Russia invasion of Ukraine is not only breaking people, families, infrastructure that took years to build, but it is also a blatant disregard for several international laws and treaties meant to keep the peace of the world.
Some of these laws are between multi-nations, Ukraine and Russia and UN laws that are internationally binding. In this article, we will discuss the 3 key International laws Russia has violated by invading Ukraine and waging war against a sovereign nation.
International laws Russia has breached by invading Ukraine
The following laws are the international charters, agreements and laws that Russia and its surrogates willingly signed up to and have, by it’s invasion of Ukraine, gravely violated.
1. The Minsk Agreements
The Minsk agreement is an undertaking between Russia-backed separatists and Ukraine, in which pledges of ceasefire in the Donbas region were made.
Since Russia is the main backers of the separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, it effectively means the agreement was also a pledge by Russia not to visit aggression on Ukraine. But this was not to be. The Russia invasion of Ukraine on 22nd February, 2022 is therefore in violation of the letter and spirit of the Minsk agreements.
2. Crimes against peace – International Military Tribunal
The Nuremberg charter that establishes the International Military Tribunal explicitly states that: “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of war crimes, crimes against humanity”
By this wording, the war in Ukraine which was planned, prepared and waged by Russia, constitute a violation of this charter and the atrocities being witnessed in Ukraine could constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.
3. The UN Charter
It must be remembered that the main purpose for the formation of the UN was to prevent future wars following World War 2. The UN charter requires that, member states commit to respecting the sovereignty of countries and the territorial rights and integrity of every country.
Russia broke this rule by first annexing Crimea. The war its waging in Ukraine also constitute a violation of the UN charter which states that “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.”
What UN can do in Russia war in Ukraine
To be blunt, the United Nations is almost toothless when a permanent member of the security council is the one breaching the rules. This is why many have been calling for reforms to ensure that the veto power is not used to render the UN powerless as has often been the case.
For now, any resolution to get the UN to step in, or even to condemn Russia’s war in Ukraine will be thwarted by the veto power of Russia.
Effectively, the United Nations role in helping the people of Ukraine in this war will be reduced to humanitarian assistance and empty condemnation by officials of the UN.
What NATO can do to help Ukraine amid Russia invasion
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO is the biggest military organization in the world, consisting of the military power of US, EU and other powerful nations. Unfortunately, since Ukraine is not a member, NATO is not obliged to come to its aid to fight off Russia.
Article 5 of the NATO treaty states that an attack on one is an attack on all. Any NATO military presence in Ukraine in the war will be seen as aggression by Russia, which could throw the world into another world war, with the possibility of the deployment of nuclear weapons.
With this in mind, all NATO can do is to clandestinely supply weapons and ammunition to the Ukrainian army and assist with other logistics and intelligence. NATO boots cannot be on the ground. It’s too much of a risk to take for a non-NATO member.
What US can do to help Ukraine fight Russia
The worlds most powerful country, the United States and Russia are perhaps the biggest rivals in the universe and any US boots in Ukraine, again, will be considered an act of aggression and may lead to unwanted retaliation.
Besides, the US has learned its lesson in Iraq and recently, Afghanistan, and will not be sending American soldiers to fight a war that’s not theirs.
What the US can do to help Ukraine, however, is to help with money, technology, military equipment among other logistics to support the Ukrainian army and people.
The number of International laws Russia has breached by invading Ukraine is an indictment on the enforcement mechanism put in place by the organizations meant to be custodians of world peace. The UN must see reforms that ensures that, when any of the permanent members is the aggressor, they don’t get to escape justice by vetoing decisions.
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