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INTERNATIONAL LAW STANDPOINT ON UKRAINE VE RUSSIA CONFLICT

 INTERNATIONAL LAW STANDPOINT ON UKRAINE VE RUSSIA CONFLICT


INTRODUCTION 

On February 24, 2022, Russia attacked Ukraine. The invasion, which is widely regarded as an act of aggression, has resulted in Europe's greatest refugee crisis since World War II, with over 4.1 million Ukrainians fleeing the country and a quarter of the population displaced.


In 2014, the seeds of hostility between Russia and Ukraine were sowed. Russia invaded and occupied the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine between February and March of 2014. The annexation has been condemned by Ukraine and many other countries as a violation of international law and Russian-signed agreements protecting Ukraine's territorial integrity, such as the 1991 Belavezha Accords that established the Commonwealth of Independent States, the 1975 Helsinki Accords, the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, and the 1997 Treaty on friendship, cooperation, and partnership between the Russian Federation and Ukraine. The Russian administration rejects the word "annexation," with Putin defending the vote as adhering to the idea of peoples' self-determination.



CURRENT CRISIS 

In February 2021, tensions between the two countries rose as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pushed US President Joe Biden to allow Ukraine to join NATO. It voted for independence from Moscow after the demise of the Soviet Union. Putin sees Ukraine as a man-made country ripped out of Russia by adversaries. He has also referred to Ukraine as a Western puppet.

Russia was enraged by Zelensky's request to join NATO, and it began stationing troops along the Ukraine border. The US observed unexpected Russian army movements near the Ukrainian border on November 10, 2021.


The tensions between the two nations escalated in February 2021 when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged US President Joe Biden to let Ukraine join NATO. After the fall of the Soviet Union, it voted for independence from Moscow. Putin deems Ukraine as an artificial creation carved from Russia by enemies. He has also described Ukraine as a puppet of the West. On November 28, Ukraine announced that Russia has amassed about 92,000 troops in preparation for an attack in late January or early February. Moscow, on the other hand, denied it and accused Kyiv of conducting its own military buildup. The Ukraine issue has reached a tipping point, with Russia launching a full-fledged invasion to "demilitarise" and "denazify" Ukraine after recognising rebel areas in eastern Ukraine (Donbas region) – Donetsk and Luhansk.

REASON FOR ANNEX OF UKRAINE 

Ukraine, after Russia, was the Soviet Union's second-most powerful republic, and it played an important geopolitical, economic, and cultural role. The regional power balance, Ukraine's role as a critical buffer between Russia and the West, Ukraine's aspiration for NATO membership, and Russian interests in the Black Sea, all of which are accompanied by protests in Ukraine, are the main causes of the current conflict. This is Europe's largest state-on-state strike since World War II, and the first since the Balkan crisis in the 1990s.




IS RUSSIAN INVASION LEGAL?


Agreements like the Minsk Protocols of 2014 (a trilateral agreement between Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE) and the Russia-NATO Act of 1997 are all but nullified as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.



The invasion of Ukraine by Russia violates Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter, which prohibits member states from using force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.




Russia's activities look to be a repeat of its actions in Crimea in 2014, when it seized the area after a referendum declared the region independent from Ukraine. The United States and most European countries oppose Russia's annexation of Crimea, believing that Russia is occupying part of Ukraine illegally.


Russia's rationale, based on Article 51 of the UN Charter, that its use of force is justified, has no basis in reality or law. "Nothing in this charter shall undermine the fundamental right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations," according to Article 51. Ukraine, on the other hand, has neither launched or threatened to launch an armed offensive on Russia or any other UN member state. Even if Russia could establish that Ukraine had committed or planned to commit attacks on Russians in the Ukrainian areas of Donetsk and Luhansk, an action in collective self-defense would be prohibited under Article 51 because Donetsk and Luhansk are not UN member states.


INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS  AND NATIONS STANCE TO RUSSIA’S ACTIONS

The UN Security Council, which Russia has a veto over, was always going to be powerless to stop the Russian invasion. In this event, where the Security Council is unable to protect the peace, the UN General Assembly, as in the Korean War, can approve sanctions on Russia by voting to "unite for peace."

Other states can use armed forces to support Ukraine's right to self-defense, whether or not a UN General Assembly resolution is passed. Article 51 of the UN Charter regulates the right to self-defense and states that it can be exercised by the attacked state alone or with the active assistance of other states. That is to say, with or without a UN resolution, all other nations, including NATO members, can supply Ukraine with any aid they see necessary, including military help.

The G7 nations also  strongly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine . Various European countries as well as US imposed slew of economic sanctions on Russia . For instance 

Full blocking sanctions on more than 400 individuals and entities, including the Duma and its members, additional Russian elites, and Russian defense companies that fuel Putin’s war machine. This included: 

  • 328 Duma members and sanctioning the Duma as an entity.

  • Herman Gref, the head of Russia’s largest financial institution Sberbank and a Putin advisor since the 1990s. 

  • Russian elite Gennady Timchenko, his companies and his family members.

  • 17 board members of Russian financial institution Sovcombank.

  • 48 Large Russian defense state-owned enterprises that are part of Russia’s defense-industrial base and produce weapons that have been used in Russia’s assault against Ukraine’s people, infrastructure, and territory, including Russian Helicopters, Tactical Missiles Corporation, High Precision Systems, NPK Tekhmash OAO, Kronshtadt. 

Apart from this US also blunted the Central Bank’s ability to deploy international reserves, including gold, to prop up the Russian economy and fund Putin’s brutal war and throttle the Russian economy.




CONCLUSION

Without excusing Russia's method of "righting" perceived "wrongs," the current situation is a product of a European security architecture that is flawed.Reviving the Minsk Peace Process is a feasible option for the situation with solid diplomatic backing.

As a result, the West (the United States and other western countries), as well as international organisations such as the United Nations, should press both sides to continue discussions and honour their promises under the Minsk accord in order to bring relative calm to the war-torn country.










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