GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – Ukraine takes itself to court

(To answer to Russian charges that they have been committing genocide)


I have been following the court case at the United Nations International Court of Justice, brought to hear the allegations of genocide made by the Russian Federation against Ukraine. The case was brought to the UN by Ukraine, when the Russian Federation didn’t present their so called evidence for this genocide to the UN. The Russian lawyers squiggled and squirmed for hours on end trying to avoid having to put up their evidence to back their government’s claims of genocide.



That the Russian Federation’s lawyers have turned up for this hearing, is worth remarking on.

The legal representatives of the Russian Federation are attending this hearing, because of the fact that, unlike the ICC, to which Russia is not a signatory, the Russian Federation is a signatory to the 1958 International Convention on Genocide and the UN Court of Justice where such accusations are heard. Despite this, I expect a walk out by the Russian legal team any day now.

The accusation of genocide made against Ukraine was the ā priōrī for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

That the Russian Federation does not want to present any evidence of this alleged genocide to the court, speaks volumes.

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In 1948 the victorious allied powers, agreed to set up the Court of International Justice, granted with the authority to rule on accusations of genocide. The Russian Federation as the successor to the Soviet Union is still a signatory to UN Court of International Justice.
On February 24, 2022, the day of the full scale Russian military invasion of Ukraine, the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, made a televised address to the world, where he accused the Ukraine government in Kyiv of perpetrating genocide against its people, and gave this allegation of genocide as the reason for the full scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for eight years now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kyiv regime,” Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation – February 24, 2022

The government of the Russian Federation could have taken the government of Ukraine to the World Court and revealed to the world their evidence of this alleged genocide but chose not to.

The Russian Federation declined to bring their case against Ukraine of perpetrating genocide, to the World Court, so the government of Ukraine brought the case. In effect Ukraine placed itself in the dock at the World Court to defend themselves from the accusations of genocide, made against Ukraine and its government by the Russian Federation.

Given the opportunity to present their evidence to the world that Ukraine was perpetrating genocide, or even just discriminating against ethnic Russians, the lawyers for the Russian Federation refused to lay this evidence before the Court.
Instead the lawyers for the Russian Federation have sought to have the case thrown out..

The Russian Federation’s lawyer’s argument goes something like this; Ukraine is not charging Russia with committing genocide, (and Russia is not charging Ukraine with committing genocide), so therefore there is no dispute between Russia and Ukraine to be heard.

The Russian Federation’s lawyers took more than two hours to deliver their preliminary address that there was no dispute to be heard. Over and over again, in inventively different and complex ways. jumping through legalistic hoops of tortured logic and long winded sophistry always ending, with the same words each time, ‘there is no dispute’ for the court to hear. The Lawyers for the Russian Federation did spend a bit of their two hour preliminary address, presenting evidence of atrocities committed by Ukrainian fascists during World War 2, The Russian lawyers also presented evidence to the court, of neo-nazi groups existing in Ukraine today. No evidence was presented by the Russian Federation’s lawyers that the government of Ukraine is or had been perpetrating genocide against ethnic Russians or Russian speakers, as alleged by the President of the Russia Federation, and prowar Russian Federation, commentators and state media opinion shapers.

As a rationale for waging war against Ukraine in the 21st Century – war crimes committed more than 78 years ago, and the existence of neo Nazi groups, could just as irrationally be made for launching a war of aggression against modern day Germany, or Italy, or Austria, 78 years after the Second World War.

The Russian lawyers neglected to mention the fact that millions of Ukrainians fought against the German and Ukrainian Nazis, during the same war.

A variation of the argument that there is no dispute to be heard, (because Ukraine claims there was no genocide), the lawyers for the Russian Federation argued at some length, that for Ukraine to attempt to defend themselves from Russia’s allegations of genocide, is an abuse of the UN Court’s judicial process. The Lawyers for the Russian Federation argued before the judges of the World Court that the World Court is only allowed to decide on evidence relating to genocide, and not whether their client, (the Kremlin), had made false allegations of genocide.

The counsel for the Russian Federation argued that only Russia can ask the court to resolve this dispute, and as Russia has not asked the court to do so, there is no dispute for the court to resolve..

Article 9 of the Genocide convention states the opposite, that any party to the dispute can ask the court to resolve it.

Article IX

Disputes between the Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation, application or fulfilment of the present Convention, including those relating to the responsibility of a state for genocide or for any other acts enumerated in article III, shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute.

