The newest item added to the long Russian list of barefaced violations of international law is the recent annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson — the four regions that are an integral part of Ukraine.
Prabhash Ranjan, Professor and Vice Dean, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Aman Kumar, Assistant Professor, IFIM Law School, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
Despite widespread global condemnation, including a resolution in March 2022 adopted by 141 countries in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) demanding that Russia immediately and unconditionally withdraw from Ukraine, Moscow brazenly continues with its illegal military offensive against Kyiv. The resolutions by UNGA are not binding, but decisions by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) are. On Ukraine’s application, the ICJ, in a provisional measure ruling, again in March, ordered Russia to immediately suspend its military operations in Ukraine. Russia has not complied with this decision. In the meanwhile, Russian troops in Ukraine have been accused of indulging in war crimes under international humanitarian law.
Ukraine is not only fighting a brave military battle to defend its sovereignty but is also using all possible levers under international law against Russia. It has moved international courts such as the ICJ, the International Criminal Court, and the European Court of Human Rights to put Russia in the dock. But nothing seems to dissuade Russian President Vladimir Putin’s revisionist and imperial designs. Mr. Putin is willing to go to great lengths to resurrect a Russian empire and attain mythical civilisational greatness even if that means striking at the very foundations of the post-war international legal order assiduously built on core values such as sovereignty and nonintervention.
The newest item added to the long Russian list of barefaced violations of international law is the recent annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson — the four regions that are an integral part of Ukraine. Russia claims that these regions have had referendums and decided to join Russia. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has rightly pointed out that the so-called “referenda” in Ukraine were conducted in areas that are under Russian occupation. Thus, it is highly unlikely that the so-called referendums constitute a genuine expression of the popular will of the people.
Published in: The Hindu
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