Russia Today Reports
The Ukrainian crisis is degenerating into outright genocide
As the Russian-speakers in Ukraine are being annihilated by the “wrong” government run by neo-Nazi fascists Russia needs to act and prevent genocide, Francis Boyle, Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois, told RT’s Truthseeker.
RT: The situation in Eastern Ukraine is now horrendous. At least 200 people have been killed and another 600 injured in military action in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk officially refers to Russians as ‘subhumans’, just like Hitler did. In areas they haven’t taken yet, Kiev’s army has cut off humanitarian corridors, so famine is now just as catastrophic as the shelling. For you, is Kiev’s behavior genocidal?
Francis Boyle: Yes, I’m afraid what we are seeing is degeneration into genocide. I say it based on my experience as the lawyer for the Bosnians and having argued their case for genocide at the World Court [the International Court of Justice in The Hague – RT]. And on the two orders of provisional measures of protection for them, and we clearly have seen crimes against humanity and war crimes for quite some time. And now I am afraid it is degenerating into outright genocide, if it is not there already.
Both Russia and Ukraine are parties to the 1948 Genocide Convention, and under these dire circumstances, it would be my strongest recommendation possible to President Putin to cut off all the gas to Ukraine, all of it, not even one cubic meter of gas. To turn off all the gas and then to state that since Russia is a part of the genocide convention, under article one to the genocide convention Russia has an obligation to “prevent genocide”. If it is not genocide now, it is going to become genocide very quickly. I think President Putin can and should do this now, and if he cuts off all gas, that would brake all this to an immediate halt. We know that under international law there is this doctrine “parens patriae” (parent for the nation), which enables states to act on behave of related peoples who are not their own citizens. And here certainly Russia can act “parens patriae” on behalf of the Russian-speakers in Ukraine who are currently being annihilated by the wrong government run by a gang of neo-Nazi fascists. I believe even President Putin used the word “annihilate” and that is exactly what is going on.
RT: Could someone sue Ukraine before the International Court of Justice, for genocide against Russian speakers?
FB: Yes, Russia can sue Ukraine; both states are parties, I think that should be done too. But under the circumstances that are truly dire, I really think President Putin needs to shut off all the gas in the name of the genocide convention. But of course he can sue as well, file this lawsuit, request an emergency hearing at the court and get a temporary restraining order against Ukraine to cease and desist from committing acts of genocide against the Russian speakers. That would take a bit to put together. I think the situation is so dire that we need President Putin to step up to the plate and cut off all the gas now, and make it very clear why he is cutting off the gas – that the active genocide must stop immediately. That would bring Ukraine and its European and American supporters to their senses, and hopefully would make a difference immediately.
RT: What is a court temporary restraining order, and what would it stop Ukraine from doing?
FB: It would be typical cease and desist order like the two orders I won for Bosnia against Yugoslavia to cease and desist from committing all acts of genocide against the Bosnians. And then that order would go to Security Council for enforcement. But again, in the case of the Bosnians, this process took me three weeks, and I am afraid we are going to see a humanitarian catastrophe over there [in Ukraine] in the next three weeks. That is why I am suggesting that President Putin immediately announces the termination of all gas supplies now to Ukraine on the basis of the article 1 of the genocide convention – the obligation of Russia and President Putin to prevent genocide against the Russian speakers in Ukraine.
RT: Given White House influence, is it unlikely the international court in practice will side against a government backed by the US, even if there’s genocide?
FB: No, I do not think so. I guess if you would also sue the US for aiding and abetting the Ukrainian genocide against the Russian speakers that might be a factor. But I am not recommending that. I think the US here under Obama is guilty, as seen in aiding and abetting what Poroshenko and these neo-Fascists are doing now. Indeed, yesterday [on Thursday] and the day before the Obama Administration and their spokespeople supported Poroshenko in his acts of genocide against the Russian speakers. But I think if Russia sues the US that would complicate the issues politically and diplomatically, and I do not think President Putin would want to do that because Foreign Minister Lavrov is referring to Americans as “our colleagues” or “our partners”. I do not think they really believe that but they have to say that for diplomatic reasons, and for that reasons I do not think that they would sue the US or Europe but in theory that could be done.
RT: You wrote that the situation in eastern Ukraine will only get worse. Why do you think that?
FB: Poroshenko used the so-called ceasefire, which was never a ceasefire, to bring all these heavy weapons up to the cities in Donbass. This is exactly what Serbia did to the Bosnians and then proceeded to unleash these heavy weapons on this population centers. So why else would he bring heavy weapons up to the borders of the Russian-speaking population centers unless he was going to start to exterminate the people there? Likewise the rhetoric here is clearly genocidal, referring to them as “parasites”, “subhumans”, Timoshenko’s comment that she was going to “kill all the damned Russians” with nuclear bombs, etc. So what we see here is a genocidal mentality on the part of Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk, Timoshenko and many others in running this neo-Nazi regime in Kiev. When you have this exterminationist mentality and statements coupled with all these heavy weapons now surrounding the Donbass cities with Russian speakers in there, I am afraid that that is what we will be facing soon.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Donetsk militia confirm leaving stronghold cities of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk
The self-defense forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have left the cities of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk and are heading to the south of the region, according to the republic’s headquarters.
A column of DNR militia arrived from Slavyansk – which had been surrounded by the Kiev military – to Kramatorsk on Saturday night. However, the self-defense forces later left Kramatorsk as well and are now heading towards areas in the Donetsk region – such as the city of Gorlovka – which remain under militia control.
“Kramatorsk was difficult to defend because of its poor location. That’s why the Command decided to leave the city,” a representative of the DPR headquarters told RIA Novosti agency.
