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After the start of the big war IMI began researching the Russian media's genocidal rhetoric regarding Ukrainians – Romaniuk

27.02.2023, 13:22
Photo: Ukraine 5 AM Coalition
Photo: Ukraine 5 AM Coalition

After the start of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine, the Institute of Mass Information has began researching Russian propaganda's genocidal rhetoric regarding Ukraine and Ukrainians.

IMI executive director Oksana Romaniuk said so at the "Ukraine 5AM" Coalition's February 24 press conference dedicated to the anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

According to Romaniuk, both Russian President Vladimir Putin himself and the Kremlin-backed media network sometimes resort to genocidal rhetoric.

"Before the full-scale invasion, we used the term 'disinformation', but now it is clear that Russian disinformation is actually part of the Russian military doctrine and of Russia's plan to invade Ukraine and seize its territory. Now we are using the term 'genocidal rhetoric' because these are direct calls for the genocide of Ukrainians. We also want such calls coming from propagandists to be described as a crime of aggression – this is our big task for the future. After all, in its current definition, the crime of aggression does not include an information aspect. That is why the Institute of Mass Information is collecting evidence to understand how best to describe it and how to make sure that the perpetrators face a just punishment: we want to see those who resort to genocidal rhetoric stand before the international tribunal," said Oksana Romaniuk.

According to her, IMI has already submitted several cases to the International Criminal Court (ICC), namely those regarding shelling attacks on television towers and the murder of photojournalist Maksym Levin, one of the eight Ukrainian journalists who died while performing their professional duties. In total, Russia has killed 48 media workers over the year, including those who had enlisted the Ukrainian Armed Forces and gone to the frontline.

We remind that in October 2022, the Institute of Mass Information started a series of publications on the Russian propagandists' information crimes in order to collect information that will help bring them to justice.

On October 5, human rights and media organizations agreed to work with the Prosecutor General's Office to investigate Russia's war crimes against the media and journalists in Ukraine.

The first installment of the series is dedicated to the head of the Russian state TV company "RT", Margarita Simonyan, who is well known for her calls for the annexation of Ukrainian territories and endorsement of the armed aggression against Ukrainians.

Another IMI survey, "Nuclear strike on Vinnytsia and a Gulag for Zaporizhzhia teachers. Russian propaganda's genocidal rhetoric", can be found here.

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