The legal counsel for the Russian Federation also argued that Ukraine bringing this case to the International Court of Justice “preempts” Russia’s right to bring a case at a time of their own choosing, because according to them “Russia needs time to bring evidence worthy of this esteemed court”

The legal counsel for Ukraine pointed out Russia obviously felt they had enough evidence of genocide to mount a full scale invasion.
“If Russia concluded that it had sufficient evidence to invade another sovereign state, it surely has had ample opportunity to assemble the evidence needed to put before this court”

Russia’s legal team told the court the timing of Ukraine’s case was “abusive”

The lawyers for the Russian Federation argued that Ukraine has “committed an abuse of process” for bringing this case.

Counsel for Ukraine argued that it is not abusive and not even surprising that Ukraine made its application for this case to be heard immediately following the full scale invasion of their country.

In their summary to the Court the Kremlin’s lawyers provided no evidence of the genocide the Kremlin alleged was being committed by Ukraine against ethnic Russians or Russian speakers.

In a sidenote: The apologists for the Russian aggression against Ukraine that infest this website,also steadfastly refuse to present any credible evidence of the genocide or such like atrocities they repeatedly claim has been committed against ethnic Russians or Russian speakers in Ukraine.


Patrick O’Dea is a staunch Unionist and human rights activist


  1. The legal definition of Genocide has two parts, the first being mass killing on the basis of ethnicity, culture and religious grounds think Rwanda and the Hutu’s and Tutsi.
    The second part pertains to Cultural genocide on the grounds of discrimination of an ethnic group, think Israel/ Palestine.
    So Pat as a keen supporter of Palestinian rights maybe you would be so kind to explain to the readers why you support Palestinian rights but not Russian rights?

    There is enough clear evidence of discrimination of Russian speakers rights in Ukraine enacted in law and I include a few examples.

    The erasure of Russian culture and history by the rewriting of school textbooks removing Russian contributions during WW2 and the Promotion of known Neo Nazis with days of “National importance”. (Cultural Genocide)
    The removal of Russian monuments pertaining to WW2 and their contributions.
    The discrimination against the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine with the arrest of priests and confiscation of religious places of worship. (Religious genocide)
    The requirement under Ukrainian law stating that only Ukrainian must be spoken in Government institutions, eg Civil servants, Doctors, Soldiers and teachers. State television and newspapers must only use Ukrainian and teachers are no longer able to teach the Russian language. (Cultural Genocide)
    The deliberate targeting of predominately Russian speakers in the Donbas and labeling them terrorists for seeking the “Right to self determination” the same thing you champion for Palestine.

    • “There is enough clear evidence of discrimination of Russian speakers rights in Ukraine enacted in law and I include a few examples….. fingrin

      Legal Counsel for the Russian Federation have strenuously argued in court for 8 hours, over two sittings, that the Russian Federation should not have to put up any of the evidence for the allegations made against Ukraine for the reasons for this war.

      Maybe you would like to tell us fingrin, why you think, the lawyers for the Russian Federation are arguing so hard and at such length against having to put up this “clear evidence” in the hearing at the World Court.

      P.S. 40% of Ukrainians, including the President of Ukraine, are Russian speakers. The only place President Zelensky is banned from speaking Russian is in Russia.

      • Noted that you can’t even reply to a reasonable polite question on why the difference between Palestinian and Russian rights.
        All hat, no cattle.

        • Your question citing the rights of Palestinians and Russians, in line with Kremlin thinking, suggests that as far as you are concerned Ukrainians don’t exist.

          How about this; rephrase your question to include Ukrainians, and I may deign to give you an answer.

          Hats and fkn Cows, to you.

            • “Please define why Palestinian and Ukrainian rights are more valuable than Russian rights.”

              i value the rights of all oppressed people. You don’t.

              I support the rights of the 900,000 Russian’s who have had to flee their when their rights were taken away. You don’t.

              I support the rights of the First Wave.

              First wave
              In the first wave, immediately after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, journalists, politicians, and tech workers fled. Many sought to evade criminal prosecution for exercising free speech regarding the invasion. In March, President Vladimir Putin introduced prison sentences of up to 15 years for publishing “fake news” about Russian military operations.[9]….

              Ironic that the Russian citizens in the First Wave who fled rather be imprisoned for ‘Fake News’.
              Are being exonerated by lawyers working for the Kremlin who have disowned the so called “White Book” on Ukraine’s alleged war crimes as not representing the views of the Russian Federation. ie as faked as the Protocols of Zion.

              IN the sick twisted Pro war troll world you inhabit fingrinn you would characterise the first wave of anti-war Russian journalists, politicians and peace activists – as pro-war fascists.

