Friday, April 19, 2024

U.K.’s Boris Johnson Acknowledges Growing Concerns About Genocide In Ukraine After Mass Killings In Bucha

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Topline
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday what Russian forces have done in Ukraine “doesn’t look far short of genocide,” becoming the most prominent leader outside Ukraine to support the genocide claims that are gaining steam following allegations of Russian forces massacring hundreds of Ukrainian civilians in Bucha and an op-ed that appeared in a Russian state-run website over the weekend that experts say was used as a pretext for the genocide of Ukrainians.

British prime minister Boris Johnson, pictured here Tuesday, said he believes the mass killings in … [+] Bucha “doesn’t look far short of genocide.”

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Key Facts

Johnson told reporters Wednesday, “When you look at what’s happening in Bucha, the revelations that we are seeing from what [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has done in Ukraine, [it] doesn’t look far short of genocide to me.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday that Russian forces have committed genocide and seek “the elimination of the whole nation of people,” but most world leaders—with the exception of Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez—have rejected Zelensky’s genocide characterization in their condemnation of the atrocities in Bucha.

Still, Johnson’s comments come amid growing acknowledgement among experts that Russia seeks to commit genocide in Ukraine, fueled by an op-ed published on state-run Russian news website RIA Novosti Sunday titled “What Should Russia Do With Ukraine?” which widely cast Ukrainians as Nazis and called for the “liquidation” of all of Ukraine.

Coupled with the article’s timing coinciding with the atrocities in Bucha (which Russia has baselessly claimed was staged), experts classified the op-ed as Russia’s pretext for genocide, including Russian-born journalist Sergej Sumlenny, who told Yahoo! News the article a “genocide masterplan” and Johns Hopkins University professor Eugene Finkel, who wrote in a Washington Post op-ed the RIA article “outlines a clear plan to destroy Ukrainians and Ukraine itself.”

Contra
The U.S. has repeatedly denied the genocide characterization. President Joe Biden said Monday he didn’t believe the atrocities in Bucha constituted a genocide, but rather a “war crime,” calling for Putin to face prosecution. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan echoed Biden’s claims, telling reporters Monday, “We have seen atrocities, we have seen war crimes, we have not yet seen a level of systematic deprivation of life of the Ukrainian people to rise to the level of genocide.”

What To Watch For
The United Nations will vote Thursday on whether to remove Russia from the U.N.’s Human Rights Council. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, called for Russia’s suspension from the council Monday, asserting Russia’s position on the council was a “farce” given the lengthy list of alleged atrocities in Ukraine.

Further Reading
The Russian rhetoric that adds weight to charges of ‘genocide’ (Washington Post)

Zelensky Accuses Russia Of Genocide As Allegations Of Civilian Killings Mount (Forbes)

Has Russia committed war crimes or genocide in Ukraine? (Washington Post)

‘Genocide masterplan’: Experts alarmed after Kremlin intellectual calls for ‘cleansed’ Ukraine (Yahoo! News)

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