Estonia and Latvia on Thursday officially accused Russia of committing genocide in Ukraine as their parliaments adopted statements condemning Russian atrocities in the war-torn eastern European country.
The Estonian parliament, the Riigikogu, adopted a statement declaring that “systematic and massive war crimes have been committed against the Ukrainian nation by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation,” citing examples of atrocities by Russian troops in Bucha, Borodianka, Hostomel, Irpin, and Mariupol, among others.
“The Russian Federation has committed acts of genocide, inter alia mass atrocities against the civilian population. These have consisted of murders, enforced disappearances, deportations, imprisonment, torture, rape, and desecration of corpses,” the Riigikogu statement unequivocally added.
The Latvian parliament, the Saeima, also unanimously adopted a similar statement, citing “extensive testimonies and evidence of brutal mass atrocities — the murders, torture, sexual violence and desecration of Ukrainian civilians, including women and children.”
“As a member state of the UN, the Council of Europe, the EU, and NATO and a defender of democratic values, Latvia cannot accept the actions of the Russian Federation, carrying out mass destruction of Ukrainian people,” the Saeima further said in a press release.
The official positions adopted by Estonia and Latvia on alleged genocide perpetrated by Russian troops in Ukraine come amid intensifying calls for international action against Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes.
Recent revelations about Russian atrocities – including the Bucha killings, the attack on the Kramatorsk train station, the bombing of a theatre housing women and children in Mariupol, and reports of sexual violence against women and even babies – have sparked a wave of international condemnation, and several investigations have been opened to probe the nature and extent of the alleged war crimes and genocide against the Ukrainian population.