Incitement to Genocide against Ukrainians in Russian Propaganda

Andrey Kalikh, Yuri Dzhibladze


[This article is part of our research initiative “Russia’s Project ‘Anti-Ukraine’”]





In February-May 2023, the International Strategic Action Network for Security (iSANS)1 conducted a study aimed at identifying and analysing statements in Russian and Belarusian propaganda that contain direct and public incitement to genocide of Ukrainians.2 We selected and analysed more than 150 relevant messages in Russian state-controlled media as well as illustrative examples of statements by non-state “narrators” about the war – “military correspondents”, and Russian pro-war bloggers and activists on Telegram and other social networks, as well as video hosting sites made between 2021 and May 2023. In addition, we studied ideological concepts that became the basis of Russia’s anti-Ukrainian state policies, and, in doing this, we turned to earlier statements. This chapter summarises research findings with regard to Russian propaganda.


Shocking reports of mass crimes against the civilian population in Ukraine by the Russian military from the onset of the 2022 invasion3 created a demand for the analysis of the role played by propaganda in the commitment of international crimes in Ukraine and, specifically, for documenting instances of incitement to genocide. The underlying reason for a particular focus on incitement to genocide is that – unlike other hateful and discriminatory statements – it is defined as an international crime in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (hereafter “the Convention”), Article III, paragraph C.4


Our experience in analysing propaganda5 allows us to assume that a long-term hate campaign in the Russian state media played an important role in making Russian atrocities in Ukraine possible and acceptable among broad segments of Russian society. On these grounds, we believe that the key propagandists who incite to commit crimes against Ukrainians are offenders who should be brought to justice along with those who commit war crimes in Ukraine.


Propagandists are not only those who directly conduct hate campaigns – media managers, “journalists”, “experts”, talk show hosts; but also those who set the ideological course, including political and public figures, theorists, ideologists, and, above all, Russian President Vladimir Putin.


In each case, it must be established that a particular person significantly influenced, created, or distributed relevant propaganda messages and had a corresponding intent to incite to genocide. Although ideological statements are not criminally punishable, they must be assessed for their role in shaping public policy and their contribution to creating a basis for the emergence of more radical messages that directly incite to commit genocide.


The Role of Propaganda and Incitement to Genocide in Its Commission


The Convention defines genocide as:


any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.6


Accordingly, incitement to commit any of these criminal acts is an incitement to genocide.


Genocide is a mass crime that requires acknowledging and accepting by a large number of implementers the task of destroying an entire national, ethnic, racial or religious group, or part of this group. All recognised cases of genocide have been accompanied by aggressive mass propaganda.7 Analysis of propaganda narratives is of key importance for the legal qualification of crimes, specifically for establishing the genocidal intent, determining the causes of crimes committed, and preventing new crimes.


The practice of international tribunals proceeds from the exceptional importance of propaganda for the commission of genocide and other international crimes such as war crimes and crimes against humanity, for example, during the persecution and mass extermination of Jews by the Nazi regime in the Third Reich and the occupied territories; the killing of Serbs, Croats, and Bosnian Muslims in the conflicts in former Yugoslavia; and the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda.


A fundamentally important legal concept is that the Convention defines “direct and public incitement to commit genocide” as a separate punishable act, along with genocide proper, conspiracy to commit genocide, attempted genocide, and complicity in genocide (Art. III). A distinctive feature of this form of crime is that such instances of incitement are punishable regardless of whether they were followed by actual acts of genocide or not. This follows from the fact that incitement is a special form of crime, the responsibility for which comes independently.


According to Article IV of the Convention, persons who commit genocide or any other acts listed in Article III, including direct and public incitement to commit genocide, are subject to punishment, whether they are rulers, officials, or private individuals.


International justice acts slowly, but it can be inexorable. The year 2022 saw the beginning of the Hague trial of 89-year-old Felicien Kabuga, the founder and sponsor of the Rwandan Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, who was a fugitive for more than 25 years.8


Challenges in Defining a “Protected Group”


In preparing this study, we were confronted with a question about who can be identified as a target of genocide – a group protected by the Convention – “the Ukrainian people”, “the people of Ukraine”, or “Ukrainians”?


