Recently in what was called by one journalist a “throwaway” statement during a press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin alleged that a “genocide” was taking place targeting the ethnic Russians located in the Donbas region out in the southeastern area of Ukraine.
“In our view what is now happening in Donbas is genocide,” claimed Putin.
This is not the first time that Putin has been seen making these types of allegations. Back in December, Putin also put forth the claim that the conflict in Donbas “looks like genocide.”
“We see and know what is happening in Donbas,” stated Putin near the end of last year, in reference to the conflict zone. “It certainly looks like genocide.”
“White House press secretary Jen Psaki rejected the remarks, saying Russia was known for escalating its rhetoric and misinformation, ‘so I think we have to take their own efforts to communicate to their public with a grain of salt,’” reported the BBC at that time.
Putin’s most recent allegations of this genocide were spouted with absolutely zero evidence and sprouted up in the wake of talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
In the Donbas region, groups of rebel forces with backing from the Kremlin have been embroiled in a conflict with the Ukrainian military since all the way back in 2014.
“Russia in 2014 justified its military intervention in Ukraine by claiming ethnic Russians were being threatened, assertions the U.S. fervently rejected,” stated Business Insider in a report.
“What’s happening there is not based on actual concern for Russian nationals or Russian speakers inside of Ukraine, but is based on Russia seeking, through force, to exert influence on a neighboring country. That is not how international law is supposed to operate,” stated then-President Barack Obama at the time of the conflict sparking.
Back in 2014, Russia took steps to annex Crimea in the wake of an invasion, and this has led most critics to be very worried that the same thing could take place right now in 2022. This past Tuesday, members of Russia’s parliament showed support for plans to recognize the “breakaway” regions of the Donbas area, Donetsk and Luhansk, as independent states. This result could end up sparking another conflict for Russian annexation.
“Today’s Duma vote on the ‘LPR/DPR’ is yet another odious attempt to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and a clear violation of the Minsk agreements, which commit signatories to reintegrate these regions,” responded the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. “We #StandwithUkraine.”
Today’s Duma vote on the “LPR/DPR” is yet another odious attempt to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and a clear violation of the Minsk agreements, which commit signatories to reintegrate these regions. We #StandwithUkraine
— U.S. Embassy Kyiv (@USEmbassyKyiv) February 15, 2022
As part of their meeting, Scholz and Putin fought over the presence of a precedent for war in Europe. Putin issued the claim that the 1990’s conflict in former Yugoslavia was carried out by NATO sans the approval of the members of the United Nations Security Council. Despite this, Scholz stated that this was not relevant at all to the current situation because there was actual concern that genocide could occur.
Scholz then went on to tell journalists that the use of the word “genocide” by Putin in the context of the Donbas region was out of hand and flat wrong.