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Batangas State University

College of Law

In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements In Public International Law

Prepared For:
Hon. Petronila Taas-Arguelles

Prepared By:
Aguilar-Faytaren, Maricel M.
BSU Law
M2008-03335

Term Paper: Russians Annexation of Crimea in Ukraine and the Continuation


1
of Cessation of Pro-Russian
Rebels in the East

Prologue
The Crimean Conflict refers to a geo-political dispute regarding the
autonomous southern Ukrainian Peninsula of the same name. Historically,
post-Cold War political tensions in Ukraine revolved around Ukrainian and
Russian sympathies; these are the two major ethnic groups and are divided
into northern and southern regions respectively. Most recently, anti-Russian
activism in the North led to widespread violent uprisings against Russian
sympathizing politicians. In response to these uprisings, paramilitary forces
bearing a strong resemblance to Russian forces surrounded Ukrainian
military posts of Crimea in the early morning hours of March 1, 2014. The
Ukrainian interim leadership received public support from the United States
the same day. Crimea is bordered on three sides by the Black Sea and by
virtue, presents a economic and military vantage point. It was ceded to
Ukraine by Russia at the end of the Soviet Era as reparations following 300
years of Russian rule, briefly interrupted.
Due to Russias intervention interpreting recent events in Ukraine has
led to real confusion which has far too often enabled propaganda,
inaccuracy and references to the past to prevail over a rational analysis. In
a bid to provide a better understanding of the issues at stake this paper will
restrict itself to the legal aspects only of the question, which is also an
eminently political one. It does not aim to ignore Russian resentment or the
Ukrainians will to free themselves of the tutelage of their powerful
neighbour or the national interests in question, it simply analyses the impact
on international law. Indeed Russian diplomacy has been committed to the
strict and formal respect of the rules of international law, and they have
sometimes clung to it in defiance of claims made by certain populations.
Even in the post-USSR period this constant was adhered to. But Russian
Foreign Minister S. Lavrovs discourse at the Munich Security Conference
its provocative aspects aside, which are of the political domain, mark a deep
break with traditional Russian diplomacy. Since the Second World War the
continent of Europe has not experienced as dramatic a challenge as Russias
questioning of the borders defined post 1945, which were notably confirmed
by the Final Act of the Helsinki Conference in 1975. Neither the collapse of
the Soviet Union, nor the German reunification two events of capital
importance caused a Russian turnaround like the one we are seeing now.
Infringements of international law, the treaties and agreements signed by
Russia, implied by the annexation of Crimea on 21st March 2014, then the
war in the East of Ukraine following the conflict in Georgia in 2008, have
led to a deep change in paradigm for the European Union and its Member
States external policy. For whatever reasons, the recurrence in 2008 and
2014 on the European Unions periphery of the use of armed force and
methods that have been outlawed on the continent was an extremely violent
warning, since the latter has been built according to the law and by the law.
Europe functions, including in times of difficulty, thanks to the law, which is
accepted and respected. And this has enabled it to enjoy exceptional
Term Paper: Russians Annexation of Crimea in Ukraine and the Continuation
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of Cessation of Pro-Russian
Rebels in the East

stability in view of its painful past. By annexing Crimea, Vladimir Putin has
violated the fundamental texts of the United Nations, the statutes of the
Council of Europe of which Russia is a member, at least two regional
treaties that established peace in Europe and two bilateral treaties signed
with Ukraine, as well as the Constitutions of Ukraine and Crimea.
Article 2 4 of the Charter of the United Nations founds the principles
of the inviolability of the States territorial integrity and the prohibition of
the use of force. Several acts, declarations and agreements concluded within
the Organizations framework recall the imperative of the peaceful
settlement of disputes, non-interference and the ban on using threats in
international relations. We might notably quote resolution 2625
Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly
Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of
the United Nations adopted on 24th October 1970 by the General
Assembly. This text even anticipates the hybrid war in quite precise terms.
On 14th December 1974 by way of a resolution the UN defined the concept
of aggression, including in this several acts which Russia has evidently
committed in Crimea and in the East of Ukraine [4] (military occupation,
invasion, bombardments, the dispatch of armed bands). On reading this
document we also understand why Russia, a member of the Security Council
refuses to admit the presence of several thousand of its troops in Ukraine,
which would inevitably lead to condemnation by the UN in virtue of the
number of texts it has signed. But these precautions were not even enough
for Crimea whose occupation will, in all likelihood, never been recognized
by the UN, nor by most of its members.
Milieu
Crimea became part of the Russian Empire in 1783, when
the Crimean Khanate was annexed. It was incorporated into the Empire
as Taurida Oblast. In 1795, Crimea was merged into Novorossiysk
Governorate, and in 1803, it was again separated from it into Taurida
Governorate. A series of short-lived governments (Crimean People's
Republic, Crimean Regional Government, Crimean SSR) were established
during first stages of the Russian Civil War, but they were followed
by White Russian (General Command of the Armed Forces of South Russia,
later South Russian Government) and, finally, Soviet (Crimean ASSR)
incorporations of Crimea into their own states. After the Second World
War and the subsequent deportation of all of the indigenous Crimean Tatars,
the Crimean ASSR was stripped of its autonomy in 1946 and was
downgraded to the status of an oblast.
In 1954, the Crimean Oblast was transferred from the Russian
SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme
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of Cessation of Pro-Russian
Rebels in the East

Soviet of the Soviet Union. However, it was unclear whether the transfer
affected the peninsula's largest city of Sevastopol, which enjoyed a special
status in the postwar Soviet Union, and in 1993, the Supreme Soviet of
Russia claimed Sevastopol was part of Russia, resulting in a territorial
dispute with Ukraine.
In 1989, under perestroika, the Supreme Soviet declared the
deportation of the Crimean Tatars under Stalin had been illegal, and the
mostly Muslim ethnic group was allowed to return to Crimea.
In 1990, the Crimean Oblast Soviet proposed the restoration of the
Crimean ASSR.[48] The oblast conducted a referendumin 1991, which asked
whether Crimea should be elevated into a signatory of the New Union
Treaty (that is, became a union republic on its own). By that time, though,
the dissolution of the Soviet Union was well underway. The Crimean ASSR
was restored for less than a year as part of Soviet Ukraine before Ukrainian
independence.
Newly
independent Ukraine
maintained
Crimea's autonomous status, while the Supreme Council of Crimea affirmed
the peninsula's "state sovereignty".
On 21 May 1992, the Supreme Soviet of Russia adopted a resolution,
which declared Crimea's 1954 transfer invalid and called for trilateral
negotiations on the peninsula's status. Confrontation between the president
and parliament of Russia, which later erupted into armed conflict in
Moscow, prevented this declaration from having any actual effect in Crimea
or Ukraine.
From 1992 to 1994, various pro-Russian political movements
attempted to separate Crimea from Ukraine. The 1994 regional elections
represented a high point for pro-Russian political factions in Crimea. But the
elections came at a difficult time for Crimeans who wanted to rejoin Russia,
as the Russian government was engaged in a rapprochement with
the Western world and the Ukrainian government was determined to
safeguard its sovereignty. These factors enabled Ukrainian authorities to
abolish the Crimean presidency and constitution by 1995, without any
meaningful interference or protest from Ukraine's eastern neighbour.
Afterwards, pro-Russian movements largely waned, and in 1998, the
separatists lost the Crimean Supreme Council election.
During the 2000s, as tensions between Russia and several of its
neighbours rose, the likelihood of Russian-Ukrainian conflict around Crimea
increased. A Council on Foreign Relations report released in 2009 outlined a
scenario under which Russia could intervene in Crimea to protect "Russian
compatriots", potentially with the backing of Crimean Tatars.
Term Paper: Russians Annexation of Crimea in Ukraine and the Continuation
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of Cessation of Pro-Russian
Rebels in the East

