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Genocide or War Crimes: What Hell Is Russia Creating in Ukraine?

Russia Ukraine Donbas
Russian TOS-1 flamethrower weapon. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

U.S. President Joe Biden has officially accused Russia of committing genocide in Ukraine.

Over the past few days, the world has been horrified to see the war crimes and other atrocities that the Russian forces have committed in Ukraine. In the town of Bucha alone, Ukrainian investigators have found over 400 civilians killed by the retreating Russian military.

Genocide or War Crimes? 

“Yes, I called it genocide. It has become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of even being — being able to be Ukrainian,” President Joe Biden said from Air Force One.

“And the amount — the evidence is mounting. It’s different than it was last week. The — more evidence is coming out of the — literally, the horrible things that the Russians have done in Ukraine. And we’re going to only learn more and more about the devastation. And we’ll let the lawyers decide internationally whether or not it qualifies, but it sure seems that way to me,” Biden added.

Zelensky applauded Biden’s move to call the Russian war crimes a genocide, adding that “calling things by their names is essential to stand up to evil.”

But Biden isn’t the only one who has accused Russian forces of committing genocide in Ukraine. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have also either directly said or inferred that the Russian war crimes amount to genocide.

From the start, the Ukrainian government has embraced openness and has sought to show the world exactly what the Russian troops have committed. Kyiv has invited foreign experts and journalists to document the findings and to tell the world what happened.

France has already sent experts from the French National Police to Ukraine to help investigate Russian war crimes. The French team is comprised of forensics, ballistics, DNA, and explosive experts, as well as crime scene investigators.

What Is Genocide? 

Genocide is the most serious crime against humanity and the worst crime that can be committed during the war. International law defines genocide as the intentional mass extermination of a particular group of people.

“We are definitely seeing evidence of crimes against humanity and war crimes,” Leila Sadat, an expert on war crimes and international law at Washington University in St. Louis, told NPR.

“Genocide requires this special intent, so we actually have to show that they’re committing all these terrible crimes in order to destroy, in part or in whole, the particular group,” Sadat added.

But genocide is very hard to prove, and it will take a thorough investigation to demonstrate that the Russian forces are intentionally committing large-scale extermination of the Ukrainian population.

In the event that Ukraine can prove genocide, the International Criminal Court, which is already doing an investigation on Russian actions in Ukraine, will take over.

Ukraine is not new to genocide. During the Soviet era, millions of Ukrainians died of hunger over Joseph Stalin’s collectivization of agriculture in the 1930s.

1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. troll-feeder

    April 13, 2022 at 5:42 pm

    Thanks for the article Stavros. In my opinion, splitting hairs on legal definitions does not change the fact that the horrors brought upon the Ukrainian people by the russians is a tragedy of historic proportions. I can say that prior to this invasion, my general impression of russia was a “meh” sort of feeling. Now, after 2/24/2022, when I see, or hear, or think of russia I simply hate it in every way.

    Onto more light topics, I have really been missing Alex. He has not posted here ALL DAMN DAY. Do you think he got fired, called-up for service, or heaven forbid…eliminated? perhaps even guided home by St. Javelin? Maybe he just changed his username. Lets hope he’s well!

  2. Eric

    April 13, 2022 at 6:48 pm

    LOL, I asked ‘Yeah yeah yeah’ if Alex has been reassigned.

  3. Clyde Webb

    April 13, 2022 at 8:37 pm

    Amazing how you are convinced Russia is guilty of war crimes before any investigations of any type. The only thing we have heard are allegations from the Ukrainian government. To date every thing we have heard from the Ukrainian government has proven to be false. I expect to read your posts when it is proven the Ukrainian government is guilty of numerous atrocities in an attempt to turn western opinion against Russia.

  4. Alex

    April 13, 2022 at 9:57 pm

    This is expected. Not so given Russia has accused Ukraine of the genocide of Ukrainians in the Donbass. The old man could think of nothing smarter than to say the same thing about Russia. But you need to understand that the United States cannot make the evidence of the genocide of Ukrainians in Donbas disappear, nor can they create fakes that cannot be exposed. So far, only the hysteria of an elderly person is visible, which only his vassal can repeat.

  5. Roman Serbyn

    September 11, 2022 at 8:27 pm

    Stavros Atlamazoglou writes:
    “But genocide is very hard to prove, and it will take a thorough investigation to demonstrate that the Russian forces are intentionally committing large-scale extermination of the Ukrainian population.”
    This is basically wrong. The definition of the crime of genocide in the UN Convention speaks about the “intent to DESTROY [and not “kill”] targeted group. I suggest the author read and study attentively the UN Convention, and then analyze the information on how Putin is destroying the Ukrainian nation by lethal (killing/extermination) and non-lethal means (ex: “transferring children from the Ukrainian group to the Russian”).
    It is not hard to prove that Putin’s Russian regime is committing genocide against Ukrainians as a national and ethnic group; you only have to have competent lawyers that know how to use the evidence that is out there in varied forms and large quantities.

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