Top Russian propagandists accused of hate speech

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) submitted a Communication under Article 15 of the Rome Statute to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), drawing the Court’s attention to the criminal nature of hate speech in Russian media that has fueled international crimes in Ukraine, and seeking to compel the Prosecutor’s Office to apply for arrest warrants.

Among the list – a prominent Russian propagandists:

Dmitry Medvedev, Former President and current Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, who is famous for his posts in Telegram full of hate speech and threatening;

Vladimir Solovyov, host of a television show on the state-owned television channel Russia-1, who calls Ukrainians «Nazis» and threatens European countries with war almost daily;

Margarita Simonyan, Editor-in-Chief of RT (Russia Today), who openly called for the genocide of Ukrainians and admitted to managing networks of fake accounts to spread propaganda;

Dmitry Kiselyov, head of the state-owned media group Rossiya Segodnya, he has been known for his fake reports and hate speech since 2014;

Sergey Mardan (Klyuchenkov), a popular radio and television presenter. He campaigned for repressions against the civilian population of Ukraine, proposed the creation of concentration camps for Ukrainian teachers, and the extermination of Ukrainians “like mad animals.” He called for “complete and total de-Ukrainization”, in particular by banning the Ukrainian language, also cheered Russian air strikes on Ukrainian cities.

For this Communication, FIDH has analyzed over 2,000 video segments with statements made by the alleged perpetrators between 24 February 2022 and 24 February 2024.

FIDH and its partners also believe that Alexey Gromov, First Deputy to the Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office, bears responsibility for the same acts as a superior who has either ordered their commission or failed to prevent them.

Read also: Commission for the Investigation of  Russian, Belarusian Influence  has begun work in Poland

Oleksandra Matviichuk, FIDH Vice President and Head of the Center for Civil Liberties said: “These grave violations of human rights would not be possible without the dehumanizing campaign of Russian propagandists, who are just as guilty as those who pull their triggers killing Ukrainian civilians.”

In his turn Ilya Nuzov, Head of the International Justice Desk at FIDH stated “Hateful rhetoric has played a crucial role in Russia’s criminal campaign in Ukraine”. “Our organisations believe that in the context of crimes against humanity hate speech is a separate offense that warrants greater scrutiny by the International Criminal Court. Our Communication provides ample evidence substantiating the need to further investigate these acts and ultimately issue arrest warrants.”

Read also: Pro-Russian Facebook Ads Target Italy and Poland Ahead of Elections – Politico

Article 15 of the Rome Statute allows the ICC Prosecutor to receive information on crimes within the Court’s jurisdiction from non-governmental organisations and to decide whether to open an investigation or to focus on a particular crime. FIDH’s Communication to the ICC aims to demonstrate that the hate speech by Medvedev, Solovyov, Simonyan, Kiselyov, and Mardan constitutes persecution, a crime against humanity, under Article 7 of the Rome Statute. It also substantiates the responsibility of Gromov for having either ordered or allowed the commission of such acts, under Articles 25 or 28 of the Rome Statute, respectively.

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