The Use of Force by the Russian Federation in Crimea
24 Pages Posted: 4 May 2015
Date Written: November 3, 2014
This paper addresses the use of force by the Russian Federation in Crimea. In the first section, it shows that the two reported instances of the use of force (the use of units deployed in Crimea under the agreements with Ukraine and the presence of so called ‘little green men’) both qualify as prima facie violations of the prohibition of the use of force as well as acts of aggression and, when assessed in combination, an armed attack. In the second section, the paper discusses legal grounds that the Russian Federation has, albeit usually implicitly, put forward to justify these prima facie violations (self-defence, intervention by invitation, the use of force in support of self-determination, protection of nationals/humanitarian intervention), concluding that none of them is truly convincing.
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