In our view, the correct name for the protected group is “Ukrainians” as primarily a national group. Ukraine has a wide variety of linguistic, ethnic, religious, cultural, and other differences that are reflected in regional characteristics. This makes it difficult to simply describe the entire protected group as “ethnic”. We consider the self-identification of people as “Ukrainians” to be a fundamental factor. The vast majority of people living in Ukraine consider themselves to be of the “Ukrainian nation”, regardless of the above differences. This is a question not only of having Ukrainian citizenship, but also of belonging to an actively emerging “civic nation”, especially during the ordeals of the last ten years.


Even more important for the purposes of identifying incitement to genocide is the subjective identification of the target group in the eyes of the perpetrators, who are the bearers of a genocidal intent. In the view of imperial ideologists, the “nazified” residents of Ukraine are precisely those who consider themselves Ukrainians.9


What logically follows from this idea is that if these “wrong” and/or “nazified” Ukrainians persist, Russia has no choice but to eliminate them. Incitement to the “denazification” of Ukrainians is easily transformed into direct incitement to the elimination of people on the basis of their self-identification as members of an independent national group and their refusal to merge with another national group.


How many “wrong Ukrainians” exist (and therefore must be destroyed) in the view of the Russian propagandists? They began by calling members of the Azov and Aidar military units “Nazis”, then they included the Ukrainian political leadership, and later started talking about millions of “incorrigible” Ukrainians.10


Ideological Foundation: Rejection of the Concept of Ukraine as a Sovereign State


Incitement to the eradication of Ukraine as a state, from the point of view of the Convention, is not qualified as incitement to genocide, since it does not refer to a protected group of people. However, calls to destroy the Ukrainian state play an important role in justifying violence against, and killings of members of a protected group.


First, propagandists have often made statements about the destruction of Ukraine along with its population without a concrete definition of what or who must be destroyed, such as “eliminate it, and that’s it”, “shut down the Ukraine project”, etc.


Second, allegations that Ukraine is a “non-state” or a “Nazi” or “Satanic” state that poses a threat to Russia,11 are not only an ideological concept and a central element of the Russian state policy – they also have practical implications. They are used to make it easier for the Russian population to accept the need for an aggressive war, massive shelling of civilian targets and the destruction of peaceful cities, and for the Russian military to undertake the task of overcoming moral barriers to violence and murder of civilians. In essence, such ideological indoctrination, especially when it is repeatedly pronounced at the high level and over years, prepares a fertile soil for a public acceptance of statements made at a further stage in the evolution of propaganda, including hate speech and, in the extreme, incitement to crimes, including genocide.


Already in 2008, in his conversation with US President George W. Bush, Putin voiced his anti-Ukrainian state policy: “Ukraine is not even a state. What is Ukraine? Part of its territories is Eastern Europe, but the greater part is a gift from us”.12


However, publications questioning the Ukrainian sovereignty and identity had appeared long before Putin’s infamous argument about Ukraine. For example, in 1997, a leading ideologist of neo-imperialism, Alexander Dugin, wrote: “Ukraine as a state makes no geopolitical sense. It does not possess any peculiar cultural message of universal significance, or geographical uniqueness, or ethnic exceptionalism”.13


At the same time, the Russian propaganda machine popularised the myth of the “historic Russian lands” which were supposedly taken from Russia by the former Soviet republics. After many years of such treatment of the domestic audience, the Putin regime no longer needed to make much effort to prepare it for war, as the seeds of discord and hatred fell on fertile soil.


Following the annexation of Crimea and occupation of part of the Donbas in 2014, pro-Kremlin propaganda no longer concealed the fact that Russia’s goal was complete control over Ukraine. For example, a prominent Russian pro-war activist Zakhar Prilepin argued: “Kiev is the ultimate goal. […] Kiev is a Russian city. A Russian Ukrainian city. […] The entire Ukraine is the goal. There can be no other goal”.14 However, apart from threats, nothing concrete had been voiced by the authorities for eight years.


