Russia’s No Show at UN Court Hearing on Ukraine’s “Genocide”

The Hague — Russia boycotted a hearing in the United Nations Supreme Court on Monday. Meanwhile, Ukraine has sought an urgent order to stop hostilities, claiming that Moscow has mistakenly applied genocide law to justify its invasion.

The hearing began at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) without a Russian legal inquiry.

“The fact that Russia’s seats are vacant is loud. They are not in this court. They are on the battlefield waging a war of aggression against my country,” said Ukrainian envoy Anton Kolinevich. Stated.

He urged Russia to “put your arm and submit your evidence.”

The court said it regrets Russia’s failure to attend. The hearing originally set by Russia to present the case on Tuesday is expected to be cancelled. In a previous case before the ICJ where a party did not appear to present that party, the court ruled without input from such party.

Countries usually, but not always, follow legally binding court orders. A spokesman for the Russian Embassy in the Netherlands did not respond to requests for comment.

Genocide “no evidence”

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia’s “special military action” was needed “to protect those exposed to bullying and genocide” in eastern Ukraine.

According to the Kyiv government, Russian-backed separatists have fought Ukrainian troops in two secession areas in eastern Ukraine since 2014, killing about 15,000 people.

A major association of genocide scholars supported the view of Ukraine and Western countries that Russia abused the term genocide to describe the treatment of Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine.

“There is no evidence that genocide is happening in Ukraine,” Melanie O’Brien, president of the International Association of Massacre Researchers, told Reuters.

Russia’s new invasion of Ukraine began on February 24th. Moscow has repeatedly denied targeting civilians in its attacks. Official UN civilian deaths are 364, including more than 20 children, but the actual death toll is probably higher, officials say.

“Putin lied and the Ukrainians, our citizens, die,” Kolinevich told the court.

The case focuses on the interpretation of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention of Genocide, signed by both countries. The Convention nominates the ICJ as a forum for resolving disputes between signatories.

The Kyiv envoy emphasized on Monday that Moscow violated and abused the treaty by using it as a justification for the war.

“Russia must be stopped and the courts have a role to play in stopping it,” Kolinevich said when he asked the judge to impose emergency measures.

The ICJ is the Supreme Court for resolving disputes between nations, which can usually take years, but there are quick steps to consider the request for “provisional measures” to prevent the situation from getting worse. ..

Stephanie van den Berg