              I value the rights of the second wave

              Second wave
              A second wave became apparent by July 2022, and this wave consisted more generally of middle and upper class people and parents who had required longer to prepare to emigrate, for example; people with businesses or people who had to wait for their children’s school year to end.[8]….
              Ordinary Russians who have fled their homeland to an uncertain future to escape being crushed by the weight of the Kremlin’s imperialist war machine.
              In your twisted pro-war troll world, this second wave of people to flee Russia you would characterise as insects caught in your teeth who were being spat out of Russia. To use the words of Vladimir Putin.

              I value the lives and rights of the Russians of the third wave. You don’t.

              Third wave
              Following Putin’s announcement of partial mobilization on 21 September 2022, a third wave of Russian emigration began,[23] with estimates of hundreds of thousands of male citizens fleeing.[24] In the first week after the announcement, 98,000 Russians fled to Kazakhstan.[25] On 24 September alone over 8,500 Russians entered Finland by land, a 62% increase on the previous Saturday.[26] On the following day, it was reported that “On the border with Georgia, queues of Russian cars stretch back more than 30 kilometres (19 mi),”[27] while at checkpoints bordering the regions of Kostanay and Western Kazakhstan, “footage of cars queuing to leave Russia show lines that stretch as far as the eye can see.”[28]
              In this third wave alone, nearly 300,000 Russian citizens had left Russia before 27 September,[29] with that number approaching 400,000 by 4 October.[1][30] An upper estimate is for 700,000 Russians to have fled conscription since it was announced.[31] Many went to Kazakhstan, Serbia,[32] Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Georgia, and Finland.[33]….

              The third wave of Russians who have fled their homeland to avoid being press ganged into fighting and dying in an unjust war. You would characterise as cowards. I call them heroes.

              I support the Russian people and their rights.
              You support the war.

    • All your ‘examples’ are totally risible FG.
      You have not put up any evidence whatsoever. A schism between Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox churches is not genocide! Nowhere near it! You have a very strange definition of genocide. I think you are in La La land!

      • Strange, I have yet to see either you or Pat put up any at all. Linking to the “Moscow” times based in Amsterdam and financed by the West is not “Evidence “ is that all you’ve got?

    • ‘Smells of genocide’: How Putin justifies Russia’s war in Ukraine
      By Al Jazeera
      9 Mar 2022
      …“It is well-documented that since 2014, both sides have committed human rights violation in Donbas and innocent people have been killed and abused,” said Hinton.
      “But there is no credible evidence that genocide is taking place. None. Russia has made vague references to mass graves and civilian attacks. If it had proof, you can be sure Russia would have provided it long ago.”

      They would have provided it long ago, and they are fighting in court to not have to provide it now.

  2. Well said Pat. The reason the Putin supporters don’t put up any evidence, is that it doesn’t exist. It is a story made up in the Kremlin propaganda department. The real figure is that there have been 300 civilian deaths in the Donbas from 2014-2022. Those deaths were inflicted by Russian separatists and Ukrainian military alike.

    • The unusual silence of the pro-Kremlin war trolls, similar to the Kremlin’s lawyers efforts at the World Court fighting to prevent the Kremlin’s so called evidence of an alleged genocide being heard, speaks volumes.

      “If Ovod and one other post and Pats article, does it really exist?” fingrinn

      Because the Kremlin’s trolls are suddenly staying away, does it mean they know the Kremlin’s alleged genocide doesn’t exist?

      You know what they say about the third rail of politics?

      ‘Don’t touch it! Good advice if you are a pro-war troll or Kremlin lawyer.

      I know you are suggesting fingrinn that because the pro-war trolls who usually infest the comments threads of this website have suddenly got nothing to say, negates the validity of this post.

      I would suggest the opposite, that the trolls have made no comments challenging what I have written, reinforces the validity of this post.

      • Frankly, Pat, I pretty much skim your little epistles, you’ve made your position clear and you’ll go to any lengths to back your views up with links to the most war mongering news sites.I’m not really taking you seriously anymore

  3. Russia isn’t walking into any Western-controlled courtrooms to have their well documented White book on the crimes against the people of the Donbass trivialised by Western legal weaseling.

    • If you had bothered to follow the proceedings of the court, which you obviously haven’t. You would have heard counsel for the Russian Federation disown the so called ‘White Book’ published by the Russian investigative Committee as not representing the views of the government of the Russian Federation.
      When even the official representatives of the Russian Federation stands up in court and distances their government from the so called ‘White Book then you know that the so called ‘White Book’ of the Russian Investigative Committee is as fake as the Protocols of Zion.

