “Some of the genocidal rhetoric that we’re hearing out of Russia is extremely worrying,” declared a US ambassador.
The New Lines Institute and Raoul Wallenberg Centre’s independent legal inquiry, released in May 2022, declared that Russia was in breach of the UN Genocide Convention due to breaching a number of international laws that this article will reveal.
The UN Genocide Convention, binding on Russia and 151 other nations, makes it an obligation for nations to act upon awareness of genocide risks.
Russian state actors have engaged in direct and public incitement to genocide against Ukrainians. When looked at in the eyes of the UN Genocide Convention, other nations must act immediately.
The Five ‘D’s
Experts looked at the five ‘D’s that encompass genocide: demonization, delegitimization, dehumanization, denial, and disinformation, all of which are being acted by Russia on Ukraine.
Now, Russian state-endorsed platforms use propaganda to dehumanize Ukrainians, arguing that Russia must “De-Satanize” their neighbors, whereas, for the past 20 years, Putin has been very public about his feelings towards Ukraine.
“You don’t understand George, Ukraine is not even a state,” were the words of the future Russian president to George Bush in 2009.
Legal analysis confirmed that Russia is responsible for inciting genocide against Ukrainians, breaching “direct and public incitement to genocide.”
Risk to Children
The last year has seen an alarming escalation in genocidal rhetoric by Russian state actors, perpetuating hatred and violence against Ukrainians, which is now being put to a reality among Russians who are in Ukraine.
The menacing rhetoric from Moscow has sadly materialized in violent actions during the invasion of Ukraine, including the forcible transfer of Ukrainian children to Russia, seeking to remove their Ukrainian identity and replace it with Russian culture.
Along with the forced removal of children, Russia has also been reported to commit acts such as “Killing, serious bodily and mental harm” and even “preventing births,” in a shocking revelation that further shows Russia’s intent to destroy Ukrainian culture and legacy.
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