Genocide is a legal category. The Volhynian massacres have all the traits of genocide listed in the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which defines genocide as an act “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.”
In Polish academia the Volhynian massacres are referred to as genocidal ethnic cleansings, the Volhynian (or Volhynian-Galician) slaughter, or, in legal terminology, the crime of genocide. Regardless of which qualification of the Volhynian massacres is the most suitable, there is no doubt that the crimes committed by the OUN-B and the UPA were anti-Polish ethnic cleansings of a genocidal character. The public prosecutors of the investigation division of the Institute of National Remembrance (Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, IPN) are conducting 32 investigations regarding the Ukrainian nationalists’ crimes against Polish citizens. These crimes have been recognized as a crime against humanity in its special form, that is, genocide. Article 118 § 1 of the Polish Penal Code of 1997, which introduced the notion of genocide into Polish domestic law, serves as the legal basis for these investigations.