Occupation

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Occupation of Minds: IHL Response to Russian Education Policies in the Occupied Ukrainian Territories

Into the eighth month of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russia has rushed to implement its plan to annex and assimilate newly occupied southern-eastern regions of Ukraine via sham referenda and attempted absorption of territories through respective domestic laws. The areas in question include parts of the Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk regions (e.g., the latest map of Russian-controlled areas here), where Russia established its military presence after 24 February 2022, replaced Ukrainian government without consent of the latter and is in place to exercise its authority. For instance, Russia assumed law enforcement functions, started issuing Russian-type passports and other documents, blocked access to Ukrainian TV and Internet, gained control over the local financial and social care systems, public communications, infrastructure, etc. Additionally, controlling what children learn constitutes one of the most powerful instruments of “Russification.” Replacing the Ukrainian curricula and language of instruction with the Russian ones, introducing “propaganda lessons”, transferring teachers from…

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Who Has Effective Control in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh Region?

Following the so-called “44-Day War” between Armenia and Azerbaijan in late 2020, the conflicting parties continue several legal battles before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), alleging various violations of international law. The war saw Azerbaijan liberate a significant part of its territories under Armenia’s three-decade-long occupation,…

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The Rhetoric of ‘Denazification’ of Ukraine from the Perspective of the Law of Occupation

From the onset of the illegal (see, e.g., Milanovic, Wilmshurst, Spagnolo, Roscini, Green/Henderson/Ruys) invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 by Russia, Russian officials, and in particular, President Vladimir Putin, have employed the word ‘denazification’ as one of the aims of the invasion (or ‘special military operation’, in the Orwellian language employed by…

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Crimean Tatars: Eight Years of Anything but Marginal Resistance

On 3 March 2022, Professor Alain Pellet published a reflection on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, drawing parallels to the 2014 occupation of Crimea. With the eighth anniversary of the Crimean ‘referendum’ approaching, this post will respond to Prof. Pellet’s thoughts on the Crimean Tatars and their ‘marginal’, according to Prof. Pellet, reaction to Russia’s activities in Crimea…

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EJIL:The Podcast! Episode 15 – Now or Never, Or Maybe Later: The Use of Force to Recover an Occupied Territory

This episode accompanies the launching of a new rubric in the European Journal of International Law – Legal/Illegal. The first installment of Legal/Illegal, which appears in issue 32(4), focuses on the question whether the use of force by a state to recover a territory that has been occupied for many years may be considered a lawful act of self-defence.

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