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Russian actions in Ukraine can be considered genocide

Aug 14, 2023

The US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice, State Department spokesperson Beth van Skaak believes that some of Russia's actions in Ukraine can be considered genocide, but the evidence still needs to be examined to bring charges of genocide.

She stated this in an interview with Babel.

Van Skaak noted that the crime of genocide is difficult to prove because there must be evidence that the perpetrators acted with the intent to destroy the protected group, in whole or in part.


"But all of the elements you mentioned - the gratuitous violence, the de-Ukrainization rhetoric, the Russification of children who were deported from Ukraine to Russia and Belarus - are the types of evidence and the types of behavior that can be considered for a genocide charge," the State Department representative said.

She expressed confidence that prosecutors in Ukraine and other countries are carefully examining this evidence and determining whether they can bring a genocide case or not.

"At the same time, the behavior underlying, for example, attacks on civilians, sexual violence, displacement of children, can also be qualified as war crimes and crimes against humanity, which is ultimately easier to prove. And it remains to be seen whether prosecutors will decide to bring genocide charges," van Skaak added.

Author - Olena Madiak, 14/08/2023

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