Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

UN: No Evidence on Genocide in Ukraine

UN: No Evidence on Genocide in Ukraine

Thursday, 16 March, 2023 - 16:15
Ukrainian soldiers in Kyiv. AFP

UN investigators said Thursday they "have not found that there has been a genocide within Ukraine.”

Presenting their first report, the high-level team of investigators said they had determined that Russian authorities had committed "a wide range of war crimes" since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 -- and also warned of possible crimes against humanity.

But Erik Mose, chairman of the Commission of Inquiry (COI), said that so far they "have not found that there has been a genocide within Ukraine".

Asked about specific accusations of genocide, including the forced transfer of Ukrainian children to areas under Russian control, Mose said: "We are absolutely aware of these possibilities, and we will pursue this" if the commission's mandate is prolonged.

The investigators' report did however conclude that the forced deportations of Ukrainian children "violate international humanitarian law, and amount to a war crime".

The report highlighted numerous other Russian violations in Ukraine that it said amounted to war crimes, including widespread attacks on civilians and infrastructure, killings, torture and rape and other sexual violence.

It also said Moscow could be responsible for the even more serious "crimes against humanity", pointing to the wave of Russian attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure that began last October, and recommended further investigations.

The report also found that Ukraine forces had committed a "small number of violations" including what appeared to be indiscriminate attacks and torture of prisoners of war.

Editor Picks