The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention Supports the House and Senate Resolutions Condemning Russia’s Genocidal War Against the People of Ukraine
29 October 2022 - The Lemkin Institute has communicated its support for the U.S. Helsinki Commission’s efforts in bringing attention to evidence of genocide in Ukraine through the drafting of two congressional resolutions that condmen Russia for committing genocide against the people of Ukraine.
The U.S. Helsinki Commission is an independent commission of the U.S. government that has actively monitored compliance with the 1975 Helsinki Accords, which aimed to maintain peace and security on the European continent through respect for human rights, the promotion of democracy, and military cooperation in the OSCE region.
Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine is considered to be the gravest threat to peace, human rights, and security in Europe since the Second World War.
In an effort to address Russia’s crimes, the U.S. Helsinki Commission Co-Chair, Rep. Steve Cohen, introduced a bipartisan House resolution condemning Russia’s violence. The House Resolution was then joined by a bipartisan version in the Senate.
These resolutions - House Resolution 1205 and Senate Resolution 713 - condemn Russia’s genocidal intent against Ukraine and call on the United States and NATO allies to support the Ukrainian government in preventing the further perpetration of atrocity crimes by Russian civilian and military personnel.
The Lemkin Institute believes that these resolutions are more than symbolic; they will signal to the Ukrainian people that the outside world sees their suffering and opposes the systematic assault on their identity in this terrible war. These resolutions will further work to clarify the language, the stakes, and the moral issues involved in the conflict.
The Lemkin Institite deems it critical that the term “genocide” is used in a careful and forensic way before mass atrocities reach courts of law. By using available evidence within the framework of the 1948 Genocide Convention alongside atrocity prevention protocols, it is possible to identify threatened genocide, genocidal violence, genocidal intent, and genocide before it is too late. We applaud the U.S. Helsinki Commission for taking the courageous step of naming the crime publicly when it is often easier to remain silent. The Lemkin Institute identified strong evidence of genocide in Ukraine already in March 2022 and alerted the world with two statements on 20 of March and 9 of April and one red flag alert issued on 25 October. We believe the evidence has only become stronger since then.
The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention is certain that the resolutions initiated by the U.S. Helsinki Commission will strengthen the world’s resolve to punish Russia for its atrocity crimes and to join the fight against impunity everywhere.