In 2014, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation instituted a criminal prosecution of a number of Ukrainian nationals of charges of genocide of “a national group of Russian-speaking persons” in eastern Ukraine. It appears that here, in addition to instituting prosecutions in the absence of jurisdiction with respect to such alleged acts committed on the territory of Ukraine, Russia also abused the notion of genocide in that it included within the range of groups protected by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and by its own Criminal Code, a group that is not covered by the definition of genocide. It is submitted that both factors void the entire prosecution exercise, and make it a manifestation of “hybrid law enforcement”.
- “hybrid law enforcement”
- Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation
- mass media
- national group
Sergey Sayapin, LLB, LLM, Dr. iur., Assistant Professor in International and Criminal Law and Director of the LLB in International Law programme, KIMEP University, Kazakhstan. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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See Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation 2014.
See Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation 2016.
Cf. First Geneva Convention, Article 49; Second Geneva Convention, Article 50; Third Geneva Convention, Article 129; Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 146; First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, Article 88.
See this author’s amicus memorandum in defence of Nadiya Savchenko, an English translation of which is reproduced in this volume.
See Der Neue Fischer Weltalmanach 2017 (2016), p. 471.
See passim Joseph 2004.
Cf. Article 13(2) of the Republic of Moldova: “The State shall acknowledge and protect the right to the preservation, development and use of the Russian language and other languages spoken within the territory of the State”; Article 2(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan: “Russian shall be the language of international communication”.
Cf. Article 7(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan: “In state institutions and local self-administrative bodies the Russian language shall be officially used on equal grounds along with the Kazakh language”; Article 10(2) of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic: “The Russian language shall be used as an official language in the Kyrgyz Republic”.
See Werle and Jessberger 2014, p. 298.
Ibid., p. 296.
Ibid., p. 297.
Ibid., p. 299.
Cf. Article 357 of Russia’s Criminal Code (“Genocide”): “Actions aimed at the complete or partial extermination of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group as such by killing its members, inflicting grave injuries to their health, forcible prevention of childbirth, forcible transfer of children, forcible resettlement, or by any other method of creating living conditions meant for the physical destruction of the members of this group, shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a term of 12 to 20 years with restriction of liberty for a term of up to two years, or by deprivation of liberty for life, or by capital punishment”.
The text of the Convention is available at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CrimeOfGenocide.aspx. Accessed 31 July 2017. The Russian Federation succeeded to the Convention, which was ratified by the Soviet Union on 3 May 1954.
For the text of the Law (in Russian), see: http://www.kremlin.ru/acts/bank/13875. Accessed 31 July 2017.
Some of these implications are considered in this book, see Chap. 4 by Hassler and Quénivet.
See, for example, “Nazarbayev ob’yavil o perehode na latinitsu k 2025 godu” [Nazarbayev has announced a transition to the Latin alphabet by 2015], https://www.nur.kz/1463119-nazarbaev-obyavil-o-perekhode-na-latin.html. Accessed 31 July 2017.
See, for example: “Vasilieva predlagayet ispolzovat kirillitsu v stranah byvshego SSSR” [Vasilieva suggests using the Cyrillic alphabet in the former USSR countries], http://ru.sputniknews-uz.com/society/20170606/5565742/vasileva-predlagaet-ispolzovat-kirillicy-v-stranah-sng.html. Accessed 31 July 2017. A direct quote attributed to Ms Vasilieva reads as follows: “So, now we have to return to a single alphabet in the CIS space – this is the Cyrillic alphabet, because, as surveys show, our population, in the nearest abroad, does speak of affiliation [with], and the necessity of the Cyrillic alphabet” (emphasis added). It is quite notable that Ms Vasilieva referred to the “population” of the “nearest abroad” (that is, the peoples of the former Soviet countries) as Russia’s own population.
See Mkrtchyan 2017.
