According to experts, Moscow violated two articles from the Convention. Russia is conducting direct and public incitement to genocide, which in itself is a crime.
The report of independent experts on the actions of the Russian Federation as a genocide of Ukrainians during the invasion is available here.
Among the authors of the analysis are about 40 scientists, linguists, sociologists, historians, and human rights activists who concluded that the Russian Federation violated two articles of the Genocide Convention.
Under Article III of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide is a crime in itself, whether or not it is followed by the crime of genocide. It is expressed in:
- denying the existence of Ukrainian identity
- “denazification” and dehumanization
- constructing the image of Ukrainians as an existential threat
- inciting Russian audiences to commit or approve of atrocities
Russian officials and Russian media commentators have repeatedly denied the existence of a Ukrainian identity. And those who identify themselves as such, according to their statements, “threaten the unity of Russia” or pander to Nazism. Denying the existence of protected groups is a distinct hallmark of genocide, according to the United Nations guidelines for assessing the risk of mass atrocities.
The media repeatedly called “denazification” one of the goals of the invasion, for this, the Ukrainians were described as non-humans, sick or infected (“zombified”, “serpents”, etc.). This is done to make Ukrainians “Nazis”, and therefore legitimate targets for destruction.
By creating the image of Ukrainians as an existential threat, as well as linking the invasion to the existential war of the USSR against Nazi Germany, the Russian Federation thus increases its propaganda influence on the Russians. Mass atrocities are encouraged or justified.
The Kremlin denies atrocities committed by its troops and rewards soldiers suspected of massacres in Ukraine, encouraging soldiers to commit more atrocities and the Russian public to condone them.
All these actions in themselves violate the Genocide Convention.
Some of the points from the Convention include:
- Mass killings. The Russian Armed Forces collected Ukrainian civilians for mass executions throughout the occupied territory. All crimes were committed according to a similar pattern: hand binding, torture, and shooting in the head. An example is Bucha, where all these facts are well documented.
- Deliberate attacks on shelters, escape routes, and humanitarian corridors.
- Indiscriminate bombing of residential areas. The Russian Armed Forces widely use indiscriminate weapons against densely populated areas in at least 8 regions of Ukraine.
- Deliberate and systematic creation of conditions that threaten people’s lives
- Mass rapes
- Forced displacement of Ukrainians, including Russification of Ukrainian children
- Destruction and seizure of essentials and food
“Russian forces have destroyed and seized huge stockpiles of grain, including expropriation of hundreds of thousands of tons to Russia, and have repeatedly blocked or seized humanitarian aid or workers trying to evacuate civilians, using starvation as a weapon of war,” the report says.