Ukraine vs. Russia: False Genocide Pretext Exposed as ICJ Hears Case for Reparations
Ukraine accuses Russia of using false genocide claims to justify invasion. Ukraine seeks accountability and reparations, while Russia argues Ukraine's legal arguments are flawed. ICJ hearings address jurisdiction and potential compensation.
Ukraine has presented its case against Russia at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, accusing Russia of using a false pretext of genocide to justify its invasion and war against Ukraine. Ukraine's representative, Anton Korynevych, argued that Russia should be held accountable and pay reparations for its actions. He highlighted that Russia invoked the Genocide Convention to destroy, rather than protect, as intended. Korynevych called on the ICJ to affirm its jurisdiction over the case and eventually rule that Russia must pay reparations for invading under a false pretext.
He questioned whether a state can use false allegations of genocide to justify destroying cities, bombing civilians, and displacing children. Korynevych emphasized that the court must not be powerless when the Genocide Convention is cynically abused. Russia, on the other hand, urged the ICJ to dismiss the case, claiming that Ukraine's legal arguments were deeply flawed. Russia argued that its invasion was justified to stop an alleged genocide in eastern Ukraine. However, Ukraine contends that there was no risk of genocide and that the Genocide Convention does not permit an invasion to halt an alleged genocide.
The ICJ hearings will primarily focus on legal arguments about jurisdiction, rather than the merits of the case. The court previously issued a preliminary decision in favor of Ukraine in March last year, ordering Russia to cease military actions immediately. Despite this, Russia has ignored the ICJ's orders, and the court lacks the power to enforce its decisions. While the hearings will not directly address the merits of the case, experts believe a favorable ruling for Ukraine could have implications for compensation payments after the war. Korynevych stated that reparations were a crucial issue for Ukraine in this case and that discussions about the amount and implementation would continue in the future. The ICJ hearings are expected to continue until September 27, and the court is set to rule on whether the case can proceed in several months.