See “Deputat Gosdumy Fedorov: nasha tsel - vosstanovlenie istoricheskih granits russkogo gosudarstva po sostoyaniyu na 1945 god” [Member of the State Duma Fedorov: our goal is the reestablishment of the Russian State's historical borders as of 1945], http://gordonua.com/news/worldnews/deputat-gosdumy-fedorov-nasha-cel-vosstanovlenie-istoricheskih-granic-russkogo-gosudarstva-po-sostoyaniyu-na-1945-god-108253.html. Accessed 31 July 2017. A direct quote attributed to Mr Fedorov reads as follows: “The territory of the whole Soviet Union is, under international law, the territory of our Motherland, of our nation. And we have to return to those borders. And we will have to do this”.
See Kendall 2014.
See “Putin o zashchite russkogo naseleniya na Ukraine” [Putin on the protection of the Russian population in Ukraine], published at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLe0jTMnEfk. Accessed 31 July 2017.
Cf. von Clausewitz 2002, p. 24.
See Chap. 8 by Tóth in this volume.
Cf. Marchenko 2013, pp. 684–691.
See Werle and Jessberger 2014, pp. 39–40.
The alleged “resurgence of fascism in Ukraine” is a popular topic in the contemporary political discourse in Russia. See, for example, “Mirovye uchenye: Zapad privel k vlasti na Ukraine fashistov” [World scholars: the West has brought fascists to power in Ukraine], https://www.pravda.ru/news/world/14-03-2017/1327295-ukraine-0/. Accessed 31 July 2017.
Cf. passim Sayapin 2004.
See Rees 2014, p. 355.
For a collection of brilliant pieces of investigative journalism, see passim Pilger 2004.
According to RBC, Russia’s largest media holding emerged only within the two past years, see “V nedrah “fabriki trolley” vyros krupneyshiy v Rossii mediaholding” [The largest media holding in Russia grew out of a “troll factory”], http://www.rbc.ru/technology_and_media/23/03/2017/58d2c2df9a7947273ccb28e5. Accessed 31 July 2017.
See Danilenko 2015.
See Soloviev 2015.
See “Kurginyan: ideologiey “svidomyh i nesvidomyh” Kiev obyavlyaet genotsid russkih” [Kurginyan: Kyiv is calling for a genocide of Russians through the ideology of “conscious and not conscious [ones]”], http://rossaprimavera.ru/news/kurginyan-ideologiey-svidomyh-i-nesvidomyh-kiev-obyavlyaet-genocid. Accessed 31 July 2017.
See, for example, “Top-10 feykov rossiskoy propagandy v 2016 godu” [Top 10 fakes of Russian propaganda in 2016], https://informnapalm.org/31645-top-10-fejkov-rossijskoj-propagandy-2016/ Accessed 31 July 2017.
On Ukraine’s declarations under Article 12(3), see: https://www.icc-cpi.int/ukraine. Accessed 31 July 2017.
See Cryer et al. 2014, p. 53.
Cf. Article 17 of the ICC Statute.
Cf. Article 6 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code.
Whereas the employment of these designations by the Investigative Committee and other organs of the Russian Federation, as well as by State-owned mass media could arguably testify to Russia’s recognition of the so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples’ Republics” de facto, not even Russia recognised them de jure, and they could not claim to be States under international law. On recognition of States in international law, see Crawford 2011, 12–28.
For the text of the “Criminal Code” of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (as of 3 March 2015), see: http://advokaty.dn.ua/criminal-codex-dnr. Accessed 31 July 2017.
See the text of the Report at: https://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/161114-otp-rep-PE_ENG.pdf Accessed 31 July 2017.
On the legal significance of the ICC Prosecutor’s Report, see Chap. 18 by Atadjanov in this volume, and Sayapin 2016.
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Sayapin, S. (2018). An Alleged “Genocide of Russian-Speaking Persons” in Eastern Ukraine: Some Observations on the “Hybrid” Application of International Criminal Law by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation. In: Sayapin, S., Tsybulenko, E. (eds) The Use of Force against Ukraine and International Law. T.M.C. Asser Press, The Hague. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6265-222-4_15
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