The Crimean Crisis
University of St. Thomas Journal of Law and Public Policy, 2014, Forthcoming
45 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2014
Date Written: 2014
Russia's armed intervention in Crimea late last winter, the purported secession of Crimea from Ukraine, and the ensuing Russian annexation of Crimea, are events that ought to be of keen interest to students of international law. The world witnessed the forcible seizure of part of an established European state and the redrawing of its international boundaries - events that call into question the continuing viability of the "Long Peace" that has characterized European affairs since the end of the Second World War. Yet the international institutions created since 1945 to maintain or restore peace or to criminalize and punish aggression proved to be worthless in dealing with the Crimean Crisis. This essay argues that Russia's infractions of contemporary international use-of-force rules were clear; that Russia's legal defenses were unconvincing; that both the secession and subsequent annexation of Crimea were unlawful; but that even the mature and developed body of international law intended to address situations like this provides neither prevention nor significant relief.
Keywords: international law, law of war, Russia, Russian imperialism, Crimea, Crimean Crisis
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation