Russian Genocidal Warfare

A Strategy of Annihilation

February 2023 9781787388901 272


Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion and war of annihilation against Ukraine have been accompanied by a genocidal rhetoric demanding the physical erasure of Ukrainian national identity and culture, under the slogan of ‘de-Nazification’. As Russian armed forces advanced across front lines of more than 3,000 kilometres, from Kyiv to Mariupol, the world was horrified as these ideas were put into practice. Images of flattened cities, the targeting of civilians and the flight of millions of refugees were omnipresent.

These war crimes and acts of genocide were met with immediate protests by western governments, public opinion and the media—yet Russian propagandists not only denied any crimes against humanity had occurred, but escalated the rhetoric of Moscow’s genocidal war aims. In April 2022, as the International Court in The Hague began examining the evidence, US President Joe Biden claimed Russia was committing genocide in Ukraine. Canada and the Baltic States quickly formalised, through parliamentary procedure, the same accusation.

Through historical, political, military and legal analysis, the authors of this book examine the conflict’s early critical phase as central to understanding the Russian way of war, and Moscow’s application of genocidal warfare in the politics of aggressive reunification and nation-building.


Chris Bellamy is a professor and author of many military histories.

Dustin Du Cane is writing a revised legal interpretation of Lemkin’s concept of genocide.

Philip W. Blood is an historian of military culture and genocide.

Request an academic inspection copy Request a press review copy
Inspection Copy Request
Review Copy Request
Join our mailing list

Subscribers receive exclusive discounts and early access to new books from Hurst.