Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide” provides the most authoritative definition of genocide, which has been integrated into national and international laws. The document acknowledges that genocides occurred in all periods of history, and in times of war and peace. Article II defines genocide as “acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious groups, as such.”

Genocide does not imply total destruction or only physical extermination. Article II lists three lethal actions: killing, causing bodily harm, and imposing conditions of life leading to physical destruction. Two measures are non-fatal: preventing births and transferring children. Ukrainians were victims of all these atrocities, and the deportation of divided Ukrainian families to Russia falls under the last heading. There are no quantitative criteria for genocide, but it is assumed that the victims form a significant part of the target group. The extinction of the Ukrainian population did not suit Stalin: Ukrainians comprised over 20 percent of the Soviet workforce and inhabited a strategic region. A partial extermination would suffice. Since there is consensus that several million Ukrainians perished, quibbling over the number of victims becomes irrelevant and only diverts attention from fundamental issues.

Click here for PART II of six part series, article by Professor Roman Serbyn.

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