As the Russian-speakers in Ukraine are being annihilated by the "wrong" government run by neo-Nazi fascists Russia needs to act and prevent genocide, Francis Boyle, Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois, told RT's Truthseeker.
RT: The situation in Eastern Ukraine is now horrendous. At least 200 people have been killed and another 600 injured in military action in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk officially refers to Russians as 'subhumans', just like Hitler did. In areas they haven't taken yet, Kiev's army has cut off humanitarian corridors, so famine is now just as catastrophic as the shelling. For you, is Kiev's behavior genocidal?
Francis Boyle: Yes, I’m afraid what we are seeing is degeneration into genocide. I say it based on my experience as the lawyer for the Bosnians and having argued their case for genocide at the World Court [the International Court of Justice in The Hague – RT]. And on the two orders of provisional measures of protection for them, and we clearly have seen crimes against humanity and war crimes for quite some time. And now I am afraid it is degenerating into outright genocide, if it is not there already.
Both Russia and Ukraine are parties to the 1948 Genocide Convention, and under these dire circumstances, it would be my strongest recommendation possible to President Putin to cut off all the gas to Ukraine, all of it, not even one cubic meter of gas. To turn off all the gas and then to state that since Russia is a part of the genocide convention, under article one to the genocide convention Russia has an obligation to “prevent genocide”. If it is not genocide now, it is going to become genocide very quickly. I think President Putin can and should do this now, and if he cuts off all gas, that would brake all this to an immediate halt. We know that under international law there is this doctrine "parens patriae" (parent for the nation), which enables states to act on behave of related peoples who are not their own citizens. And here certainly Russia can act "parens patriae" on behalf of the Russian-speakers in Ukraine who are currently being annihilated by the wrong government run by a gang of neo-Nazi fascists. I believe even President Putin used the word “annihilate” and that is exactly what is going on.
RT: Could someone sue Ukraine before the International Court of Justice, for genocide against Russian speakers?
FB: Yes, Russia can sue Ukraine; both states are parties, I think that should be done too. But under the circumstances that are truly dire, I really think President Putin needs to shut off all the gas in the name of the genocide convention. But of course he can sue as well, file this lawsuit, request an emergency hearing at the court and get a temporary restraining order against Ukraine to cease and desist from committing acts of genocide against the Russian speakers. That would take a bit to put together. I think the situation is so dire that we need President Putin to step up to the plate and cut off all the gas now, and make it very clear why he is cutting off the gas – that the active genocide must stop immediately. That would bring Ukraine and its European and American supporters to their senses, and hopefully would make a difference immediately.
RT: What is a court temporary restraining order, and what would it stop Ukraine from doing?
FB: It would be typical cease and desist order like the two orders I won for Bosnia against Yugoslavia to cease and desist from committing all acts of genocide against the Bosnians. And then that order would go to Security Council for enforcement. But again, in the case of the Bosnians, this process took me three weeks, and I am afraid we are going to see a humanitarian catastrophe over there [in Ukraine] in the next three weeks. That is why I am suggesting that President Putin immediately announces the termination of all gas supplies now to Ukraine on the basis of the article 1 of the genocide convention - the obligation of Russia and President Putin to prevent genocide against the Russian speakers in Ukraine.
RT: Given White House influence, is it unlikely the international court in practice will side against a government backed by the US, even if there's genocide?
FB: No, I do not think so. I guess if you would also sue the US for aiding and abetting the Ukrainian genocide against the Russian speakers that might be a factor. But I am not recommending that. I think the US here under Obama is guilty, as seen in aiding and abetting what Poroshenko and these neo-Fascists are doing now. Indeed, yesterday [on Thursday] and the day before the Obama Administration and their spokespeople supported Poroshenko in his acts of genocide against the Russian speakers. But I think if Russia sues the US that would complicate the issues politically and diplomatically, and I do not think President Putin would want to do that because Foreign Minister Lavrov is referring to Americans as “our colleagues” or “our partners”. I do not think they really believe that but they have to say that for diplomatic reasons, and for that reasons I do not think that they would sue the US or Europe but in theory that could be done.
RT: You wrote that the situation in eastern Ukraine will only get worse. Why do you think that?
FB: Poroshenko used the so-called ceasefire, which was never a ceasefire, to bring all these heavy weapons up to the cities in Donbass. This is exactly what Serbia did to the Bosnians and then proceeded to unleash these heavy weapons on this population centers. So why else would he bring heavy weapons up to the borders of the Russian-speaking population centers unless he was going to start to exterminate the people there? Likewise the rhetoric here is clearly genocidal, referring to them as “parasites”, “subhumans”, Timoshenko’s comment that she was going to “kill all the damned Russians” with nuclear bombs, etc. So what we see here is a genocidal mentality on the part of Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk, Timoshenko and many others in running this neo-Nazi regime in Kiev. When you have this exterminationist mentality and statements coupled with all these heavy weapons now surrounding the Donbass cities with Russian speakers in there, I am afraid that that is what we will be facing soon.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.