The official rhetoric used by Russia to justify its reinvasion of Ukraine carries "characteristics of public incitement to genocide" and reveals "genocidal intent", the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has said.
In a resolution passed on Thursday Jan. 26, PACE highlighted that such actions are prohibited under international law.
It added: "The Assembly notes that there is mounting evidence that the Russian official rhetoric used to justify the full-scale invasion and aggression against Ukraine, the so called 'de-Ukrainianisation' process, carries characteristics of public incitement to genocide or reveals a genocidal intent to destroy the Ukrainian national group as such or at least part of it."
The resolution also mentioned "possible genocide" in Ukraine three times.
In particular, the text refers to the war of aggression waged by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and "atrocities that flow from it (war crimes, crimes against humanity and possible genocide)", Ukrinform reports.
It also contains a provision that the creation of an international special tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine should not affect "the ICC’s exercise of jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity and possible genocide committed in the context of the ongoing aggression."
In addition, the resolution mentions already existing international and domestic accountability mechanisms to investigate, prosecute and, where appropriate, punish "war crimes, crimes against humanity and possible genocide committed during the ongoing war".
The resolution also called for Russian and Belarusian political and military leaders involved in launching and waging the war of aggression against Ukraine to be tried by a specially created international tribunal.
In its resolution, PACE reiterates that the Russian Federation’s armed attack and large-scale invasion of Ukraine launched on Feb. 24, 2022 constitute an "aggression" under the terms of Resolution 3314 of the United Nations General Assembly and are clearly in breach of the Charter of the United Nations and the Statute of the Council of Europe.
Moreover, the attempted annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia, following the illegal so-called referendums organised by the Russian Federation in these regions in September 2022, is a further escalation of the aggression against Ukraine.
PACE also highlighted that unprovoked acts of aggression committed by the Russian Federation and Belarus constitute manifest violations of the United Nations Charter and lack any plausible legal justification.
The group underscored that "these acts therefore meet the definition of the crime of aggression as set out in Article 8 bis of the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and under customary international law."