WHY DO SOME INSIST ON

NOT CALLING THE

RUSCISTS’ CRIMES IN

UKRAINE A “GENOCIDE”?

As of August 2022, eight countries have officially recognized the actions of russia in Ukraine as genocide, with even more world leaders publicly describing the atrocities committed by russian soldiers with the same terminology. 

And that, in my opinion, is an absolutely correct action to take, because it not only clarifies the intensity of what is happening in Ukraine, but also helps us understand what is at the stake in this war for the Ukrainian people. Even as I write this chapter down, countless attacks and massacres executed in the name of “russian peace” keep happening with no means to an end.

Yet “even more” doesn’t mean “all”. And in this section, I would like to clarify the possible reasonings as to why some refrain from determining ruscists’ crimes in Ukraine as genocide.

FIRSTLY, LET US START WITH THE COUNTRIES THEMSELVES. 

Most of the states that haven’t yet publicly called ruscists’ crimes in Ukraine a “genocide” either ignore the topic of the civilian destruction overall or claim to punish all the atrocities committed by russia, while referring to them all as simple “war crimes”. 

As was mentioned in the third chapter, recognizing the crime of genocide in any country is not only a juridical decision – it is a political one. 

Therefore, one can state a conclusion that the leaders of such countries are not yet ready to fully burn the bridges with the russian federation and its influence on their economy, politics, and society.

AS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, THERE HAS BEEN NO

PUBLIC RECOGNITION THAT RUSSIA IS COMMITTING GENOCIDE IN

IN UKRAINE - ONLY CONDEMNATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR

THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION TO STOP THESE ATROCITIES. 

What is more interesting is that the representatives of many institutions usually insist on rejecting the term genocide to be used in the context of Ukraine.

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For example, on April 3, 2022, Aisling Reidy (who is a Senior Legal Counsel at Human Rights Watch) once stated to Deutsche Welle that

"[In Bucha itself] there's certainly war crimes, potential crimes against humanity, where we're seeing civilians killed, clearly killed in a summary execution format,"

concluding her speech by stating that it is "too early" to call what happened “genocide”.

LASTLY, MOST REMARKS ABOUT THE INAPPROPRIATE USAGE OF

“GENOCIDE” IN THE CONTEXT OF UKRAINE UNSURPRISINGLY COME 

FROM INTERNATIONAL LAWYERS, AS THERE ARE COUNTLESS CRITERIA

IN MODERN INTERNATIONAL LAW THAT NEED EVIDENCE TO BE

FULFILLED.

On the one hand, many international lawyers note that the issue of genocide is immensely relevant to what is now happening in Ukraine and should be centered in the upcoming debates.

On the other hand, they strongly believe that the framing of “whether genocide is committed by russia in Ukraine” is an incorrect legal framework to engage with today, as such formulation risks serving as a distraction and would potentially lead counties to incorrectly believe that only when there has been a determination of genocide are they obligated to act. 

Of course, I do realize that most foreign internationalists, who did not work in the context of Ukraine until February of this year or did not delve into the historical and cultural discourse and the history of relations between russia and Ukraine, find it difficult to accept the arguments and evidence about neo-colonialist and neo-imperialist behavior of russia and its soldiers – and thus need more time to process everything that is going on. 

YET ONE MUST REALIZE THAT TIME IS ALSO TICKING, TAKING AWAY MORE INNOCENT LIVES WITH EACH OMISSION OF ACTION.
 

THAT IS WHY WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS.