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Putin’s War against Ukraine: Mocking International Law

Russia’s attack on Ukraine is an obvious violation of international law. Neither self-defense nor the entirely baseless accusation of a purported “genocide” in Eastern Ukraine serves as a sufficient legal basis and any Ukrainian concessions would be legally invalid. Russia has created a new and utterly sad textbook example of a violation of the prohibition of war – first enshrined in the Kellogg-Briand Pact – and the use of force in article 2(4) UN Charter, one of “the most fundamental principles and rules of international law” (as the ICJ recently re-confirmed in its February 2022 judgment in the reparations phase of the Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo case, para. 65). One must also not forget that it had violated this obligation much earlier, i.e. by annexing Crimea (see UNGA resolution 68/262 from 1 April 2014), supporting separatists in Eastern Ukraine and sending special forces (which triggered a parallel international armed conflict). The preceding troop movements in the region, tied to military exercises and demands of “security guarantees”,…

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