Cemetary in Ukraine; source: individual diary entry on Svidok.org
As early as April 2022, when atrocities in Irpin and Bucha (Kyiv region) became widely known, Western media began discussing whether Russia’s actions in Ukraine constitute a genocide. Some of them noted that the UN convention requires proof of intent in order to prove a genocide. Some researchers (e.g. New Lines Institute and Tymothy Snyder ) argue that Russian actions can be identified as genocide. And while plenty of things can be done unintentionally (even manslaughter), the actions of a state clearly indicate the intent of the state to implement those actions. Unlike a human being, the government machine does not do things under affect or emotions.
Article II of the UN genocide convention specifies the actions, any of which, if “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group,” constitute a genocide. These actions are:
Thus, while it may take years to officially recognize Russia’s actions as a genocide (e.g. by now only 22 countries and the EU parliament recognized the Greate Famine of 1932-33 as a genocide, of them 7 during 2022; and only 7 countries apart from Ukraine recognize the current war as genocide), the points above leave no doubt. Those politicians who implicitly or explicitly support Russia (or argue for some “concessions” by Ukraine) are supporting genocide. Foreign companies that still operate in Russia are financing genocide. The International Olympic Committee’s decision to allow Russian and Belorussian sportsmen to participate in the Olympics is an endorsement of genocide.
This is not a new situation. Hitler had quite a few allies among the European countries, and there were even Charles Lindbergh , Henry Ford and other prominent figures in the US arguing for a deal with him. Many countries can find acts of genocide in their history. For example, the Europeans exterminated practically all the native population of the Americas, Belgium committed genocide in Congo in the late 19th century, Canada forcibly assimilated indigenous people (as Russia has also done through the centuries).
Today, we should think about the future. Do we want to live in a world where genocide is impossible? Or do we want to return to the world where a few “large” nations can decide whether other nations will live or die? The genocide-free world requires Ukraine’s unconditional victory and Russia’s ultimate defeat – so that Russia cannot commit more atrocities even if it wants to. This world requires immediate provision of more weapons to Ukraine, including planes and long-range missiles. The only other way the current genocide of Ukrainians can end is with Russia killing all those who identify as Ukrainians (as Stalin allegedly said, “no person – no problem”). This is the end result implicitly supported by those who argue for unconditional “peace.” It would only encourage more genocides in the future.