Russia today vetoed a resolution that would have described Srebrenica as genocide. Never mind stopping genocides, the Council can't even name ones that have already happened. U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power, well, you can sorta guess how she reacted:

You may wonder why Moscow chose this, of all hills, to die on. In its own words, here's why:

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin on Wednesday called the UK-drafted text “not constructive, confrontational and politically-motivated,” arguing that it unfairly singled out Bosnian Serbs for war crimes.

”The draft that we have in front of us will not help peace in the Balkans but rather doom this region to tension,” Churkin told the council meeting that began with a minute of silence to remember the victims

But here's another question: why was the Security Council considering this resolution at all? Srebrenica was a dark moment for the U.N., but commemorating historical crimes and tragedies is generally the job of monuments, museums, and the General Assembly. It's highly unusual for the Council to formally call something a genocide—they usually, at most, authorize a commission to do such things—and could also have had legal consequences. Per the BBC:

A UN tribunal at The Hague has already convicted numerous people of genocide in relation to the Srebrenica killings, but a formal recognition by the UN could compel individual states to pursue prosecutions.

In the end, we are left with the eternal justice-or-peace question. Srebrenica today, like much of Bosnia, is divided and still tense. Whether or not this resolution would have helped or hurt, as usual, depends on who you ask.

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