Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on Russia’s False and Offensive Allegations of Genocide As a Pretext For Its Unlawful Military Aggression

Already over the past two days, the world continues to see unprecedented and brutal aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.  Looking for justification of its groundless and unfair invasion into Ukraine, the Russian Federation has cynically distorted to perversion of the international community’s most solemn human rights commitments. 

In 1948, after emerging from the horrors of World War II, the international community came together to create the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.  Together, the world defined the crime of genocide and pledged to prevent and punish it.  But the Russian Federation has twisted the concept of genocide, and the solemn treaty obligations concerning genocide, in order to justify aggression and its own blatant human rights violations.  

Top military and political leadership of the Russian Federation has publicly tried to justify its own aggression against Ukraine as a mean of preventing and punishing the genocide that is purportedly taking place in our country. 

This brazen manipulation has no real basis, as the whole world knows. Ukraine strongly denies Russia’s allegations of genocide and denies any attempt to use such manipulative allegations as an excuse for unlawful aggression. The crime of genocide is defined in the Genocide Convention, and under that Convention Russia’s claims are baseless and absurd.   

Russia’s claims of genocide as justification for its lawless conduct are an insult to the Genocide Convention, and to the work of the international community in preventing and punishing the world’s most serious crime. 

Russia must immediately cease its unlawful aggression against Ukraine taken under this baseless pretext.     

Russia’s lie is all the more offensive, and ironic, because it appears that it is Russia planning acts of genocide in Ukraine.  Russia is intentionally killing and inflicting serious injury on members of the Ukrainian nationality.  These acts must be viewed together with President Putin’s rhetoric denying the very existence of a Ukrainian people, which is suggestive of Russia’s intentional killings bearing genocidal intent.