Euromaidan and the Ukrainian revolution


The Euromaidan movement began in late November 2013 with
protests in Kiev against pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych, who
won election in 2010 with strong support in the Autonomous Republic of
Crimea and southern andeastern Ukraine. The Crimean government strongly
supported Yanukovych and condemned the protests, saying they were
"threatening political stability in the country". The Supreme Council of
Crimea supported the government's decision to suspend negotiations on the
pending Ukraine-EU Association Agreement and urged Crimeans to
"strengthen friendly ties with Russian regions".
On 4 February 2014, the Presidium of the Supreme Council
considered holding a referendum on the peninsula's status and asking
the government of Russia to guarantee the vote. The Security Service of
Ukraine responded by opening a criminal case to investigate the possible
"subversion" of Ukraine's territorial integrity.
The Euromaidan protests reached a fever pitch in February 2014, and
Yanukovych and many of his ministers fled the capital. After opposition
factions and defectors from Yanukovych's Party of Regions cobbled together
a parliamentary quorum in the Verkhovna Rada, the national legislature
voted on 22 February to remove Viktor Yanukovych from his post on the
grounds that he was unable to fulfill his duties, although the legislative
removal lacked the required three quarter vote of sitting MPs according to
the constitution in effect at the time, which the Rada also voted to
nullify. This move was regarded as a coup d'tat by many within Ukraine
and Russia, although it was widely recognized internationally.

II. Crimean Crisis Begins


The revolution that ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych,
driven by the Euromaidan movement, sparked a political crisis in Crimea,
which initially manifested as demonstrations against the new interim
Ukrainian government, but rapidly escalated due to Russia's overt support
for separatist political factions.
Crimean parliament members called for an extraordinary meeting on
21 February. Crimean Tatar Mejlis chairman Mustafa Dzhemilev said that he
suspected that the meeting was arranged to call for Russian military
intervention in Crimea, stating "Tomorrow may be a decision that will bring

Term Paper: Russians Annexation of Crimea in Ukraine and the Continuation


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of Cessation of Pro-Russian
Rebels in the East

chaos and disaster to Crimea". Several scholars previously discussed the


possibility of Russian military intervention in Crimea, due to its unique
geopolitical nature and demographics. In response to this, the Security
Service of Ukraine (SBU) said that it would "use severe measures to prevent
any action taken against diminishing the territorial integrity and sovereignty
of Ukraine". The party with the largest number of seats in the Crimean
parliament (80 of 100), the Party of Regions of Ukrainian president Viktor
Yanukovych, did not discuss Crimean secession, and were supportive of an
agreement between President Yanukovych and Euromaidan activists to end
the unrest that was struck on the same day in Kiev.
Crimean prime minister Anatolii Mohyliov said that his government
recognised the new provisional government in Kiev, and that the Crimean
autonomous government would carry out all laws passed by the Ukrainian
parliament. In Simferopol, a pro-Euromaidan rally of between 5,00015,000
was held in support of the new government, and demanding the resignation
of the Crimean parliament; attendees waved Ukrainian, Tatar, and European
Union flags. Meanwhile in Sevastopol, thousands protested against the new
Ukrainian government, voted to establish a parallel administration, and
created civil defence squads with the support of the Russian Night
Wolves motorcycle club. Protesters waved Russian flags, chanted "Putin is
our president!", and claimed they would refuse to further pay taxes to the
Ukrainian state. Russian military convoys were also alleged to be seen in the
area. In Kerch, pro-Russian protesters attempted to remove the Ukrainian
flag from atop city hall and replace it with the flag of Russia. Over 200
attended, waving Russian, orange-and-black St. George, and the Russian
Unity party flags. Mayor Oleh Osadchy attempted to disperse the crowd and
police eventually arrived to defend the flag. The mayor said "This is the
territory of Ukraine, Crimea. Here's a flag of Crimea", but was accused of
treason and a fight ensued over the flagpole. On 24 February, more rallied
outside the Sevastopol city state administration. Pro-Russian demonstrators
accompanied by neo-Cossacks demanded the election of a Russian citizen as
mayor and hoisted Russian flags around the city administration; they also
handed out leaflets to sign up for a self-defence militia, warning that the
"Blue-Brown Europlague is knocking."
On 25 February, several hundred pro-Russian protesters blocked the
Crimean parliament demanding a referendum on Crimea's independence. On
the same day, Sevastopol illegally elected Alexei Chaly, a Russian citizen, as
mayor. Under the law of Ukraine, it was not possible for Sevastopol to elect
a mayor, as the Chairman of the Sevastopol City State Administration,
appointed by the President of Ukraine, functions as its mayor. A thousand
protesters present chanted "A Russian mayor for a Russian city." Crowds
gathered again outside Sevastopol's city hall again on Tuesday as rumours
spread that security forces could arrest Chaly, but police chief Alexander
Goncharov said that his officers would refuse to carry out "criminal orders"

Term Paper: Russians Annexation of Crimea in Ukraine and the Continuation


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of Cessation of Pro-Russian
Rebels in the East

issued by Kiev. Viktor Neganov, a Sevastopol-based adviser to the Internal


Affairs Minister, condemned the events in the city as a coup. "Chaly
represents the interests of the Kremlin which likely gave its tacit approval,"
he said. Sevastopol City State Administration chairman Vladimir Yatsuba
was booed and heckled on 23 February, when he told a pro-Russian rally
that Crimea was a part of Ukraine. He resigned the next day.[82] In
Simferopol, the Regional State Administration building was blockaded with
hundreds of protesters, including neo-Cossacks, demanding a referendum of
separation; the rally was organized by the Crimean Front.
On 26 February, thousands clashed during opposing rallies in
imferopol. Near the Supreme Council of Crimea building 4,000 and
5,000 Crimean Tatars and supporters of the Euromaidan-Crimea movement
faced 600-700 supporters of pro-Russian organizations and the Russian
Unity Party. Supreme Council Chairman Vladimir Konstantinov said that the
Crimean parliament would not consider separation from Ukraine, and that
earlier reports that parliament would hold a debate on the matter were
provocations. Tatars created self-defense groups, encouraged collaboration
with Russians, Ukrainians, and people of other nationalities, and called for
the protection of churches, mosques, synagogues, and other important
sites. By nightfall the Crimean Tatars had left; several hundred Russian
Unity supporters rallied on. The new Ukrainian government's acting Internal
Affairs Minister Arsen Avakov tasked Crimean law enforcement agencies
not to provoke conflicts and to do whatever necessary to prevent clashes
with pro-Russian forces; and he added "I think, that way - through a
dialogue - we shall achieve much more than with standoffs". New Security
Service of Ukraine (SBU) chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko requested that
the United Nations provide around-the-clock monitoring of the security
situation in Crimea.[90] Russian troops took control of the main route
to Sevastopol on orders from Russian president Vladimir Putin. A military
checkpoint, with a Russian flag and Russian military vehicles, was set up on
the main highway between the city and Simferopol.
On 27 February, unidentified troops widely suspected of
being Russian special forces seized the building of the Supreme Council of
Crimea (the regional parliament) and the building of the Council of
Ministers in Simferopol. Russian flags were raised over these
buildings, and barricades were erected outside them. Whilst the "little green
men" were occupying the Crimean parliament building, the parliament held
an emergency session. It voted to terminate the Crimean government, and
replace Prime Minister Anatolii Mohyliov with Sergey Aksyonov. Aksyonov
belonged to theRussian Unity party, which received 4% of the vote in the
last election. According to the Constitution of Ukraine, the Prime Minister
of Crimea is appointed by the Supreme Council of Crimea in consultation
with the President of Ukraine. Both Aksyonov and speaker Vladimir
Konstantinov stated that they viewed Viktor Yanukovych as the de jure

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of Cessation of Pro-Russian
Rebels in the East

president of Ukraine, through whom they were able to ask Russia for
assistance.
The parliament also voted to hold a referendum on greater autonomy
on 25 May. The troops had cut all of the building's communications, and
took MPs' phones as they entered. No independent journalists were allowed
inside the building while the votes were taking place. Some MPs claimed
they were being threatened and that votes were cast for them and other MPs,
even though they were not in the chamber. Interfax-Ukraine reported "it is
impossible to find out whether all the 64 members of the 100-member
legislature who were registered as present at when the two decisions were
voted on or whether someone else used the plastic voting cards of some of
them" because due to the armed occupation of parliament it was unclear how
many MPs were present. The head of parliament's information and analysis
department, Olha Sulnikova, had phoned from inside the parliamentary
building to journalists and had told them 61 of the registered 64 deputies had
voted for the referendum resolution and 55 for the resolution to dismiss the
government.[102] Donetsk People's Republic separatist Igor Girkin said in
January 2015 that Crimean members of parliament were held at gunpoint,
and were forced to support the annexation. These actions were immediately
declared illegal by the Ukrainian interim government.
On the same day, more troops in unmarked uniforms, assisted this
time by Crimean riot police known as Berkut, established security
checkpoints on the Isthmus of Perekop and the Chonhar Peninsula, which
separate Crimea from the Ukrainian mainland. Within hours, Ukraine had
effectively been cut off from Crimea.
On 1 March 2014, Aksyonov declared Crimea's new de
facto authorities would exercise control of all Ukrainian military
installations on the peninsula. He also asked Russian President Vladimir
Putin, who had been Yanukovych's primary international backer and
guarantor, for "assistance in ensuring peace and public order" in
Crimea. Putin promptly received authorisation from theFederation Council
of Russia for a Russian military intervention in Ukraine "until normalization
of a socio-political environment in the country". Putin's swift manoeuvre
prompted protests of intelligentsia and demonstrations in Moscow against a
Russian military campaign in Crimea. By 2 March, Russian troops moving
from the country's naval base in Sevastopol and reinforced by troops,
armour, and helicopters from mainland Russia exercised complete control
over the Crimean Peninsula. Russian troops operated in Crimea without
insignia. Despite numerous media reports and statements by the Ukrainian
and foreign governments describing the unmarked troops as Russian
soldiers, government officials concealed the identity of their forces, claiming
they were local "self-defense" units over whom they had no authority. As

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of Cessation of Pro-Russian
Rebels in the East

late as 17 April, Russian foreign minister Lavrov claimed that there are no
spare armed forces in the territory of Crimea.
Russian officials eventually admitted to their troops' presence. On 17
April 2014, Putin acknowledged the Russian military backed Crimean
separatist militias, stating that Russia's intervention was necessary "to ensure
proper conditions for the people of Crimea to be able to freely express their
will". Defence Minister Serger Shoygu said the country's military actions in
Crimea were undertaken by forces of the Black Sea Fleet and were justified
by "threat to lives of Crimeancivilians" and danger of "takeover of Russian
military infrastructure by extremists". Ukraine complained that by increasing
its troop presence in Crimea, Russia violated the agreement under which it
headquartered its Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol and violated the
country's sovereignty. The United States and United Kingdom also accused
Russia of breaking the terms of the Budapest Memorandum on Security
Assurances, by which Russia, the US, and the UK had reaffirmed their
obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial
integrity or political independence of Ukraine.[120] The Russian government
said the Budapest Memorandum did not apply due to "complicated internal
processes" in Crimea. In March 2015 retired Russian Admiral Igor
Kasatonov stated that according to his information the Russian troop
deployment in Crimea included six helicopter landings and three landings
of IL-76 with 500 people.
Aftermath
The number of tourists visiting Crimea in the 2014 season is expected
to be lower than in the previous years due to worries about the political
situation. The Crimean government members hope that Russian tourists will
flow in. The Russian government is planning to promote Crimea as a resort
and provide subsidised holidays to the peninsula for children and state
workers.
The Sofia news agency Novinite claims that according to the German
newspaper Die Welt, the annexation of Crimea is economically
disadvantageous for the Russian Federation. Russia will have to spend
billions of euros a year to pay salaries and pensions. Moreover, Russia will
have to undertake costly projects to connect Crimea to the Russian water
supply and power system because Crimea has no land connection to Russia
and at present gets water, gas and electricity from mainland Ukraine. This
will require building a bridge and a pipeline across the Kerch Strait. Also,
Novinite claims that a Ukrainian expert told Die Welt that Crimea "will not
be able to attract tourists".

Term Paper: Russians Annexation of Crimea in Ukraine and the Continuation


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of Cessation of Pro-Russian
Rebels in the East

The first Deputy to Minister of Finance of Russian Federation Tatyana


Nesterenko said in her interview to Forbes Woman that decision to annexe
Crimea was made by Russian President Vladimir Putin exclusively without
consulting Russia's Finance Ministry.
The Russian business newspaper Kommersant expresses an opinion
that Russia will not acquire anything economically from "accessing"
Crimea, which is not very developed industrially, having just a few big
factories, and whose yearly gross product is only $4 billion. The newspaper
also says that everything from Russia will have to be delivered by sea,
higher costs of transportation will result in higher prices for everything, and
to avoid a decline in living standards Russia will have to subsidize Crimean
people for a few months. In total, Kommersant estimates the costs of
integrating Crimea into Russia in $30 billion over the next decade, i.e. $3
billion per year.
On the other hand western oil experts estimate that Russia's seizing of
Crimea, and the associated control of an area of Black Sea more than three
times its land area gives it access to oil and gas reserves potentially worth
trillions of dollars. It also deprives Ukraine of its chances of energy
independence. Most immediately however, analysts say, Moscow's
acquisition may alter the route along which the South Streampipeline would
be built, saving Russia money, time and engineering challenges. It would
also allow Russia to avoid building in Turkish territorial waters, which was
necessary in the original route to avoid Ukrainian territory.[202][203]
Russian/Chechen businessman Ruslan Baisarov announced he is ready to
invest 12 billion rubles into the construction of a modern sea resort in
Crimea, which is expected to create about 1,300 jobs. Ramzan Kadyrov,
the Head of Chechnya, said that other Chechen businessmen are planning to
invest into Crimea as well.
The Russian Federal Service for Communications (Roskomnadzor)
warned about a transition period as Russian operators have to change the
numbering capacity and subscribers. Country code will be replaced from
the Ukrainian +380 to Russian +7. Codes in Crimea start with 65, but in the
area of "7" the 6 is given to Kazakhstan which shares former Soviet Union
+7 with Russia, so city codes have to change. The regulator assigned
869 dialling code to Sevastopol and the rest of the peninsula received a 365
code.[205] At the time of the unification with Russia, telephone operators and
Internet service providers in Crimea and Sevastopol are connected to the
outside world through the territory of Ukraine.[206] Minister of
Communications of
Russia, Nikolai
Nikiforov announced
on
his Twitter account that postal codes in Crimea will now have six-figures: to
the existing five-digit number the number two will be added at the

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beginning. For example, the Simferopol postal code 95000 will become
295000.
Regarding Crimea's borders, the head of Russian Federal Agency for
the Development of the State Border Facilities (Rosgranitsa) Konstantin
Busygin, who was speaking at a meeting led by Russian Deputy Prime
Minister Dmitry Rogozin inSimferopol, the capital of Crimea said
the Russian state border in the north of Crimea which, according to his
claims, now forms part of the Russian-Ukrainian border, will be fully
equipped with necessary facilities. In the area that now forms the border
between Crimea and Ukraine mining the salt lake inlets from the sea that
constitute the natural borders, and in the spit of land left over stretches of noman's-land with wire on either side was created. On early June that
year Prime
Minister Dmitry
Medvedev signed
a Government
resolution 961 dated 5 June 2014 establishing air, sea, road and railway
checkpoints. The adopted decisions create a legal basis for the functioning of
a checkpoint system at the Russian state border in the Republic of Crimea
and Sevastopol.
In the year following the annexation, armed men seized various
Crimean businesses, including banks, hotels, shipyards, farms, gas stations,
a bakery, a dairy, and Yalta Film Studio.
Human rights situation
On 9 May 2014 the new "anti-extremist" amendment to the Criminal
Code of Russia, passed in December 2013, came into force. Article 280.1
designated incitement of violation of territorial integrity of the Russian
Federation (incl. calls for secession of Crimea from Russia as a criminal
offence in Russia, punishable by a fine of 300 thousand roubles or
imprisonment up to 3 years. If such statements are made in public media or
the internet, the punishment could be obligatory works up to 480 hours or
imprisonment up to five years.
Following the annexation of Crimea, according to report released on
the Russian government run President of Russia's Council on Civil Society
and Human Rights website, Tatars who were opposed to Russian rule have
been persecuted, Russian law restricting freedom of speech has been
imposed, and the new pro-Russian authorities "liquidated" the Kiev
Patriarchate Orthodox church on the peninsula.
After the annexation, on 16 May the new Russian authorities of
Crimea issued a ban on the annual commemorations of the anniversary of
the Deportation of the Crimean Tatars by Stalin in 1944, citing "possibility
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of provocation by extremists" as a reason. Previously, when Crimea was


