Russia accuses Ukraine of intent to exterminate Ukrainians

Zakharova did not provide any evidence to support the inflammatory allegation, which amounts to accusing Ukraine of genocide against its population.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has levelled an incendiary accusation that Ukraine’s government led by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is intentionally seeking the extermination of Ukrainians.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova claimed that there are practically no obstacles left that would prevent the Kyiv regime and Zelenskyy specifically from deliberate extermination of Ukrainians.

Zakharova did not provide any evidence to support the inflammatory allegation, which amounts to accusing Ukraine of genocide against its population. It’s unclear exactly what law she is referring to that would enable such acts.

The accusation appears to be the latest in a barrage of allegations from Moscow that Ukraine’s leadership harbours a neo-Nazi, ultranationalist agenda intent on oppressing Russian speakers and other ethnic minorities – charges that Kyiv has vehemently denied and condemned as propaganda.

Russia has repeatedly sought to justify its invasion of Ukraine, at least in part, as an operation to demilitarize the country despite Ukrainian President Zelenskyy being democratically elected and Jewish himself.

Independent monitors from groups like Amnesty International have documented widespread human rights abuses by Russian forces in occupied areas of Ukraine. But there has been no credible evidence produced of any coordinated campaign of extermination being carried out by Ukraine’s government.

Western officials have warned that such inflammatory rhetoric from the Kremlin could potentially lay the groundwork for a manufactured pretext to escalate the conflict even further or potentially employ weapons of mass destruction.

The allegation also bears disturbing parallels to the rhetoric employed by Russia to justify military operations in the past, including the campaigns against Chechnya and Syria which involved devastating bombardments of civilian populations.

Ukraine’s government did not immediately respond to the latest Russian accusation. But Ukrainian officials have repeatedly urged allies to take such claims seriously as Putin could be trying to lay the foundation to justify further atrocities.