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UN Court partially sides with Ukraine in its genocide lawsuit against Russia

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The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has dismissed some of Russia’s objections to Ukraine’s claim that the Russian state violated the Genocide Convention and will continue to consider the case with fewer charges from Ukraine.

Source: European Pravda

Details: Joan Donoghue, President of the International Court of Justice, announced that Ukraine’s lawsuit against Russia had partially passed the jurisdictional stage and was moving to the merits stage.

The case was initiated by Kyiv in February 2022. Ukraine then accused Russia of baselessly using accusations of alleged “genocide of the peoples of Donbas” to justify its illegal full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine’s position was based on numerous statements made by Putin and other Russian leaders, who have been making public statements about Ukraine allegedly committing “genocide” since 2014, and especially in February 2022.

Joan Donoghue announced the dismissal of five out of the six objections raised by the Russian Federation and the partial dismissal of the sixth objection.

In particular, Russia tried to prove that there is no dispute between Ukraine and Russia at all; that Ukraine committed genocide and cannot sue; that Ukraine is changing its position, abusing the law, etc. These statements by Russia were found to be unfounded. “It is clear: Russia knew that Ukraine denied the allegations against it (of committing so-called ‘genocide’ in Donbas),” Donoghue said.

However, at the request of Russia, the Court refused to consider Ukrainian claims regarding the illegality of recognition of the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic (self-proclaimed and non-recognised formation in Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts) and the outbreak of war on the basis of false accusations of genocide, as they, in the Court’s opinion, do not apply to the Genocide Convention.

Only Ukraine’s claim that Russia has falsely accused Ukraine of a non-existent genocide, which may directly violate the Genocide Convention, will be considered. This is likely to force the Ukrainian legal team to adjust the claim as well, as the main claims were based on points that the court will not consider.

It should be emphasised that this decision is not a decision on the merits, but it opens the way for further consideration.

It is worth noting that the ICJ issued this judgement two days after the judgement on the merits in another case, where most of Ukraine’s claims were rejected, although Russia was found to be a violator of international law.

The case concerned allegations of discrimination in Crimea, where the Court found violations only in relation to education in the Ukrainian language and in relation to Ukraine’s accusations against Russia of financing terrorism.

This decision caused polar assessments, however, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls it a victory.

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