controlled by Ukraine, these commemorations had taken place every year.
The pro-Russian Crimean authorities also banned Mustafa Jemilev, a human
rights activist, Soviet dissent, member of the Ukrainian parliament, and
former Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars from entering Crimea.
[218]
Additionally, Mejlis reported, that officers of Russia's Federal Security
Service (FSB) raided Tatar homes in the same week, on the pretense of
"suspicion of terrorist activity". The Tatar community eventually did hold
commemorative rallies in defiance of the ban. In response Russian
authorities flew helicopters over the rallies in an attempt to disrupt them.
Crimean public opinion
A joint survey by American government agency Broadcasting Board
of Governors and polling firm Gallup was taken during April 2014. It polled
500 residents of Crimea. The survey found that 82.8% of those polled
believed that the results of the Crimean status referendum reflected the
views of most Crimeans, whereas 6.7% said that it did not. 73.9% of those
polled said that they thought that the annexation would have a positive
impact on their lives, whereas 5.5% said that it would not. 13.6% said that
they did not know.
A comprehensive poll released on 8 May 2014 by the Pew Research
Centre surveyed Crimean opinions on the annexation. Despite international
criticism of 16 March referendum on Crimean status, 91% of those
Crimeans polled thought that the vote was free and fair, and 88% said that
the Ukrainian government should recognize the results.
Ukranian Response
Immediately after the treaty of accession was signed in March, the
Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Provisional Principal
of Russia in Ukraine to present note verbale of protest against Russia's
recognition of the Republic of Crimea and its subsequent annexation. Two
days later, the Verkhovna Rada condemned the treaty and called Russia's
actions "a gross violation of international law". The Rada called on the
international community to avoid recognition of the "so-called Republic of
Crimea" or the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia as new
federal subjects.
On 15 April 2014, the Verkhovna Rada declared the Autonomous
Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol to be under "provisional occupation" by
the Russian military and imposed travel restrictions on Ukrainians visiting
Crimea. The territories were also deemed "inalienable parts of Ukraine"
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subject to Ukrainian law. Among other things, the special law approved by
the Rada restricted foreign citizens' movements to and from the Crimean
Peninsula and forbade certain types of entrepreneurship. The law also
forbade activity of government bodies formed in violation of Ukrainian law
and designated their acts as null and void. The voting rights of Crimea in
national Ukrainian elections were also suspended. The law had little to no
actual effect in Crimea itself due to the mutual non-recognition between
Kiev and Simferopol.
Ukrainian authorities greatly reduced the volume of water flowing
into Crimea via the North Crimean Canal, threatening the viability of the
peninsula's agricultural crops, which are heavily dependent on irrigation.
The Ukrainian National Council for TV and Radio Broadcasting instructed
all cable operators on March 11 to stop transmitting a number of Russian
channels, including the international versions of the main state-controlled
stationsRossiya-1, Channel One and NTV, as well as news channel Rossiya24.
In March 2014, activists began organizing flash mobs in supermarkets
to urge customers not to buy Russian goods and to boycott Russian gas
stations, banks, and concerts. In April 2014, some cinemas in Kiev, Lviv,
and Odessa began shunning Russian films.
In December 2014, Ukraine halted all train and bus services to
Crimea.
Russian Response
In a poll published on 24 February by the state-owned Russian Public
Opinion Research Center, only 15% of those Russians polled said 'yes' to the
question: "Should Russia react to the overthrow of the legally elected
authorities in Ukraine?".
The State Duma Committee on Commonwealth of Independent
States Affairs, headed by Leonid Slutsky, visited Simferopol on 25 February
2014 and said: "If the parliament of the Crimean autonomy or its residents
express the wish to join the Russian Federation, Russia will be prepared to
consider this sort of application. We will be examining the situation and
doing so fast." They also stated that in the event of a referendum for Crimea
region joining Russian Federation they would consider its results "very
fast". Later Slutsky announced that he was misunderstood by Crimean press
and no decision regarding simplifying the process of acquiring Russian
citizenship for people in Crimea has been made yet. And added that if
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"fellow Russian citizens are in jeopardy you understand that we do not stay
away". On 25 February, in a meeting with Crimean politicians he stated that
Viktor Yanukovych was still the legitimate president of Ukraine. That same
day in the Russian Duma, they announced they were determining measures
so that Russians in Ukraine who "did not want to break from the Russian
World" could acquire Russian citizenship.
On 26 February, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered
the Russian Armed Forces to be "put on alert in the Western Military
District as well as units stationed with the 2nd Army Central Military
District Command involved in aerospace defence, airborne troops and longrange military transport." Despite media speculation it was for in reaction to
the events in Ukraine Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said it was in
separate consideration from the unrest in Ukraine. On 27 February 2014, the
Russian government dismissed accusations about violation by the Russian
side of the basic agreements in regards of the Black Sea Fleet: "All
movements of armored vehicles are undertaken in full compliance with the
basic agreements and did not require any approvals".
On 27 February, the Russian governing agencies presented the new
law project on granting citizenship.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the West and
particularly NATO to "abandon the provocative statements and respect the
neutral status of Ukraine". In its statement the ministry claims that
agreement on settlement of the crisis which was signed on 21 February and
was witnessed by foreign ministries from Germany, Poland and France has
to this date, not been implemented (Vladimir Lukin from Russia had not
signed it).
On 28 February, according to ITAR-TASS, the Russian Ministry of
Transport discontinued its further talks with Ukraine in regards to the Kerch
Strait Bridge project. However, on 3 March Dmitry Medvedev, the Prime
Minister of Russia, signed a decree creating a subsidiary of Russian
Highways (Avtodor) to build a bridge at an unspecified location along the
Kerch strait.
On Russian social networks there is a movement to gather volunteers
who served in the Russian army to go to Ukraine.
On 28 February President Putin stated it was of "extreme importance
of not allowing a further escalation of violence and the necessity of a rapid
normalisation of the situation in Ukraine" in telephone calls with key EU

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leaders.[251] Already on 19 February the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs


referred to the Euromaidan revolution as the "Brown revolution".
The Federation Council approved that Russia may introduce a limited
contingent of Russian troops in Crimea for the security of the Black Sea
Fleet and the Russians.
In Moscow, on 2 March, an estimated 27,000 rallied in support of the
Russian government's decision to intervene in Ukraine. The rallies received
considerable attention on Russian state TV and were officially sanctioned by
the government.
Meanwhile, on 1 March, five people who were picketing next to the
Federation Council building against the invasion of Ukraine were arrested.
[256]
The next day about 200 people protested at the building of the Russian
Ministry of Defence in Moscow against Russian military
involvement. About 500 people also gathered to protest on the Manezhnaya
Square in Moscow and the same number of people on the Saint Isaac's
Square in Saint Petersburg. On 2 March, about eleven protesters
demonstrated in Yekaterinburg against Russian involvement, with some
wrapped in the Ukrainian flag. Protests were also held in Chelyabinsk on the
same day. The opposition to the military intervention was also expressed by
rock musician Andrey Makarevich, who wrote in particular: "You want war
with Ukraine? It will not be the way it was with Abkhazia: the folks on the
Maidan have been hardened and know what they are fighting for for their
country, their independence. We have to live with them. Still neighborly.
And preferably in friendship. But it's up to them how they want to live". The
Professor of the Department of Philosophy at the Moscow State Institute of
International RelationsAndrey Zubov was fired for his article in Vedomosti,
criticising Russian military intervention.
On 2 March, one Moscow resident protested against Russian
intervention by holding "Stop the war" banner, but he was immediately
harassed by passers-by and when the police was arresting him, a woman
offered them fabricating a serious charge (beating up a child) against him;
however, the proposal was rejected by the police. Andrei Zubov, a professor
at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, who compared
Russian actions in Crimea to the Anschluss of Austria, was threatened.
Akexander Chuyev, the leader of the pro-Kremlin Spravedlivaya Rossiya
party, also objected to Russian intervention in Ukraine. Boris Akunin,
popular Russian writer, predicted that Russia's moves would lead to political
and economic isolation.

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President Putin's approval rating among the Russian public has


increased by nearly 10% since the crisis began, up to 71.6%, the highest in
three years, according to a poll conducted by the All-Russian Center for
Public Opinion Research, released on 19 March. Additionally, the same poll
showed that more than 90% of Russians supported unification with the
Crimean Republic.
On 4 March, at press conference in Novo-Ogaryovo President Putin
expressed his view on the situation that if a revolution took place in Ukraine,
it is a new country with which Russia did not conclude any treaties. He
brought up an analogy with events of 1917 in Russia, when as a result of the
revolution the Russian Empire fell apart and a new state was
created. However, he stated Ukraine would still have to honour its debts.
Russian politicians have speculated that there are already 143,000
Ukrainian refugees in Russia. The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign
Affairs refuted those claims of refugees increase in Russia. At a briefing on
4 March 2014, the director of department of information policy of
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Yevhen Perebiynisclaimed that
Russia was misinforming its own citizens as well as the entire international
community to justify its own actions in the Crimea.
On 5 March, an anchor of the Russian-owned international news
channelRT America, Abby Martin, in an interview with Piers Morgan, said
she "did not agree" with how her employer RT was covering the Ukrainian
crisis, but claims RT still supports her despite her differences of
opinion. Also on 5 March 2014, another RT America anchor, Liz Wahl, of
the network's Washington, DC bureau, resigned on air, explaining that she
could not be "part of a network that whitewashes the actions of Putin" and
citing her Hungarian ancestry and the memory of the Soviet repression of
the Hungarian Uprising as a factor in her decision.
In early March, Igor Andreyev, a 75-year-old survivor of the Siege of
Leningrad, attended an anti-war rally against the Russian intervention in
Crimea and was holding a sign that read "Peace to the World". The riot
police arrested him and a local pro-government lawyer then accused him of
being a supporter of "fascism". The retiree, who lived on a 6,500-ruble
monthly pension, was fined 10,000 rubles.
Prominent dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky said that Crimea should
stay within Ukraine with broader autonomy.

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Tatarstan, a republic within Russia populated by Volga Tatars, has


sought to alleviate concerns about treatment of Tatars by Russia, as Tatarstan
is a gas-rich and economically successful republic in Russia. On 5
March, President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov signed an agreement on
co-operation between Tatarstan and the Aksyonov government in Crimea
that implied collaboration between ten government institutions as well as
significant financial aid to Crimea from Tatarstan businesses. On 11 March,
Minnikhanov was in Crimea on his second visit and attended as a guest
present in the Crimean parliament chamber during the vote on the
declaration of sovereignty pending the 16 March referendum. The Tatarstan's
Mufti Kamil Samigullin invited Crimean Tatars to study in madrasas in
Kazan and declared support for their "brothers in faith and blood". Mustafa
Dzhemilev, a former leader of the Crimean Tatar Majlis believes that forces
that are suspected to be Russian forces should leave the Crimean
peninsula, and has asked the UN Security Council to send peacekeepers into
the region.
On 13 March, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a comparison
between Crimea and Kosovo in a phone call with US President Barack
Obama.
On 15 March, thousands of protesters (estimates varying from 3,000
by official sources up to 50,000 claimed by opposition) in Moscow marched
against Russian involvement in Ukraine, many waving Ukrainian flags. At
the same time a pro government (and pro-referendum) rally, occurred across
the street, counted thousands as well (officials claiming 27,000 with
opposition claiming about 10,000).
In
February
2015,
the
leading
independent
Russian
newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported that it obtained documents, allegedly
written by oligarch Konstantin Malofayev and others, which provided the
Russian government with a strategy in the event of Viktor Yanukovych's
removal from power and the break-up of Ukraine, which were considered
likely. The documents outline plans for annexation of Crimea and the eastern
portions of the country, closely describing the events that actually followed
after Yanukovych's fall. The documents also describe plans for a public
relations campaign which would seek to justify Russian actions.
International Response
There has been a range of international reactions to the annexation. A
U.N. General Assembly passed a non-binding resolution 100 in favour, 11
against and 58 abstentions in the 193-nation assembly that declared invalid
Crimea's Moscow-backed referendum. In a move supported by the
Lithuanian President, the United States government imposed sanctions
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against persons they deem to have violated or assisted in the violation of


Ukraine's sovereignty. The European Union suspended talks with Russia on
economic and visa-related matters; and is considering more stringent
sanctions against Russia in the near future, including asset freezes. While
Japan announced sanctions which include suspension of talks relating to
military,
space,
investment,
and
visa
requirements. The EU
Commission decided on 11 March to enter into a full free-trade agreement
with Ukraine this year. On 12 March, the European Parliament rejected the
upcoming referendum on independence in Crimea, which they saw as
manipulated and contrary to international and Ukrainian law. The G7 bloc of
developed nations (the G8 minus Russia) made a joint statement
condemning Russia and announced that they will suspend preparations for
the upcoming G8 summit in Sochi in June. NATO condemned Russia's
military escalation in Crimea and stated that it was breach of international
law while the Council of Europe expressed its full support for the territorial
integrity and national unity of Ukraine. TheVisegrd Group has issued a
joint statement urging Russia to respe ct Ukraine's territorial integrity and for
Ukraine to take into account its minority groups to not further break fragile
relations. It has urged for Russia to respect Ukrainian and international law
and in line with the provisions of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.
China said "We respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial
integrity of Ukraine". A spokesman restated China's belief of noninterference in the internal affairs of other nations and urged dialogue.
National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon of India stated that
Russia has legitimate interests in Crimea and called for "sustained
diplomatic efforts" and "constructive dialogue" to resolve the
crisis. However, the National Security Advisor is not a part of the Cabinet of
India and, as such, Menon's statement was not an official statement issued
by the government of India. However, India subsequently made it clear that
it will not support any "unilateral measures" against Russian government.
"India has never supported unilateral sanctions against any country.
Therefore, we will also not support any unilateral measures by a country or a
group of countries against Russia." Both Syria and Venezuela openly support
Russian military action. Syrian President Bashar al Assad said that he
supports Putin's efforts to "restore security and stability in the friendly
country
of
Ukraine",
while
Venezuelan
President Nicolas
Maduro condemned Ukraine's "ultra-nationalist" coup. Sri Lanka described
Yanukovych's removal as unconstitutional and considered Russia's concerns
in Crimea as justified.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk called for change in EU energy
policy as Germany's dependence on Russian gas poses risks for Europe.

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On 13 March, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Moscow it


risks massive damage to Russia, economically and politically, if it refuses to
change course on Ukraine, though close economic links between Germany
and Russia significantly reduce the scope for Berlin to sanction the Eurasian
giant.
After Russia moved to formally incorporate Crimea, some worried
whether it may not do the same in other regions. US deputy national security
advisor Tony Blinken said that the Russian troops massed on the eastern
Ukrainian border may be preparing to enter the country's eastern regions.
Russian officials stated that Russian troops would not enter other areas. US
Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, NATO's supreme allied commander in
Europe, warned that the same troops were in a position to take over the
separatist Russian-speaking Moldovan province of Transnistria.
On 9 April, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of
Europe deprived Russia of voting rights.
On 14 August, while visiting Crimea, Vladimir Putin ruled out
pushing beyond Crimea. He undertook to do everything he could to end the
conflict in Ukraine, saying Russia needed to build calmly and with dignity,
not by confrontation and war which isolated it from the rest of the world.
UN Resolution
On 15 March 2014 a US-sponsored resolution was put forward to vote
in the UN Security Council to reaffirm council's commitment to Ukraine's
"sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity." A total of 13
council members voted in favour of the resolution, China abstained, while
Russia vetoed the U.N. resolution declaring Crimean referendum, 2014, on
the future of Crimean Peninsula, as illegal.
General Assembly resolution
On 27 March 2014, The UN General Assembly approved a
resolution describing the referendum leading to annexation of Crimea by
Russia as illegal. The draft resolution, which was titled 'Territorial integrity
of Ukraine' was co-sponsored by Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, Lithuania,
Poland, Ukraine and the US. It affirmed council's commitment to the
"sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity of
Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders." The resolution tried
to underscore that the 16 March referendum held in Crimea and the city of
Sevastopol has no validity and cannot form the basis for any alteration of the
status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea or of the city of Sevastopol.
The resolution got 100 votes in its favour, while 11 nations voted against and
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58 countries abstained from the vote. The resolution was non-binding and
the vote was largely symbolic.
Recognition
The vast majority of the international community has not recognized
the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol as part of Russia. Most nations
located in North America, Central America, Europe, Oceania, Africa, as well
as non-former-Soviet-Union Asia have openly rejected the referendum and
the accession, and instead consider Crimea and Sevastopol to be
administrative divisions of Ukraine. The remainder have largely remained
neutral. The vote on United Nations General Assembly Resolution
68/262 (supporting the position that Crimea and Sevastopol remain part of
Ukraine) was 100 to 11 in favour, with 58 states abstaining and a further 24
of the 193 member states not voting through being absent when the vote
took place. The 100 states voting in favour represented about 34% of the
world's population, the 11 against represented about 4.5%, the 58 abstentions
represented about 58%, and the 24 absents represented about 3.5%.
Several members of the United Nations have made statements about
their recognition of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol as federal
subjects of Russia:

