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Russia-Ukraine War: Unpacking The Breach Of International Law

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has come under international scrutiny since it began in 2014. This research article analyses disputes from the perspective of international law. The article examines Russia and Ukraine's actions against international legal frameworks such as the UN Charter and the Geneva Conventions. It identifies various violations of international law committed by both parties and discusses the impact of these violations on the international community.

The Russia-Ukraine tragedy unfolds as a narrative carved in the annals of world discord in the turbulent arena of global politics. Since its foreboding start in 2014, this conflict has evolved into a gripping conflict, a geopolitical tapestry stitched with threads of power, sovereignty, and a chronic violation of international law. This study piece delves into the maze of legal complexities. We deconstruct Russia and Ukraine's acts with surgical precision, evaluating their dance on the razor's edge of international legality and studying the infractions that have sent shockwaves across the diplomatic stage.

The Invasion Of Ukraine By Russia

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine, colloquially known as the "Russia-Ukraine War," has been a complex and multifaceted issue since 2014. The conflict began with Ukraine's decision to move closer to the West, which was met with Russian opposition. With Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and subsequent support for separatist movements in eastern Ukraine, the conflict erupted.

One of the key issues in the Russia-Ukraine war is Russia's violation of international law. The annexation of Crimea, for example, violated the principle of territorial integrity enshrined in the United Nations Charter. In March 2014, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution declaring the Crimean referendum invalid and reaffirming Ukraine's territorial integrity.

During 2021, amid rising tensions, it became clear that Russia was increasing its military presence along the Russian border. Despite its protests to the contrary, speculation grew that Russia was planning a military operation against Ukraine. Russia made clear its opposition to NATO expansion to, or even closer cooperation with, Ukraine, which it saw as a hostile act.

Russia's attack on Ukraine was widely condemned around the world. Despite the fact that a Russian veto prevented the UN Security Council from passing a condemnatory resolution, the General Assembly quickly stepped in and did so by an overwhelming margin. Other prominent organisations, including NATO, the EU, and the OSCE, were equally harsh in their condemnation of Russia's actions. International pressure on Russia to reverse its actions has largely taken the form of the imposition of severe sanctions.

Breach Of International Laws By Russia

Russia has effectively intervened and violated Ukraine's sovereignty as well as Article 2 of the UN Charter by allegedly recognising the right to self-determination of the people of Donetsk and Luhansk. Even under the guise of collective self-defence Article 51, Russia cannot justify its actions, especially in the absence of an armed attack on Russia by Ukraine, and does not pass the necessity and proportionality test. While novel, the concept of 'anticipatory self-defence' is not recognised in international law.

The rigours of Article 51 are limited to an 'armed attack' and do not allow for a perceived security threat beyond such parameters, which includes President Putin's perceived threat of NATO expansion. It is also a violation of Article 51 if such'self-defence' action is not reported to the United Nations Security Council - which, as it stands, was brought to light by Ukraine rather than Russia.

The attack on Kyiv, as well as the ruthless airstrikes across the country, have directly violated the Geneva Conventions (which establish international legal standards for humanitarian treatment in war) and international humanitarian law standards. All four Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols emphasise the protection of civilians and non-combatants. Any armed attack should always aim to distinguish between combatants, non-combatants, and civilians, and parties should take all reasonable precautions to protect civilians and civilian objects.

While Russia is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court's Rome Statute, Ukraine is. The ruthless attacks on civilians, as well as excessive and incidental death, injury, or damage, find a place to invite the International Criminal Court's jurisdiction. Russia also violated the Hague Convention of 1899.

Both parties have signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Aside from the issue of Ukraine's sovereignty and statehood, humans on the ground are paying a high price. Russian armed forces are violating many people's inherent right to life, whether they are combatants or not.

No Justifications Of The Actions Of Russia

Given the numerous international law violations committed by Russia during its invasion of Ukraine, it appears implausible that Russia can justify its actions. In its attempt to 'free the people of Donetsk and Luhansk,' Russia has committed numerous acts of aggression, armed violence, and violations of international law, humanitarian law, criminal law, and human rights law.

In turn, it has launched an entirely unnecessary, unfounded, and unjustifiable war against Ukraine. Russia's actions have been condemned by the international community, which has imposed sanctions, and legal bodies such as the International Court of Justice have ruled against Russia. The conflict emphasises the importance of international laws and the need for strict enforcement in order to avoid similar conflicts in the future.

As the final act of the Russia-Ukraine drama plays out, the focus shifts to the big stage of international justice. Russia, which has been at the forefront of violating established rules, is now under intense worldwide scrutiny. The echoes of broken treaties and trampled charters resound across continents, calling into question the very foundations on which nations are supposed to cohabit. The world is seeing a symphony of rebuke in this crescendo of censure, as legal institutions and international groups stand in accord against offenses.

The fallout is more than just a diplomatic reckoning; it is a cry to arms for the defenders of international law. Russia's crimes, from the bold annexation of Crimea to the brutal airstrikes on Ukrainian territory, serve as cautionary lessons. The delicate dance of power must not come at the expense of human lives and national integrity. The message is obvious as the gavel falls in international courts and fines cascade like a torrent: violations of international law will not go unpunished. Beyond the courtroom spectacle, the disagreement serves as a reminder of the global order's frailty. It emphasizes the importance of scrupulous respect to established legal frameworks and a call for states to stay within the confines of international law. The complexities of this battle reveal a split in the tapestry of diplomacy, one that requires careful patching to prevent the unravelling of a world order based on the delicate balance of law and justice.

The ringing note in this narrative's final bow is a plea for communal introspection. With its legal theatrics and geopolitical gymnastics, the Russia-Ukraine war requires not only responsibility, but also a recommitment to the principles that link nations. As the curtain falls, the lessons of this tumultuous act serve as a poignant reminder that the harmony of nations is dependent on the observance of international laws´┐Ża melody that, when played in unison, can drown out the dissonance of conflict and forge a path towards a more just and harmonious world.

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