The signal after which it became clear that Putin was working himself up to something big, was his lengthy policy article “On the historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians” published in July 2021.15 The feigned conciliatory tone towards Ukrainians alternated there with a rejection of Ukrainian history and identity and narratives of a “humiliated nation”. The article also contained vague threats against certain forces trying to turn Ukraine into an “anti-Russia”.


A few weeks following the beginning of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the main Russian state news agency RIA Novosti published an article by political consultant Timofey Sergeytsev titled “What Russia should do with Ukraine”16 that could well be called a “genocide manifesto”. For the first time, the term “de-Ukrainisation” was used to characterise the Russian state policy. Sergeytsev wrote: “Denazification will inevitably include de-Ukrainization — the rejection of the large-scale artificial inflation of the ethnic component in the self-identification of the population of the historical Malorossiya and Novorossiya territories, which was started by the Soviet authorities”.17


Another “innovation” in the article was that Sergeytsev formulated the notion of the collective guilt of Ukrainians:


Denazification is necessary when a considerable number of population (very likely most of it) has been subjected to the Nazi regime and engaged into its agenda. That is, when the “good people — bad government” hypothesis does not apply. […]

Denazification is a set of actions aimed at the nazified bulk of the population, who technically cannot be directly punished as war criminals. […]

The further denazification of this bulk of the population will take the form of re-education through ideological repressions (suppression) of Nazi paradigms and a harsh censorship not only in the political sphere but also in the spheres of culture and education.18


After February 2022, the Russian officials and propagandists tried to justify the full-scale invasion by introducing a narrative that there was no state to conquer, because Ukraine was not even a real state.


Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chair of the Russian Security Council:


– Why will Ukraine disappear? Because no one needs it. […] An ersatz Ukraine is not a country at all […]. Pieces of Russia, called Ukraine within the borders of 1991, are just a confusion resulted from the collapse of the USSR. And so we do not need this ersatz Ukraine. […] No one on the planet needs this Ukraine. That’s why it will cease to be.19


Konstantin Malofeev, owner and chairman of Tsargrad TV:


– The goal [of the “Special Military Operation”] should be the complete destruction of this neo-Nazi and anti-Christian pseudo-state entity […] The true Ukraine is an integral part of Russia.20


Alexander Dugin, an imperialist ideologue:


– Ukraine will either be part of the great Eurasian Empire or it will not exist at all.21


Pyotr Tolstoy, a Russian MP:


– We must follow through until we totally destroy the Nazi plague, and the international terrorist organisation called “Ukraine” ceases to exist.22


Hate Speech: Five Ds +


Our study draws, in particular, on the concept of incitement language developed by scholars of the Jerusalem Center for Genocide Prevention.23 From the legal point of view, genocidal expressions, while being critically important elements of hate speech and incitement language, will constitute a crime only if they also include, or are directly linked to, direct and public incitement to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as defined in the Convention. Quotes from a wide range of Russian propaganda sources provided in this section include some examples when such expressions are combined with direct incitement to the eradication of Ukrainians.


The definition of incitement to genocide consists of the so-called “Five Ds +”. We use the classification proposed by the Jerusalem Center, extended with our minor amendments and comments:


(1) Dehumanisation – bestowing another human group with “inhuman” qualities, for example, comparing it with animals (especially insects), zombies, vampires, or diseases to evoke a feeling of disgust, revulsion and contempt. This method was widely used during the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda by the propagandists of the Free Radio and Television of the Thousand Hills, who incited to the killing of Tutsis and labelled them “cockroaches” who needed to be “exterminated”.


(2) Demonisation – (a) shifting blame and responsibility for misfortunes and failures of one’s group onto another group; (b) provoking a feeling of fear towards this group, for example, by assigning it monstrous, mystical properties.


(3) Delegitimisation – denying another group’s existence, its right to memory and history, rejection of the group’s national identity, and accusing it of crimes.


(4) Disinformation – presenting false or incomplete information to denigrate another group.


(5) Denial – negating historical facts, denying past atrocities and the right to remember past victims.


(6) Threats – statements of intent to inflict pain, injury, damage, or other hostile action on another group.


(7) Glorification of terror – holding up the perpetrators of genocidal violence as heroes and role models (such as the memorialising of “martyrs” or giving of financial compensation to families of “martyrs” or terrorists).


To one degree or another, all seven elements of “Five Ds +” can be found in the anti-Ukrainian language of Russian propaganda. However, in giving examples in this section, we limit ourselves to the most notorious statements that include only four out of seven points of this scheme: the first three “Ds” as well as point 7 (glorification of terror). Statements that contain the other three elements – disinformation, denial of historical facts and the right to remember past victims, and threats – are cited in other sections.




Vladimir Solovyov, a major Russian TV presenter:


– (discussing the “Special Military Operation”) When a doctor is deworming a cat, for the doctor it is a special operation; for worms, it is a war; and for the cat, it is a cleaning.24


Shukhrat Adilov, a Russian mercenary:


– I can say one thing for sure: we are fighting non-humans. If they are not stopped, they will come to our house and kill our children, and those who survive will be turned into drug addicts and perverts.25


Andrey Mukovozchik, a Belarusian propagandist:


– Ukro-Nazis must be taken out like cockroaches – once and for all.26




Sergei Aksyonov, the “head” of annexed Crimea:


– We understand that dealing with this [Ukrainian] regime we are dealing not only with anti-Russian, but also with anti-Christian forces. In other words, with Satanists.27


Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic:


– Over the course of a few months of the [Special Military Operation] in Ukraine, we have witnessed […] the worst manifestations of Satanism come to the surface – blatant fascism, absolute godlessness, black cynicism, and aggressive LGBT propaganda.28




Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a (now late) Russian MP:


– No one needs you [Ukrainians]; you are all European garbage, you are not needed, and you are being cleaned up! […] You are European manure! You must disappear, but not right away, dozens of years will still pass. There are still 30 million of you left, then there will be 20, then 10.29


Andrey Medvedev, a state media worker and member of the Moscow City Duma:


– By and large, the Ukrainian nation does not exist – it is a political orientation. […] Ukrainians are Russians who have been convinced that they are special, more European, more racially pure, and better Russians.30


Sergei Mikheev, a state media worker and politician:


– A political khokhol31 is a completely unprincipled, poorly educated, terribly evil, incredibly greedy, and vile person.32


Glorification of terror


One of the forms of the glorification of terror is the demonstrative encouragement by the authorities of those who commit terror. On 18 April 2022, two weeks after the Russian massacre of Ukrainian civilians in the town of Bucha near Kyiv had been revealed,33 Vladimir Putin conferred the honorary title “Guards” to the 64th motorised rifle brigade of the Russian Ground Forces.34 According to the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, it was the 64th brigade that had been involved in the Bucha massacre. The commander of the brigade, Colonel Azatbek Omurbekov,35 who was sanctioned by the majority of Western nations for his involvement in the Bucha massacre, was awarded, by Putin’s secret order, the title of “Hero of the Russian Federation” “for courage and heroism demonstrated while doing his military duty”,36 as well as taking part in the military parade on “Victory Day” in Khabarovsk on 9 May 2023.37


Incitement to the Eradication of Ukrainians


The following three sections focus on instances of direct and public incitement to genocide, including killing of Ukrainians, deliberate infliction on Ukrainians conditions of life aimed at bringing about complete or partial physical destruction of them as a group, and the forced transfer and assimilation of Ukrainian children. As noted above, incitement to these acts of genocide is an international crime.


As in the case of other genocides, “pure” examples of direct public incitement to the elimination of Ukrainians are rare in Russian propaganda. Nevertheless, cases of incitement to the destruction of the entire Ukrainian people or its part stand out quite clearly from the general flow of hatred.


Aleksey Zhuravlev, a Russian MP:


– Two million [of “incurable” Ukrainians] must be denazified; that is, eliminated.38


Anton Krasovsky, an RT TV presenter:


– You should have drowned those children [who claim that Ukraine is occupied by Russia]. Drown those children, drown! […] As soon as you hear them say “occupied by the moskali”,39 you immediately throw them into a river with a rapid current. […] Or beat them into a […] hut and burn them.40


Anton Krasovsky, in conversation with Ukrainian-born musician Akim Apachev:


– (Krasovsky) You said 10 percent [of Ukrainians] need to be killed. […]
– (Apachev) It is necessary to kill all the adherents of the Ukrainian idea. […] I think not so many [now need to be killed], another 50,000 to kill, and that’s it.41


Ilya Yansen, a media technologist and mercenary:


– We need terror, the likes of which the world has never seen. […] Ukraine should be ablaze at this moment, and hundreds and thousands of widows behind enemy lines should weep bitterly.42


Igor Mangushev, a (now late) Russian public figure and mercenary of the so-called “Lugansk People’s Republic” (LPR):


– Our war is a war against an idea. Against the idea of Ukraine as an anti-Russian state. […] Ukraine must be de-Ukrainised. […] All who consider themselves Ukrainians will be destroyed.43


Pavel Gubarev, a Ukrainian-born Russian public figure:


– [Ukrainians are] Russian people who have been possessed by a demon. […] We are not going to kill them – we want to convince them. But if you do not want us to convince you, we will kill you. As many as it takes – we will kill a million, five million, we can eliminate all of you, unless you understand that you are demon-possessed and you need to be cured.44


Incitement to the Infliction of Unbearable Conditions of Life


As noted above, according to the Convention, a deliberate infliction on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part is one of the acts of the crime of genocide. From the very beginning of the full-blown invasion, Russia has been ruthlessly firing missiles, bombs and artillery at residential buildings and civilian infrastructure in Ukrainian cities and villages. At the same time, the pro-Kremlin propaganda machine has gloated, hooted, and celebrated the suffering and death of Ukrainians, and demanded even more strikes against the civilian population and civilian infrastructure.


Andrey Gurulyov, a Russian MP:


– The absence of electricity means the absence of water, the absence of refrigerators, the absence of sewers. One week after all electricity is cut off, the city of Kiev will be swimming in shit, pardon my expression. There will be a clear threat of an epidemic. […] We are projecting the flood of refugees towards western borders. […] All of this is quite effective, that is why I suppose this [Russian shelling of Ukrainian civilian infrastructure] should be continued. This will produce a very good effect.45


Boris Chernyshov, a Russian MP, Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Duma:


– They [residents of Ukraine] will sit without gas, and without light, and without anything, because if the Kiev regime has chosen the path of war criminals, they should freeze and rot there. […] When infrastructure facilities get hit every day, when the civilian population experiences… unbearable living conditions in winter, ambulances do not go, and old people and children die.46


Sergey Mardan, a columnist for the pro-regime Komsomolskaya Pravda media outlet:


– By turning off the lights in Ukraine [by shelling], Russia forms a conditioned reflex for the khokhols. “The lights are off, so it means I did something wrong. What should I do to turn the lights on again?” […] The main thing is to understand that lights go off not because of [Russian] Kalibr missiles, but because of the mess in the heads [of Ukrainians] and their own actions.47


Vladlen Tatarsky, a (now late) pro-war blogger and “military correspondent”:


– Even in defence, infrastructure must be destroyed. Hospitals will not work and more khokhols will die on operating tables.48


Incitement to the Forced Transfer and Assimilation of Ukrainian Children


According to the Convention, the forced transfer of children of a group to another group constitutes a crime of genocide. Incitement to the forced transfer of Ukrainian children from the occupied territories to Russia, their adoption in Russian families and Russification is also a punishable crime.


Today, these Russian actions are regarded by the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a war crime. On 17 March 2023, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Putin and the Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova on charges of the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children from the occupied territories to Russia.49 In April 2023, a resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recognised such actions as genocide.50 It cannot be ruled out that the statements justifying illegal deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia will also be considered incitement to commit genocide.


Maria Lvova-Belova, Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights:


– We also discussed the living conditions of children evacuated from the [“Donetsk People’s Republic”], LPR, and Ukraine. […] I called on my colleagues to be bold and more persistent when it comes to protecting the rights of our little citizens.51


Anna Dolgareva, a pro-war poet:


– (Host) Is denazification possible? Is there any way to change the minds of [Ukrainians]?
– (Dolgareva) My friend Igor Mangushev […] always said that denazification is possible only purely physically. You just need to destroy those who are at war with us and bring up their children in the Russian spirit.52


Sergey Mardan:


– These children who had been brainwashed from the moment of birth making them “Ukrainians” need to be skilfully and systematically retrained. Children need to be brought up as normal Russian people and Russian citizens, and not be fed with a longing for the “lost Ukrainian paradise” at public expense. […] Any family in Russia that will now demand Ukrainian language lessons for their children is a cell of the “Ukrainian ISIS”.53




In preparing for the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Russian propaganda machine consistently maintained that there was no Ukraine, that it had appeared artificially only thanks to a mistake made by the Soviet authorities, and that Ukrainians were Russians who had been convinced that they were not Russians.


Moreover, Russian propaganda uses a widespread statement made by Vladimir Putin that Ukraine is a project that can be described as “anti-Russia”.


Based on these ideas, the agency of Ukrainians and the independence of their actions are denied as are the national identity of Ukrainians and their right to self-determination and statehood. Any attempt by Ukrainians to defend themselves is described as a threat to Russia. These ideas became the ideological justification for Russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine and further occupation of Ukrainian territories.


The Russian leadership set the tone for the anti-Ukrainian propaganda campaign. Policy articles and speeches broadcast on television and promoted through the Internet by the leaders of the Russian state, most notably Vladimir Putin but also Dmitry Medvedev, have repeatedly affirmed and promoted the ideas described above, indoctrinating the Russian public. This proves the presence of a clearly defined state policy directed against the existence of Ukraine as an independent state and denying the existence of Ukrainians as an independent ethnic group.


The evolution of propaganda gives rise to further escalation in rhetoric when it is already difficult to distinguish hate speech from instances of incitement to genocide. Among the entire array of anti-Ukrainian propaganda statements, we clearly see cases of incitement to the elimination of Ukrainians or those of them who are termed “irredeemable” – Ukrainians who, according to Russian propaganda, do not want to give up their Ukrainian identity.


Instances of incitement to the extermination of all Ukrainians or their part – by killing them, inflicting unbearable conditions of life, or forcibly transferring their children – are a clear violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. To ensure the accuracy of legal evidence and not engage in a broad interpretation of the legal norm, it is worth discussing incitement to the partial destruction of Ukrainians as a national group. Documented instances of incitement of this kind can be used as evidence of a crime in international courts, including the ICC.


Given the key role of propaganda in the functioning of the Russian regime and the enormous scale of the propaganda machine, it seems clear that many of these instances of incitement to genocide could have a direct impact on the ground and lead to the conduct of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide.


We hope that the evidence documented and presented in this chapter and other research will be considered as evidentiary material in international courts, and help bring Russian propagandists to justice for their crimes of incitement to genocide as part of a broader process of ensuring accountability for international crimes committed by the Putin regime during its aggression against Ukraine.




  1. iSANS is an international expert initiative working to identify, analyse, and counter hybrid threats to democracy, the rule of law, and sovereignty of the countries of Europe and Eurasia.
  2. For a full report with all findings and more detailed analysis, please see Andrey Kalikh, “Incitement to genocide against Ukrainians in Russian and Belarusian propaganda”, iSANS, 30 May (2023),
  3. See, for example, “Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine”, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 19 October (2023),
  4. “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide”, United Nations,
  5. For analytical reports, see; for monitoring reports, see
  6. “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment”.
  7. See, for example, “Interview: How Hate Speech Triggered Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda”, UN News, 20 April (2023),
  8. Stephanie van den Berg, “Long-Awaited Rwanda Genocide Trial Starts despite Suspect’s Boycott”, Reuters, 29 September (2022),
  9. See, for example, Ivanna Shepel, “‘Nado ubit’ vsekh nositeley ukrainskoy idei’: v Rossii razmechtalis’ ob unichtozhenii 2 mln ukraintsev. Video”, Obozrevatel, 12 May (2023),
  10. “‘Dva milliona ukraintsev dozhny byt’ denatsifitsirovany, to est’ unichtosheny’, – deputat Gosdumy RF Zhuravlyov. VIDEO”,, 8 May (2022),
  11. See, for example, Sergey Aksyonov, “Minoborony soobshchilo…”, Telegram, 18 April (2022),; Ramzan Kadyrov, “Ya ne sluchayno…”, Telegram, 2 March (2023),
  12. Olga Allenova, Elena Geda, Vladimir Novikov, “Blok NATO razoshelsya na blokpakety”, Kommersant, 7 April (2008),
  13. Aleksandr Dugin, Osnovy geopolitiki (Moscow: Arktogeia, 1997), p. 377.
  14. Aleksandr Kots, “Zakhar Prilepin sobral v DNR svoi batalion”, Komsomolskaya pravda, 12 February (2017), For stylistic purposes, in quotes of Russian pro-regime stakeholders, we hereinafter use the Romanised Russian, rather than Ukrainian, versions of the names of Ukraine’s cities and regions.
  15. Vladimir Putin, “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians”, President of Russia, 12 July (2021),
  16. Timofey Sergeytsev, “Chto Rossiya dolzhna sdelat’ s Ukrainoy”, RIA Novosti, 3 April (2022), See the English translation here: Timofey Sergeytsev, “What Should Russia Do with Ukraine?”, StopFake, 6 April (2022),
  17. Ibid.
  18. Ibid.
  19. Dmitry Medvedev, “Pochemu ischeznet Ukraina?”, VK, 8 April (2023),
  20. Konstantin Malofeyev, “Terroristicheskoye gosudarstvo ‘Ukraina’ dolzhno byt’ razrusheno”, Telegram, 11 August (2022),
  21. Aleksandr Dugin, “Razbitoe koryto”, Zavtra, 14 April (2023),
  22. Pyotr Tolstoy, “Kto-to dumal, chto tekh, kto prozhivayet v Moskve, Pitere, eto ne kosnetsya”, Telegram, 2 April (2023),
  23. Elihu D. Richter, Dror Kris Markus, Casey Tait, “Incitement, Genocide, Genocidal Terror, and the Upstream Role of Indoctrination: Can Epidemiologic Models Predict and Prevent?”, Public Health Review, Vol. 39, No. 30 (2018).
  24. Julia Davis, “More Genocidal Rhetoric on Russian State TV”, Twitter, 19 July (2022),
  25. Olga Smykova, “Potomu chto rodina zovyot!”, Kaluzhskaya nedelya, 21 September (2022),
  26. Andrey Mukovozchik, “Ne boyevye deystviya razdelyayut ukrainskiy narod, a banderovshchina kak sistema vospitaniya”, Belarus segodnya, 6 March (2022), Despite the quote originating from a Belarusian propagandist, we have chosen to feature it due to its striking and illustrative nature, particularly in its comparison of a target group to cockroaches – an analogy that echoes the rhetoric used in the Rwandan genocide. Since September 2020, Belarusian propaganda has closely mirrored that of Russia, notably in adopting a tone of hostility and genocidal language towards Ukrainians.