Afghanistan
Cuba

Nicaragua

North Korea

Russia

Syria

Venezuela

The position of Belarus is vague: it includes statements made


by Alexander Lukashenko that "Ukraine should remain an integral,
indivisible, non-aligned state" and "As for Crimea, I do not like it when the
integrity and independence of a country are broken", on the one hand, and
"Today Crimea is part of the Russian Federation. No matter whether you
recognize it or not, the fact remains." and "Whether Crimea will be
recognized as a region of the Russian Federation de-jure does not really
matter", on the other hand.

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Three non-UN member states recognised the results of the


referendum: Abkhazia, South
Ossetia,
and Nagorno-Karabakh.
A
fourth, Transnistria, sent a request on 18 March 2014 to join the Russian
Federation following the Crimean example and in compliance with the
Admission Law provisions. On 16 April 2014 Transnistria urged Russia and
the United Nations to recognize its independence. Putin is aware of
Transnistria's recognition request, according to Dmitry Peskov.
Ukraine has been seen as a part of the sphere of the privileged interest
by Russia. In regard to Ukraine, Moscow pursues a modernized version of
Brezhnev Doctrine on limited sovereignty, that dicates that the
sovereignty of Ukraine can not be larger that of the Warsaw Pact prior to the
demise of the Soviet share of influence.

After the collapse of the Soviet union both nations retained very close
ties, however conflict began almost immediately. There were several
sticking points, most importantly Ukraines significant nuclear arsenal,
which Ukraines in the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances
agreed to abandon on the ground that Russia (and other signatories) would
issue an insurance against threats or use of force against the territorial
integrity or political independence of Ukraine. This would prove worthless
in 2014, a second point was the division of the black sea Fleet, Ukraine
agreed to lease the Sevastool port so that the Russian Black sea Fleet could
continue to occupy it together with Ukraine. Later through he 1990s and
2000s Ukriane and Russia engaged in several gas disputes, which started as
early as 1993. In 2001 Ukraine along with Gerogia, Azerbaijan and Moldova
formed a group titled GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic
Development, which by Moscow was seen as a direct challenge to the CIS
and the Russian denominated trade group established after the collapse of
the Soviet Union. Moscow was further irritated by the Orange Revolution of
2004 which saw the Ukranian populist Viktor Yushchenko installed as
president instead of the pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovich. Moreover, Ukraine
also continued to increase its cooperation with NATO, deploying the third
largest contingent of troops to Iraq in 2004, as well as dedicating peace to
NATO missions such as the ISAF force in Afghanistan and KFOR in
Kosovo.

III. Perception
My response to what has been happening in Ukraine and the reactions
of various governments, may depend on how we view the politics of the
region and the moral claims being made. The rule of law is also of direct
relevance, as we believe that preserving law and order in todays complex
and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations
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from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it
whether we like it or not. These words are those of President Putin, written
a few months ago in order to prevent the US, UK and other governments
from intervening in Syria. International law is crucial to the situation in the
Ukraine. It is of particular relevance to the right of self-determination of the
people of Crimea and whether Russia can lawfully intervene on the territory
of Ukraine.
The right of self-determination, as enshrined in the UN Charter and
international human rights treaties, enables the people to determine for
themselves their political, economic, social and cultural status. It has been
applied in recent years in the former Yugoslavia, East Timor and South
Sudan. It is certainly arguable that the people in the Crimea have a distinct
identity and territory, created over centuries and fostered by decisions of the
USSR, Russia and Ukraine. This includes its status as an autonomous region
within the state of Ukraine and by specific agreements about it between
Russia and Ukraine. It is not unlawful for it to have a referendum and
declare itself independent (or that it wishes to merge with Russia), as this
was allowed by the International Court of Justice in its (poorly
reasoned) advisory opinion on the declaration of independence by Kosovo.
However, such a declaration of independence or merging is not
effective in international law by itself. There are two key factors that are
relevant: the actions of the state within whose borders the people live; and
the responses of the international community. In relation to the first factor, if
that state is oppressing the people, discriminating against them, violating
their human rights and not allowing them freely to be involved in the politics
and internal affairs of the state (i.e. to exercise their internal selfdetermination), as was probably the situation in Kosovo, then international
law allows them a range of possible actions, including independence and
merging with another state.
If the people are able freely to participate in governance and are not
being oppressed as a group, then these actions of secession are not lawful.
This was made clear by the Canadian Supreme Court in its advisory opinion
in the secession of Quebec. That Courts view was clear: the people of
Quebec were not denied meaningful access to government to pursue their
political, economic, cultural and social development and so the people of
Quebec do not enjoy a right at international law to effect the secession of
Quebec from Canada unilaterally. They went further to make clear that the
referendum result by itself would have no legal effect on its own without
further negotiation with the people of the rest of Canada (this is also of
relevance to the people of Scotland as they vote in their referendum). The
second factor of the responses of the international community can be
significant in terms of the recognition (or not) of the entity as a state. Indeed,
Russia has not recognized Kosovo as a state.

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The situation in Ukraine is such that the new government is just


starting to be in a position to govern. It is trying to restore law and order. It
has taken no major military or other oppressive actions against the people of
Crimea (or in other areas of Ukraine). There are at this time no clear actions
by it that would be sufficient to justify under international law any
independence or merger with another state by the people of Crimea. Thus
there can be no international legal effect of any independence or merger
declaration that might arise from a referendum.
The right of self-determination does not of itself give rise to a legal
right for a state to intervene in the territory of another state, whether directly
or through private actors. Where a people are being oppressed and force is
being used against them by their own state, it is, I would argue, possible for
them to seek and obtain military assistance of a defensive kind from another
state. This is preferably through a resolution of the UN, as collective action
by a number of states or as part of a self-defence agreement. However, a
unilateral military action where there is no such oppression or force is
unlawful. This was made clear by an independent fact-finding commission
in their report on international law in relation to the military intervention by
Russia in South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia in 2008, which they
considered to be generally contrary to international law.
If Russia, and all other states, are to comply with international law
then they must first allow the new Ukrainian government (whether or not
they are seen as the legitimate government) to resolve the situation in
Crimea and ensure that the people of Crimea are allowed internal selfdetermination. Only if that does not occur then can other possibilities, such
as secession and merging with Russia, be possible lawful responses. In any
event, that decision is one for all the people of Crimea, and not just for those
who are of Russian nationality or heritage (or there only for military
purposes), and should not be subject to military or other pressure by any
other state. After all, if international peace and security is to be maintained,
it must be according to international law, otherwise we begin sliding into
chaos.
The situation in Ukraine is constantly evolving. And for a better
understanding the historical roots of the conflict between Russia and
Ukraine.
It began when the Ukrainian government decided not to sign the
agreement with the European Union back in the fall of 2013. This was not
just a trade agreement, but also a political agreement that committed Ukraine
to adhere to certain European values and principles.
From there the crisis moved very quickly to corruption and regime
change. The demonstrations happened in waves, and started primarily in
Kiev. Most of the protestors were students and young people, although other
regions were represented as well.
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For these protestors, it was an opportunity to fight corruption.


