Russia accuses Ukraine analyst of inciting mass murder

Russia has launched an in absentia criminal action against a Ukrainian political scientist, accusing him of inciting mass murder and hostility toward a social group.

Russia has launched an in absentia criminal action against a Ukrainian political scientist, accusing him of inciting mass murder and hostility toward a social group.

"Early in April 2015, the Ukrainian political scientist [Yuriy] Romanenko was at a conference at Harvard University … where he said publicly that 'the Armed Forces of Ukraine should selectively and carefully exterminate Russian journalists who cover the situation in southeastern Ukraine,'" Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Interfax on Tuesday.

Markin said Romanenko had later posted the text of his speech on Facebook.

"In the opinion of the criminal investigation service, that [speech] contains destructive appeals for officials of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to commit mass murder of citizens of the Russian Federation from among Russian journalists due to their professional work. Simultaneously, Romanenko's statements contain appeals amounting to the incitement of hatred for and hostility toward journalists of the Russian Federation as members of a specific social group," Markin said.

He cited Russian laws that address such offenses.

"Under Part 3 of Article 12 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, foreign citizens who are not permanently resident in the Russian Federation and have committed a crime outside the Russian Federation are prosecutable under the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation if such a crime affects the interests of the Russian Federation or citizens of the Russian Federation. It is for this reason that the Russian Investigative Committee has instituted criminal proceedings against the Ukrainian citizen Romanenko," Markin said.

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