  27. Sergei Aksyonov, “Minoborony soobshchilo, chto kiyevskiy rezhim…”, Telegram, 18 April (2022),
  28. Ramzan Kadyrov, “Vmeste so vsemi slezhu za Serbiyey i Kosovo”, Telegram, 1 August (2022),
  29. Vladimir Gladkov, “Zhirinovskiy nazval Ukrainu ‘evropeyskim navozom’”, Politnavigator, 11 November (2019),
  30. Andrey Medvedev, “Uvazhaemy Vladlen sovershenno prav…”, Telegram, 23 November (2022),
  31. “Khokhol” is a derogatory ethnic slur against Ukrainians.
  32. Roman Golovanov, “Sergey Mikheyev: Politicheskiy khokhol – eto…”, Telegram, 2 April (2023),
  33. Simon Gardner, Zohra Bensemra, Abdelaziz Boumzar, “Russian Retreat Leaves Trail of Dead Civilians in Bucha, a Town near Kyiv”, Reuters, 3 April (2022),
  34. “Ukaz Prezidenta Rossiyskoy Federatsii ot 18.04.2022 g. No. 215”, Prezident Rossii, 18 April (2022),
  35. Brendan Cole, “Who Is Azatbek Omurbekov? Commander Believed to Be Behind Bucha Killings”, Newsweek, 6 April (2022),
  36. Ekaterina Fomina, “‘Dispose of Them’, the Commander Ordered”, Pulitzer Center, 18 August (2022),
  37. “V Rossii v parade prinyal uchastiye polkovnik, prikazyvavshiy rasstrelivat’ grazhdanskikh v Buche”, Focus, 10 May (2023),
  38. “‘Dva milliona ukraintsev dozhny byt’ denatsifitsirovany’”.
  39. “Moskali” is a derogatory ethnic slur against Russians.
  40. “Anton Krasovsky zayavil v efire RT, chto nuzhno topit’ i zhech’ detey v Ukraine, kotorye vystupayut protiv Rossii”, Meduza, 24 October (2022),
  41. Shepel, “‘Nado ubit’ vsekh nositeley ukrainskoy idei’”.
  42. Ilya Jansen, “Nam nuzhen terror, kakogo ne videl mir”, Telegram, 2 April (2023),
  43. “Sozdatel’ ChVK ‘Enot’ s cherepom v rukakh zayavil, chto vse ukraintsy dolzhny byt’ ubity. Po ego slovam, to cherep zashchitnika ‘Azovstali’”, The Insider, 28 August (2022),
  44. Pavel Gubarev, “Ukraintsy-rusofoby – russkie lyudi, v kotorykh vselilsya bes”, Telegram, 11 October (2022),
  45. “Russian Lawmakers Advocate Freezing and Starving Ukrainian Civilians, Turning Them into Refugees”, YouTube, 20 October (2022),
  46. “‘Oni budut sidet’ i bez gaza, i bez sveta, i bez vsego’”, Gordon, 20 November (2022),
  47. Sergey Mardan, “Vklyuchenie i vyklyuchenie sveta na Ukraine…”, Telegram, 6 December (2022),
  48. Denis Kazansky, “Rossiyskiy naemnik i voyenny korrespondent Vladlen Tatarskiy…”, Telegram, 13 September (2022),
  49. “Situation in Ukraine: ICC Judges Issue Arrest Warrants against Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova”, International Criminal Court, 17 March (2023),
  50. “Deportations and Forcible Transfers of Ukrainian Children and Other Civilians to the Russian Federation or to Temporarily Occupied Ukrainian Territories: Create Conditions for Their Safe Return, Stop These Crimes and Punish the Perpetrators”, Parliamentary Assembly, 27 April (2023),
  51. Maria Lvova-Belova, “Obsudili i usloviya zhizni detey…”, Telegram, 26 July (2022),
  52. Anton Gerashchenko, “Anna Dolgareva, Russian propagandist, says…”, Twitter, 15 February (2023),
  53. Sergey Mardan, “Esli deti, kotorye priekhali v Rossiyu s Ukrainy…”, Telegram, 30 March (2023),

Related links


The International Strategic Action Network for Security (iSANS)


Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide


“Situation in Ukraine” on the website of the International Criminal Court