Mere days into the war in Ukraine, and the US president said that Putin is war criminal. A day or two after Russia pulled troops out of are near Kyiv, president of Ukraine and others said that Russia committed a genocide there. So what is the difference between genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes?
The term "genocide" was recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in 1946 as a crime under international law, and the term was included in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which was ratified by 149 countries. The International Court of Justice considers all states, whether they are signatories or not, are legally bound by this provision. Genocide can occur in times of peace as well as in times of war, but its description must include a “psychological component,” meaning that there must be demonstrated that there is an intent to “destroy all or part of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group,” which makes intent difficult to define and prove. Even if the psychological element is difficult to prove, there are many physical elements that can justify describing genocide, including premeditated killing, deliberately subjecting the group to living conditions aimed at its physical destruction in whole or in part, preventing births and forcibly transferring children from one group to another. Crime against humanity (CAH): The concept of "crime against humanity" has been defined respectively by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, but it was not codified in the form of a specific treaty until the most recent consensus being expressed in the 1998 Rome Statute which created the International Criminal Court (ICC). An act can be described as a "crime against humanity" – when referring to a "widespread or systematic attack on any civilian population", and the perpetrator must have knowledge of the attack. An act or event categorized as a CAH when it includes a contextual element in addition to a psychological one. CAH may be extermination, deportation, torture, sexual slavery or any other form of sexual violence of such gravity, and enforced disappearance as CAH. War crimes: The Hague Convention of 1899 prohibits certain acts of war, and the Geneva Conventions of 1864 and 1949 protect civilians, the latter’s text of which has been ratified by all UN member states, an unprecedented level of acceptance of the international humanitarian law treaty. Thus, "war crime" is a much broader concept than "genocide" and "crime against humanity", and includes in particular willful killing, torture, appropriation of property, deportation, hostage-taking and deliberate attacks against the civilian population, and can also apply to the use of prohibited weapons. under the agreements. A war crime has a contextual component of armed conflict, and a psychological component that requires the perpetrator to be aware of the violation of the rules, but unlike "genocide" and "crime against humanity" is not focused on civilians, but can be committed against combatants.