The meetings in Kiev have continued but no longer as demonstrations.
People have come out to support the new government, but they also want to
keep it in check. These activists dont want to delegate all power to the
politicians, but want their voices heard in the discussion. Men are
volunteering to enter military self-defense units.
In the western part of the country, things have quieted down. With the
fall of President Yanukovych, the East has become more disoriented,
because he was their leader. There have been a few deaths in the eastern
cities during this conflict.
First of all, I would not overemphasize the divide. There are
differences, but any large country with diverse regions will have differences
this is only natural.
That said, there are many regions in Ukraine. Scholars may divide
them differently, and some may organize them into seven or eight regions
(or more).
Lets consider three basic regions:
1.

The center, including Kiev. This large swath is what one thinks of
historically as Ukraine. Influences include Christianity from the Byzantine
Empire and the early Slavic alphabet, which are reference points for
Ukrainian
identity.
Around the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, this area was most affected
by the frontier military society called the Cossacks (eastern Slavs). This area
was briefly under the rule of Poland and Lithuania, and was gradually taken
piecemeal by Russia by the end of the eighteenth century.

2.

The west is a much smaller region. It shares many religious and


linguistic influences with the center. Yet for a long period of time (from the
thirteenth to mid-eighteenth centuries), it was controlled by Poland.
Instead of frontier-type development, it was influenced by Polish language,
culture, and Roman Catholicism. After Poland dissolved it was taken over
by the Austrian Empire in the nineteenth century, which meant one could
travel to Italy without crossing any international boundaries. This
strengthened
its
connection
to
Europe.

3.

The southeast is the third region. Asian nomads migrated to this


Steppe, or flat grassland, and the Slavs expanded into this area in the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This region has very little in common
with the West. In the nineteenth century, industry developed widely and
urbanizes the area, attracting Russians.

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The lands natural features, plus the history and the economic development,
all produce these different layers. When you put all this together, you get a
kaleidoscope of experiences.
So why did Russia recently annex Crimea?
This is a complex topic, and I will try to simplify without
oversimplifying. Of course there are variations in beliefs, and Russians dont
all think the same way.
In general, though, Russian understanding is often shaped by
nineteenth-century Russian historiansbefore Ukraine became a modern
nation. These historians created a model that has Russian history beginning
in Kiev. After all, many Ukrainians (except for those in the West) came
under the rule of Russia over the last few centuries.
For many Russians, Kiev is in a foreign country. Its a historical
misunderstanding to have it belong to Ukraine. Its a bizarre notion that the
1991 map shows Ukraine no longer in Russia. So to many Russians,
annexing Crimea is simply repairing a historical wrong.
Its very difficult for many Russians to disentangle their own history
from Ukraines and acknowledge the equality and legitimacy of the
Ukrainian culture alongside their own.
Many Ukrainians have adopted this Russian mentality as their own
too. They want to be urban and sophisticated, learn Russian, and drop their
Ukrainian accent.
There is a whole spectrum of attitudes, identities, and relationships
among Ukrainians. Some are fervent nationalists, and some feel they are
somehow under the wrong influences and would like to be Russians
themselves. And of course there is everything in between.
As always, there is no consensus about what will happen next. The
population in Crimea is mixed, with Tatars (Turkic ethnic groups),
Ukrainians, and Russians all living together. It is unclear how Russia is
going to handle Crimea, given the shifting demographics.
There is concern that Russia will move into eastern Ukraine (where
there still exist confrontations and provocations), though Putin has said he
isnt interested. No one knows.
The competences enjoyed by the Autonomous Republic of Crimea are
already considerable (article 135 and thereafter of its constitution). And no
imminent danger or spontaneous public disorder seems to justify separation
from a weak central State that never oppressed its inhabitants. The
European Union and Russias mutual interests are clear to any observer and
at this stage of globalization, they should be the focus of positive, more
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systematic development. No one wants an exacerbation of tension or a test


of strength. But can Europe negotiate with a government partner that has so
seriously violated the very principles on which it is founded and which is
already directly responsible for over 5,500 deaths. We have to acknowledge
this new danger in the East now and learn the lessons from this so that
peace and the rule of law can prevail. Europes nascent common diplomacy,
its timid attempts to build a joint defense tool will not survive if no response
is made. But beyond this our States are under challenge in the absence of a
credible Russian partner. Their silence would mean their long term exclusion
from the right to regulate security on our continent and to be agents in the
settlement of disputes which, because of the present crisis, will surely occur
in Europe. The response has to be European and defined autonomously. It
cannot just be legal and political because Russian interventionism heralds a
defeat in terms of the law. Europes first lesson is to remember that active
diplomacy cannot just content itself with the law and cannot be undertaken
without hard power. We know this already. The latter demands that it
define its own policy and not always in line with its alliances. In all
likelihood for the Europeans the annexation of Crimea implies that all the
dividends of peace have been cashed in and a new challenge. This must
not weaken their founding belief that the law is the best instrument to settle
relations between States and men.
When Ukraine became independent in 1991, it inherited a nuclear
arsenal from the Soviet Union, which made it the fourth largest nuclear
power in the world. After much persuasion from western countries, in 1994
Ukraine gave up these weapons, and they were removed from the country.
In return, Ukraine was reassured by the leaders of the United States,
Russia, and the United Kingdom of its security, sovereignty, and the
inviolability of its borders. Russia has invaded Crimea, but the United States
and the United Kingdom are still committed to this promise.
Of course, promises may be broken without much reaction. But this
may spark growing concerns about countries not developing nuclear
weapons, which may have grave implications for global security.
The next steps are still unclearwe must wait and see.
Respectfully Submitted.
Batangas City, 27March2015.

AGUILAR-FAYTAREN, MARICEL M.
BSU LAW
M2008-03335

Term Paper: Russians Annexation of Crimea in Ukraine and the Continuation


1
of Cessation of Pro-Russian
Rebels in the East

Term Paper: Russians Annexation of Crimea in Ukraine and the Continuation


1
of Cessation of Pro-Russian
Rebels in the East