  4. Pat chooses to be selective in his choice of those who commit Genocide? Russia doesn’t commit genocide Pat, Russia stops it! And this nutty article about Ukraine going to the UN Courts, what’s that going to achieve, it’s going to accomplish NOTHING, a bit like its disastrous & failed Counteroffensive? The UN Court has no Power, Legitimacy or Authority to act, just like the ICC at the Hague! Just ask the Americans they have ignored these Courts for years, even threatening to blow up the Hague & extradite the Judges if any Americans were tried for War crimes over the One million Iraqi people they murdered in their illegal Iraq War, which is what I call a real War crime, where’s your moral outrage over that Pat, or is your outrage selective & only applies to Russians? It’s the Ukrainians who have committed atrocities, genocide & Nuclear Terrorism in Ukraine, not Putin, they murdered 14,000 Russian speaking Ukrainians in the Donbass before the Russians stepped in to end the Bloodshed, violence & Genocide, so stop talking nonsense about a War that actually started back in 2014 with the Maidan coup that overthrew the legit, democratically elected Ukrainian Govt & put a bunch of Neo Nazi’s in power & when the Donbass Regions rejected this Coup & the overthrow of the Elected Govt, these Regions became Independent who then voted to join the Russian Federation, the Ukrainians started this War & Russia is ending it no matter what you write about Pat to support the Neo Nazi Zelensky Regime, your words are just words written on Water!

    • “…this nutty article about Ukraine going to the UN Courts, what’s that going to achieve, it’s going to accomplish NOTHING, a bit like its disastrous & failed Counteroffensive? The UN Court has no Power, Legitimacy or Authority to act, just like the ICC at the Hague!” Antforce62

      If the UN Court has no Power, Legitimacy or Authority to act, then tell us, in your own opinion #62 Antforce online army troll, that is if you can engage your own brain for just a minute; Why you think your government and paymasters have bothered to send a high powered legal team, to strenuously argue at length at the World Court to testify against hearing the Kremlin’s evidence of genocide, especially if this court has no power?

      Is it because the Kremlin don’t want their so called evidence for this war on the public record?

      Or is it because the Kremlin are worried that if they keep thumbing their nose at the global community they risk losing some of their special privileges at the UN?

      P.S. Don’t bother giving us another empty blah, blah, blah, page of the recommended rote answer off your job sheet.

        • Being worried about a judgement in their absence, is the least of their worries. The Russian’s real worry is having to find evidence to present to the court that doesn’t exist, or is an obvious fake.

          My guess; When the court orders the Russian lawyers to present their evidence against Ukraine, rather than present evidence that doesn’t exist, the Russian lawyers will stage a walk out. Damn the consequences.

          Being worried about a judgement in their absence. Is a less of a worry than being exposed as liars on the world stage.

  5. Unlike the phony genocide alleged by the Russian Federation.

    To describe what is going on in Gaza today.
    This is a genocide, in the full sense of the word

    Genocide is the only word to describe it.

    Do any acts of war or even atrocities committed, justify genocide?

    The United Nations says it doesn’t. Since 1948 the United Nations convention on the committing and prevention of acts of genocide have ruled that genocide is a uniquely terrible crime that no excuse can justify.

    The Israeli authorities have just issued an ultimatum to the people of Gaza City and North Gaza to evacuate to beyond the Siderot river that divides the heavily built up Gaza city from the rest of Gaza. I have crossed the Siderot bridge, the river below it is a muddy stream in a dry river bed, littered with the ruins of previous bridges destroyed by the Israelis.

    The leaflets dropped on Gaza today by Israel declare that even “Known Shelters” north of the Siderot River will not be spared from Israeli attack.

    There is housing and buildings South of the Siderot River, but much of the land is used for agriculture to feed the people in the city. There is nowhere other than that agricultural open land for the people to flee to.

    In the leafet dropped on Gaza by Israel, 1.1million have been given 24 hours to evacuate Northern Gaza..

    This is an impossible deadline.

    The United Nations International Court of Justice has just finished a hearing in which lawyers for the Russian Federation have argued against having to present their evidence of a genocide allegedly committed by Ukraine against ethnic Russians in the Donbas.
    It is quite clear that the Russians rather than attend a hearing to present their evidence of the alleged genocide committed by Ukraine  will not attend any further hearings of the United Nations International Court of Justice.

    The United Nations International Court of Justice, needs to, and is free to, issue an emergency declaration under the convention of the prevention of genocide for the Israeli authorities to immediately halt their genocidal assault on Gaza.

    For the UN International Court of Justice not to issue an emergency interim order for Israel to stop its assault on Gaza will be a stain on the reputation of the UN and its institutions and weaken the cause of the prevention of war and genocide for which the United Nations were set up to prevent.


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