Experts prepared a draft statement on behalf of the Verkhovna Rada titled, “On Genocide Committed by the Russian Federation in Ukraine.”
This draft contains an extensive preamble to present a legal argument for Russia’s actions in Ukraine as genocide committed by the armed forces of the Russian Federation and its political and military leadership during the latest phase of the Russian war against Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022.
One of the draft statement’s key points is describing the long-term state policy of Russia aimed at challenging the very identity of the Ukrainian people and their independence through dissemination of misleading narratives, which are based on the deliberately false and manipulative identification of Ukrainian patriotism with “Nazism” or other ideologies of hatred.
Experts conclude that the “denazification” of Ukraine, which has been recently announced as a new goal of Russia’s war against Ukraine, actually conceals the true motivation of the Russian aggression: Destroy the Ukrainian people, their identity and to deprive Ukraine of its right to independent development.
Evidence presented in the explanatory note testify that a true goal of Russia’s war is to destroy Ukraine. The document proves genocide was committed against the Ukrainian people as a national group (the concept of a “national group” is reflected in the original text of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide), that is, a group of people who are perceived as having a legal relationship based on common citizenship and shared mutual rights and responsibilities (see the decision of the International Criminal Court for Rwanda in the case of Akayesu).
According to experts, the term “Ukrainian people” is most in line with the concept of “national group” used in the text of the UN Convention as well as Article 6 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Should the draft statement be approved, recognition of Russia’s action as genocide of the Ukrainian people may take place within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court recognized by Ukraine (see Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada Number 145-VIII as of February 4, 2015).
Additionally, the experts suggested that it would be necessary to further confirm the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction over crimes set out in Article 5 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court committed by persons established by the Court’s Prosecutor beginning February 24, 2022.
The draft statement, the Verkhovna Rada’s draft resolution and explanatory note and translation of all texts into English were submitted to the Verkhovna Rada on April 6, 2022.
On April 11, 2022, the Draft Statement was registered in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine under Number 7276.
Update: On April 14, 2022, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the Statement “On Genocide Committed by the Russian Federation in Ukraine”.