However, the source stated, small self-defense groups remain both in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk ready to fight with the Kiev forces.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk has announced that the military operation on “liberating Slavyansk and Kramatorsk from terrorists” has been accomplished, the government press-service reported on Saturday.
The country’s President Petro Poroshenko called the “liberation of Slavyansk” symbolic.
“It’s not a complete victory yet. But the clearing of Slavyansk from an armed to teeth gang of bigots has a huge symbolic meaning,” he said Saturday commenting on the issue, his official website reports. According to Poroshenko, it is a turning point “in the fight with terrorists for the territorial integrity of Ukraine” and for “the return to normal life” in the Donetsk region.
Poroshenko ordered authorities to provide humanitarian aid to residents of Slavyansk and other areas “liberated from militants”. He also promised that works to resume water and energy supply will start in the nearest future.
So far though, the military operation seems to have brought local residents only grief and devastation.
“You think you won? That was a tactical retreat. We will enter Slavyansk again, with victory,” Denis Pushilin, one of the DPR leaders twitted.
Slavyansk residents say government forces are checking locals’ IDs and detaining all suspicions individuals.
As Russian Channel One reported earlier, the self-defense forces have been forced to leave Slavyansk after a “massive shelling” of the city following which armored vehicles entered the area and street fighting began. That’s when the self-defense forces took the decision to leave the city, the channel said.
“Despite the massive shooting, the fighters stormed out of the city and headed for neighboring Kramatorsk. Part of their hardware was shot down in the process,” the channel said.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered the military to raise the Ukrainian flag over Slavyansk, his press service said.
“The head of General Headquarters Viktor Muzhenko has reported to Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, about the fact that overnight, while the self-defense groups were trying to escape Slavyansk they came under mortar fire from the Ukrainian military. As a result, one armored vehicle, two infantry fighting vehicles and two airborne combat vehicles belonging to the [self-defense] fighters have been shot down,” the press service also said.
Hours later as self-defense troops left their second stronghold as well, the Ukrainian flag was raised over the Kramatorsk administration building, which was used as the DPR headquarters.
“In the early afternoon all the DNR soldiers came to Kramatorsk from Slavyansk. They all massed in the Lenin square and around the center,” American photographer Patrick Lancaster told RT by phone adding that two hours later the self defense forces left the city.
Preparing to leave the city, the self-defense fighters distributed food and water supplies from DNR amongst the local population, Lancaster says, adding that they had also taken down DNR posters and insignia, that included the flag of the self proclaimed republic.
“When the Ukrainian army entered the main square, there were around two tanks, two APCs, and 15-20 foot soldiers, some of them snipers and some carrying rocket-propelled grenades,” Lancaster recalls.
They went on to fly the Ukrainian bi-color flag on the roof of the former DNR headquarters. After parading the flag around, “they jumped back on their tanks, and left,” Lancaster says.
Further to the south, in the capital of the region Donetsk, eyewitnesses say they spotted a lot of DPR’s military hardware and “suntanned and bearded men with tattoos,” RIA Novosti quotes.
The Donetsk authorities said earlier they did not have any confirmation that the self-defense forces were moving toward the city, Mayor Aleksandr Lukyanchenko’s website said.
Earlier, one of the leaders of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Pavel Gubarev, said the Slavyansk militia would probably relocate to Donetsk and the surrounding area.
After the militia were forced to leave their positions in the northern part of the front, they moved to reserve positions that had been prepared in advance, Itar-Tass news agency reported, citing Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Boroday, as saying.
“Our troops have consolidated at the reserve lines of defense, in an organized way and having kept their weaponry. We were prepared for this option, as we have to face tens of thousands of Kiev’s military men and hundreds of armored weaponry units – which means almost all the battle-ready Ukrainian army,” Boroday said.
“Taking into account the ‘scorched earth’ tactics employed by Kiev’s punitive forces, and the strategy of genocide toward the Donbass population, we declare that every hour of military action claims civilians’ lives,” Boroday said.
In connection with this, he appealed to the international community, calling on them to “influence the Ukrainian authorities and stop the killings of civilians.
Loud explosions were heard in the area of the Donetsk airport, and gunfire is going on there, local residents told RIA-Novosti news agency. Also, two fighter jets were spotted carrying out strikes on unidentified targets in the area where the airport is situated.
“We are asking the people living near the airport not to leave their apartments, to stay away from their windows and not to go outside except in case of urgent necessity,” the website of the Donetsk mayor’s office said in a warning.
The Russian Foreign Ministry announced Saturday that Moscow is halting the process of delivering weapons, Ukrainian military forces’ equipment and funds from the territory of Crimea to Kiev authorities due to their military actions in the east, which have resulted in the “deaths of civilians, including children, and civilian infrastructure in Donetsk and Lugansk regions being destroyed.”
“The decision will be valid until a full ceasefire in the east of Ukraine by the country’s military and until a peaceful solution is reached,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.
Kiev to detect ‘traitors’ among police in Donetsk region
Ukrainian Interior Ministry has announced it is going to launch an investigation against “every policeman” in Slavyansk to find out whether they cooperated with the self-defense forces.
Such line-of-duty checks will define if “an employee of Slavyansk police cooperated with separatists or maintained loyalty to the Ukrainian people,” Deputy Interior Minister Sergey Yarovoy said, as cited by Ukrainian media.
Police in the Donetsk region will be reformed – starting from the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk “due to necessity” – said Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. And for now, law enforcers from other Ukrainian regions will be sent to work in the area.
“Policemen from the entire country will be working there, including those who got though the filter of fighting during the anti-terrorist operation – in other words guys who were not afraid,” he told journalists, as sited by segodnya.ua news portal.
All the policemen who violated their oaths and left their guard posts in Donetsk and Lugansk region have been fired, Avakov said. He added that in some cases, “these people were arrested”.
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