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ICJ says it can rule on one part of Ukrainian genocide case against Russia – but only to clear Ukraine itself

THE International Court of Justice (ICJ) decided today that it can rule on part of a Ukrainian genocide case against Russia — but only to clear Ukraine itself of the charge.

Ukraine’s case against Russia at the United Nations’ top court points to Russian claims that Kiev was preparing a genocide of Russian speakers in the Donbass at the start of 2022, which formed part of Moscow’s justification for its invasion of Ukraine in  February of that year. Kiev says the claims were trumped up.

The ICJ said today that it could rule on a Ukrainian request for a declaration that it was not responsible for genocide in that region, though the court has disclaimed jurisdiction over other parts of Ukraine’s case, such as an allegation that the invasion itself breaches the 1948 Genocide Convention or that Moscow’s recognition of the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (now officially annexed by Russia) did so.

A separatist conflict erupted in the two provinces after the Maidan coup of 2014 in Kiev, which claimed an estimated 14,000 lives before Russia’s full-scale invasion began in 2022.


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