The UN court will decide whether Ukraine has committed genocide

The United Nations Supreme Court ruled on Friday that it will consider the question of whether Ukraine committed genocide in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, an accusation that lies at the heart of Russia’s case for its all-out 2022 invasion.

The ruling came in a case brought by Ukraine to the International Court of Justice. The court He said Ukraine’s claim that there is no credible evidence that Kiev is “responsible for committing genocide” in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions is acceptable and that it will examine this claim on its merits.

The case, which will likely take several months to complete, will provide a legal response to one of Russia’s central allegations against Ukraine — that Kiev is committing genocide against Russian speakers in the east of the country.

In February 2022 letter When Russia announced its invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin said the purpose of the “special military operation,” as Russia called the war, was “to protect people who have for eight years been facing humiliation and genocide.” By the Kyiv regime.”

At the time, Ukraine denounced Russia’s genocide allegations as “manipulation.” Shortly after the invasion, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said those sanctions were a pretext for “unlawful aggression” by Russia.

Two days after the Russian attack, Ukraine took its case to the court, which is based in The Hague, Netherlands, arguing that the genocide claims were false and that Russia’s use of force against it was therefore a violation of the Genocide Convention.

In its ruling on Friday, the court declined jurisdiction over this claim by Ukraine as well as its claim that Moscow violated the agreement by recognizing breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine as independent states. But the 16-judge panel said it would rule on whether Ukraine committed genocide in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

In Russia, the court’s decision was celebrated as a victory. The country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in statement The Ukraine case “collapsed” and that the government in Kiev “put itself in the dock” and “shot itself in the foot.”

But if the court ruled in Ukraine’s favor, it would reject Russia’s claim that Kiev committed genocide against Russian speakers in the east of the country, which has been at the heart of Moscow’s argument for invasion and overall hostility toward the Ukrainian government. The court’s rulings are legally binding, but it has no way to enforce them.

In 2021, the last year before the invasion, 25 people were killed in the eastern regions and 85 others were injured due to the conflict, According to To the United Nations report.

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