Propagandists to be held criminally responsible for incitement to genocide

11 / 04 / 2022

This article translated by our volunteer Maryna Martynenko. 

Just recently, russia and its representatives have committed 3 out of 4 international crimes: crime of aggression, war crimes and crimes against humanity. During the first days of Russian large-scale invasion into Ukraine we still hoped that it would be possible to avoid the forth, the most terrible, crime which is genocide.

However, the terrifying photos from Bucha, Irpin, Hostomel and other Ukrainian localities together with cynic bombing of Mariupol and other cities raised debates among experts whether Russian occupants’ actions can be qualified as genocide.

First of all we need to understand what genocide is. Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and article 6 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court define genocide as follows : any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

One of the key elements of the crime of genocide is an intention to destroy fully or partly a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such. This intention has been confirmed by putin’s numerous declarations denying the existence of Ukrainians as a distinct people.

Numerous facts of murder, torture and rape of civilians, closure of localities and other war crimes can be part of the politics of the aggressor state aimed at the genocide of the Ukrainian people.

The article in the russian propagandistic mass medium RIA Novosti under the title of What russia should do to Ukraine contains abundant statments that can be qualified as direct and public incitement to genocide according to the article 3 (c) of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and article 25 (3)(e) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Cour

The aforementioned essay contains numerous suggestions seeking the elimination of the Ukrainian national identity :

• Accusation of a large part of Ukrainian people of being “passive Nazis, accomplices of Nazism” ;

• A call to «denazification» which implies “re-education that should accomplished by means of ideological crackdowns (supression) of the Nazi attitudes and heavy censorship: not only in the political realm, but also in cultural and educational sectors” ;

• Denial of the Ukraine’s right to be a sovereign state and bear the name of Ukraine;

• A call to continue “denazification” over “the period of at least one generation which should be born, grow up and mature under denazification conditions”;

• A call to “deukrainize” southern and eastern regions of Ukraine;

• A call to “deeuropeanize” Ukraine;

• A call to eliminate “Banderites’ leadership” of Ukraine and to expose its supporters to “troubles of the war”;

• A call to lustration and forced labor for those supporters of “Nazi regime” who will not be subject to capital punishment or imprisonment.

In this regard, the author of the article Timofei Sergeitsev (Тимофей Сергейцев) and the editor-in-chief of the propagandist publication “RIA Novosti” Anna Gavrilova (Анна Гаврилова) deserve an honorable place in the dock with potenial accusations on incitement to genocide of the Ukrainian people. As history has shown, propagandistic mass media have repeatedly incited the population to genocide and other

atrocities in regards to various national, ethnical, religious and other groups.

Thus, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda brought charges against the director of the Free Radio and Television of the Thousand Hills (Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines) for incitement to genocide of the Tutsi people in 1994, which resulted in the death of about 800 thousand representatives of this group.

Russian propagandists can be prosecuted for incitement to genocide by the law-enforcement authorities of Ukraine, foreign countries through the tool of universal jurisdiction for serious violations of international law and the International Criminal Court.

Even if the national law-enforcement authorities or the International Criminal Court do not detect the offence of genocide on the territory of Ukraine, Timofei Sergeitsev and Anna Gavrilova can be prosecuted for incitement to another international crime (war crimes, crimes against humanity), if the mentioned crime or its attempt has taken place according to article 25 (3)(e) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

CrimeaSOS expects that the Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine, the National Police of Ukraine, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and other relevant authorities will take the given fact into account and will act correspondigly.


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