Ukrainian parliament calls Russian army's actions 'genocide'

AFP , Thursday 14 Apr 2022

Ukraine's parliament on Thursday backed a resolution recognising the actions of the Russian military in the country as "genocide".

Ukrainian soldier
A Ukrainian serviceman patrols not far from the town of New York, Donetsk region on April 14, 2022, amid Russian invasion of Ukraine. AFP

"The actions committed by the armed forces of Russia are not just a crime of aggression, but pursue the goal of the systematic and consistent destruction of the Ukrainian people, their identity and the deprivation of their right to self-determination and independent development," the text approved by a majority of 363 lawmakers said.

"This requires immediate recognition of the actions committed by the armed forces of Russia during the last phase of the armed aggression of Russia against Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022, as a genocide of the Ukrainian people," an online statement said.

The resolution from the Ukrainian parliament also called for appeals to be sent to foreign governments, parliaments and the United Nations to recognise Russia's war as genocide.

The move comes after US President Joe Biden this week said Russia's actions against Ukrainians amounted to genocide, in comments echoed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Premier Boris Johnson.

But French President Emmanuel Macron, also backed by Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz, declined to deploy the word "genocide" in a stance Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky deemed "painful".

Macron said Thursday that accusing Russia of committing genocide in Ukraine could lead to the war spreading, as he defended his decision not to use the term.

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