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Did Russia commit genocide? Summary of the activities of the War Crimes Archive

Published: 23.06.2022

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· The War Crimes Archive is a project aimed at collecting and verifying reports of war crimes committed on the territory of Ukraine by Russia from February 24, 2022.

· The materials collected by the Archive indicate that the army of the Russian Federation is committing numerous war crimes on the territory of Ukraine.

· Attacks against civilian targets, prosecuted population migrations, cruelty to civilians and the scale of material damage also raised questions about the further qualification of these events as crimes of genocide.

· Genocide is defined as acts committed with the intention of destroying all or part of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. These acts include, inter alia, homicides, the creation of debilitating living conditions or the forcible removal of children.

· Until now, crimes of genocide have been successfully prosecuted only by International Tribunals established by the UN Security Council. However, this path in this case is out of the question due to Russia's status in the Security Council.

· The International Criminal Court, on the other hand, has the possibility to prosecute crimes committed on the territory of Ukraine.

· The War Crimes Archive established by the Ordo Iuris Institute has prepared an analysis on this matter. The collected materials will be forwarded to the Internal Security Agency and the International Criminal Court.

- We summarize the work of the War Crimes Archive by presenting to national and international law enforcement agencies verified and established evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on the territory of Ukraine by Russian forces. At the same time, we are publishing some of these materials that should reach the public, but should also arouse the interest of international lawyers. Because it is the international tribunals that will soon decide whether the Russian crimes in Ukraine are part of the so-called queen of all crimes or genocide. The report of the Ordo Iuris Institute, published at the same time, is the first doctrinal contribution to answering this question - emphasized attorney-at-law. Jerzy Kwaśniewski, president of Ordo Iuris.

The War Crimes Archive began its work right after the start of extensive military operations in Ukraine. Its experts analyzed and verified events that could constitute war crimes in cooperation with various groups in Ukraine. These materials are to be used in the future in the trials of Russian and Belarusian dignitaries and military.

The analysis of the collected evidence confirmed, inter alia, mass killings of the Ukrainian population and numerous acts of violence causing considerable physical and mental damage. Therefore, experts prepared an analysis on the possibility of exhausting the features of the crime of genocide against the Ukrainian nation from the perspective of international law.

Among other acts that may constitute genocide, committed by Russian soldiers, the deliberate creation of living conditions calculated to cause physical destruction of Ukrainian citizens was indicated. Such events include, among others shelling at humanitarian corridors or killings of people carrying humanitarian aid. There were also forced picking up of children. For example, on February 24 and 25, over a hundred children were deported from Mariupol.

The analysis prepared by Ordo Iuris also addresses the issue of the possibility of prosecuting the perpetrators of crimes committed in Ukraine. Difficulties in this respect are caused by the fact that Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has not ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and has been excluded from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. On the other hand, on the basis of Ukraine's declaration, the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction over crimes committed on its territory, and its prosecutors are already investigating the matter.

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