The United Nations cannot yet classify the actions of the Russian military in Ukraine as genocide, said Eric Moese, head of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry into Violations in Ukraine.
“At the moment we do not have sufficient evidence that would meet the legal requirements of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,” Möse explained, adding that in order to recognize the crime as genocide, there must be an intent to physically or biologically destroy a certain group.
At the same time, the head of the commission emphasized that, according to available data, the Russian army has likely committed many war crimes in Ukraine, calling on the Russian authorities to ensure that all those responsible are brought to justice.
On September 18, the International Court of Justice will consider Ukraine’s claim against Russia for violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Representatives of the Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly accused Russia that the large-scale invasion, launched in February 2022, has signs of genocide. At the same time, they particularly pointed to the forced removal of children from Ukraine – on suspicion of involvement in it, an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin was issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. However, the charges against him do not include genocide.
At the end of August, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights published a monthly report, according to which the number of civilian deaths in Ukraine since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion exceeded 9,500 people, and over 17,000 were injured. Among the dead were 549 children. The UN emphasizes that we are talking only about documented cases. The real number of victims could be much higher, since it is difficult to obtain information from places where there is intense fighting, as well as from areas that are occupied by Russian troops.