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Russia's representative refuses to acknowledge statements made by Putin and calls Zelenskyy a "Nazi" – UN court

Monday, 18 September 2023, 13:28
Russia's representative refuses to acknowledge statements made by Putin and calls Zelenskyy a Nazi – UN court
International Court of Justice in Hague. Photo: Getty Images

Russia's representative at the UN International Court of Justice has refused to acknowledge statements made by its officials and by President Vladimir Putin since February 2022 that Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in order to combat an alleged "genocide" in Donbas.

Source: European Pravda with reference to the argument presented by the leader of Moscow’s legal team in the Court, Ambassador Gennady Kuzmin

Details: On 18 September, a hearing in the case of Ukraine vs Russia began in The Hague, in which Ukraine is arguing that Russia abused the provisions of the Genocide Convention to launch an unjustified military invasion. To this end, the Ukrainian side cited a number of statements made by Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Russia’s ambassadors to the UN and the EU.

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Gennady Kuzmin, the leader of Moscow’s legal team, denied that these were the Russian Federation’s intentions, insisting that Russia started the war "under Article 51 of the UN Charter on self-defence, and this has nothing to do with the Genocide Convention".

"Ukraine says that Russia used the word 'genocide' to describe actions of the Ukrainian authorities. But statements cannot be a violation," he added.

At the same time, the Russian diplomat continued to insist on [the veracity of] falsified data about Ukraine's supposed struggle against the "peoples of Donbas" and devoted a significant part of his speech to proving that "Nazism" is deeply rooted in Ukraine.

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"The Nazis in Ukraine are descended from the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists [a Ukrainian nationalist organisation established in Vienna in 1929 – ed.], a Nazi collaborator," Kuzmin said, adding that, in Russia's view, there are "three fathers of Ukrainian Nazism" – Stepan Bandera, Roman Shukhevych and Andrii Melnyk.

Interestingly, another Ukrainian politician whom the Russian diplomat publicly accused of supporting Nazism was the current President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. "Zelenskyy named a brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces ‘Edelweiss’ after the Nazi Edelweiss," Kuzmin explained.

Russia is demanding that the court throw out Ukraine’s complaint as inadmissible. 

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