A report released July 26, titled “The Russian Federation’s Escalating Commission of Genocide in Ukraine: A Legal Analysis,” is calling attention to over 102,000 documented war crimes committed by Russia during the invasion of Ukriane. The report lays out the five types of acts that qualify as genocide of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, and claims Russia has breached all five criteria.
According to OSV News, the five types of acts that the UN considers to qualify as genocide are as follows:
- Causing serious bodily or mental harm.
- Deliberately inflicting conditions to physically destroy the group in whole or in part.
- Imposing measures to prevent births.
- Forcibly transferring a group’s children to another group.
The 57-page report, by the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy and the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights, focused on a period from February 24, 2022, through July 15, 2023. It stated that Russia has exhibited “an escalated pattern of systematic atrocities” towards Ukrainians that violate and are punishable by international law.
The UN’s Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, ratified by 153 nations – including Russia – in 1948, brought with it legal obligations to prevent genocide. Russia is still technically bound to this international law.
Since the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, there have been over 9,400 civilian deaths recorded, with nearly 17,000 additional civilians injured. At least 2.5 million Ukranians have been forcibly relocated to the Russian Federation, and nearly 20,000 Ukrainian children have been separated from their parents and held in what are described as “reeducation camps.”
The most troubling section of the report noted extreme sexual violence that has pervaded the Russian invasion. Russian forces have sexually assaulted parents in front of their children and vice versa, as well as torturing captives with beatings, electrocution, sexual assault, castration, and genital mutilation.
The report noted an instance where a Ukrainian priest was beaten, stripped naked, and paraded through town for over an hour. Russia has been hard on the Ukrainian Catholic Church, which has been forced to cease all activities in Russian-occupied territories. Archbishop Borys Gudziak, Archeparch of Philadelphia, commented to OSV:
“The signs are clear. It is genocide, and it must be stopped. For the love of God, for the love of his children, please pray, advocate, stay informed, and help as much as you can. Please bring to the attention of your representatives your awareness of these genocidal crimes and your insistence that everything be done to stop them.”