The Estonian and Latvian parliaments adopted statements on Thursday saying Russia has committed genocide in Ukraine.
In its statement, Estonia said “systematic and massive war crimes have been committed against the Ukrainian nation by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation,” according to its parliament, the Riigikogu.
It cited the towns of Bucha, Borodianka, Hostomel, Irpin and Mariupol as well as other settlements that were occupied by Russian forces.
“The Russian Federation has committed acts of genocide, inter alia mass atrocities against the civilian population. These have consisted of murders, enforced disappearances, deportations, imprisonment, torture, rape, and desecration of corpses,” the statement said.
Latvia’s parliament, the Saeima, unanimously adopted the statement, saying it was based on “extensive testimonies and evidence of brutal mass atrocities — the murders, torture, sexual violence and desecration of Ukrainian civilians, including women and children.”
“As a member state of the UN, the Council of Europe, the EU, and NATO and a defender of democratic values, Latvia cannot accept the actions of the Russian Federation, carrying out mass destruction of Ukrainian people,” it said in a press release.
What is genocide: The UN defines genocide as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.” Genocide is when crimes against humanity are carried out with the goal of eliminating a population.
US President Joe Biden recently called the atrocities being uncovered in Ukraine “genocide.”