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Failed ICJ Case Against Russia Backfires, Paves Way For Genocide Charges Against Ukraine



Investigation by Kit Klarenberg


“As January became February, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered a pair of legal body blows to Ukraine and its Western backers. First, on January 31, it ruled on a case brought by Kiev against Russia in 2017, which accused Moscow of presiding over a campaign of “terrorism” in Donbas, including the July 2014 downing of MH17. It also charged that Russia racially discriminated against Ukrainian and Tatar residents of Crimea following its reunification with Moscow.


The ICJ summarily rejected most charges. Then, on February 2, the Court made a preliminary judgment in a case where Kiev accused Moscow of exploiting false claims of an ongoing genocide of Russians and Russian speakers in Donbas to justify its invasion. Ukraine further charged the Special Military Operation breached the Genocide Convention despite not itself constituting genocide. Almost unanimously, ICJ judges rejected these arguments.


Western media universally ignored or distorted the substance of the ICJ rulings. When outlets did acknowledge the judgments, they misrepresented the first by focusing prominently on the accepted charges while downplaying all dismissed allegations. The second was wildly spun as a significant loss for Moscow. The BBC and others focused on how the Court agreed that “part” of Ukraine’s case could proceed. That this “part” is the question of whether Kiev itself committed genocide in Donbas post-2014 was unmentioned.


Ukraine’s failed lawfare effort was backed by 47 EU and NATO member states, leading to the farce of 32 separate international legal teams submitting representations to The Hague in September 2023. Among other things, they supported Kiev’s bizarre contention that the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics were comparable to Al-Qaeda. Judges comprehensively rejected that assertion. Markedly, in its submitted arguments, Russia drew attention to how the same countries backing Kiev justified their illegal, unilateral destruction of Yugoslavia under the “responsibility to protect” doctrine.


This may not be the only area where Ukraine and its overseas sponsors are in trouble moving forward. A closer inspection of the Court’s rulings comprehensively discredits the established mainstream narrative of what transpired in Crimea and Donbas following the Western-orchestrated Maidan coup in February 2014.

In sum, the judgments raise serious questions about Kiev’s eight-year-long “anti-terrorist operation” against “pro-Russian separatists,” following months of vast protests and violent clashes throughout eastern Ukraine between Russian-speaking pro-federal activists and authorities.“


Read Kit Klarenberg’s full investigation by clicking here.

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