Keywords: genocide, cultural genocide, national culture, identity


This article analyzes acts of destruction of culture and identity of the Ukrainian people by the Russian Federation following the concept of cultural genocide by Raphael Lemkin. The author singles out stages of the implementation of cultural genocide before and during the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation in Ukraine and illustrates conceptual links between the cultural destruction and physical/biological destruction of the Ukrainian nation.

The acts of cultural genocide, committed by the Russian Federation in Ukraine, are seen as systematic steps to destroy the national culture and identity of the Ukrainian people. These acts have preceded and have been accompanying the acts of physical and biological destruction during the full-scale invasion in 2022. The mechanisms for the destruction of culture and identity of Ukrainians as a national group include: the appropriation or destruction of cultural heritage and historical memory, the targeted persecution of pro-Ukrainian activists, the imposition of Russia’s education system in temporarily occupied territories and the segregation of residents of the occupied territories from Ukraine’s information space. The author argues that it is necessary to take into account acts of cultural genocide for further qualification of crimes committed by the Russian Federation in Ukraine as genocide and bring it to justice for the crime of genocide by international and national law. To facilitate these processes, there is a need for further establishment of the recognition of crimes of cultural genocide in the system of international law.


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