Lithuania becomes first to designate Russia as terrorist state2 min read
Demonstrators protest the Russian invasion of Ukraine in front of the Parliament Palace in Vilnius, Lithuania, on March 24. Photo: Petras Malukas/AFP via Getty Images
Lithuania's parliament on Tuesday designated Russia as a terrorist country and recognized its actions in Ukraine as genocide.
Why it matters: In doing so, Lithuania has become the first country in the world to designate Russia as a sponsor and executor of terrorism, Ukraine's Centre for Strategic Communications and Information Security tweeted.
State of play: Lithuania's unicameral parliament adopted the two-pronged resolution unanimously, per a statement posted to its Facebook page.
- "The war against Ukraine by the Russian Federation is a genocide of the Ukrainian nation carried out by Russia. The Russian Federation is a country that supports and executes terrorism," the statement read.
What they're saying: The resolution stated that Russian forces have committed war crimes in Ukrainian cities such as Bucha, Irpin, Mariupol, Borodyanka and Hostomel, Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT) reported.
- The parliament "recognizes the full-scale armed aggression – war – against Ukraine by the armed forces of the Russian Federation and its political and military leadership … as genocide against the Ukrainian people," it added.
- The resolution also stated that Russia, "whose military forces deliberately and systematically target civilian targets, is a state that supports and perpetrates terrorism."
The big picture: Last week, Ukraine's Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova told the U.S. Helsinki Commission that Russia had committed nearly 10,000 war crimes over the course of the war.
- Russian forces have deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure such as hospitals.
- Last month, Sima Bahous, the United Nations executive director for women, told the UN Security Council that reports of human trafficking, rape and other sexual violence in Ukraine were increasing.
- President Biden said last month that Russia was committing genocide in Ukraine.
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