Parliament of Lithuania on Tuesday, May 10, unanimously adopted a resolution which recognizes the Russian military invasion of Ukraine as genocide and Russia itself as a state that supports terrorism.
“The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania recognizes a full-scale armed aggression against Ukraine by the armed forces of the Russian Federation and its political and military leadership, which began in 2022, with the genocide of the Ukrainian people,” the document, published on the parliament’s website, says.
It also notes that “Russia is a state that supports and perpetrates terrorism,” including because the Russian armed forces “deliberately and systematically select civilian targets for bombing.”
Genocide of the Russian Federation against Ukraine
Among the crimes in which the Russian army is involved in Ukraine, the Lithuanian deputies named massacres, including children, abductions, torture, rape, shelling of civilian objects – hospitals, maternity hospitals, schools and kindergartens, blockadesettlements, obstructing the delivery of humanitarian aid and the evacuation of civilians, the seizure and deliberate destruction of infrastructure necessary to meet the basic needs of the population.
The genocide is also manifested in “the forcible transfer of Ukrainian children to the territory of the Russian Federation in order to destroy their Ukrainian identity,” the resolution says. In addition, Russia destroyed Ukrainian museums, historical monuments, books in Ukrainian and introduced Russian-language education in the occupied territories “in the hope of eradicating the cultural, historical and linguistic characteristics of the Ukrainian people,” the document says.
Call for an international investigation into the genocide
The Seimas also called on the United Nations, the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and governments of other states “to recognize and prosecute the genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Russian Federation.”
For this, the resolution says, it is necessary to create a special international criminal tribunalwhich should not be limited by immunity to heads and representatives of other countries and should have the power to issue international arrest warrants.
“The Sejm is of the opinion that justice will be achieved only if Russian leaders and other main and immediate criminals are brought to justice,” the deputies conclude.
Investigation of possible Russian war crimes
Investigation of possible Russian war crimes in Ukraine, Ukraine itself, as the state on whose territory they were committed, is primarily concerned. The country’s prosecutor general’s office reported that it was already investigating about 5,000 war crimes and that there were almost 600 suspects, including Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, as well as other high-ranking officials and commanders. Ukraine is assisted in the investigation by forensic experts and criminologists from European countries.
More than 10 EU states have launched their own investigations, including Germany, France, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland. On the global level the investigation is also conducted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. It has jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan launched an investigation on March 2, and his staff is also already working in Ukraine.