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Crimea: A War Fought With International Law

Published: April 10, 2014 (Issue # 1805)



  • The head of Crimeas unrecognized Russian-backed government Sergei Aksyonov in Simferopol, Crimea on Mar. 29.
    Photo: Max Vetrov / AP

International law is theweapon ofchoice inthe Crimea conflict, with adversaries using sections ofthe United Nations Charter like artillery tobolster their own defenses andtarget their opponents weaknesses.

But who will end up onthe right side ofhistory?

Thefact that theinternational community has found itself gripped ina battle forlegal supremacy might suggest that UN Charter drafters left theworld with high hopes forenduring peace but without themeans toachieve it.

But, atthe same time, legal controversies, as vicious as they may be, can inspire sorely needed progress andmodernization within thesphere ofinternational law.

The different sides tothe [Crimea] dispute have armed themselves with legal justifications asign that thelaw is taken seriously andcannot be ignored, said Joseph Davids, alawyer with Studio Legale Ghia inItaly andconsultant forthe UN Food andAgriculture Organization.

Thelegacy left bythe Crimea crisis could prove either beneficial or detrimental. History is rich with examples ofthe good that can come fromdiplomatic discord. Atthe same time, some analysts warn that theactions ofpowerful countries incases such as this one can prove catastrophic. Good or bad, theconflict will have acrucial impact onthe development ofinternational law.

The Beginning

Amid theongoing devastation ofWorld War II, theleaders ofthe Allied forces compromised ona solution that they dreamed would spare future generations thecatastrophic losses they were enduring.

Stalin, Churchill, andRoosevelt met inTehran inlate 1943 with theprimary purpose offorging wartime agreements that would enhance their fight against theAxis powers.

Atthe culmination ofthe four-day conference, thethree leaders signed adeclaration vowing onbehalf ofthemselves andall theUnited Nations tobuild apeace that would banish thescourge andterror ofwar formany generations.

Two years later, as theworld came toterms with its losses, thedelegates of50 nations convened inSan Francisco toformally breathe life intothe UN.

Addressing thefinal session ofthe San Francisco Conference, U.S. President Harry Truman lauded theinitiative as a solid structure upon which we can build abetter world.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 1


Bikers from all around the world will gather to take part in a parade, extreme shows and rock concerts during the International Biker Festival that revs its engines today and runs through Aug. 3 near Olgino Hotel, 4/2 Primorskogo Shosse.


The Peter and Paul Fortress will be turned into an open-air cinema today and tomorrow as part of the 5th International Short and Animation Film Festival. A huge screen across the fortress walls will air short films non-stop with board games, photo sessions and other activities also on offer for visitors. For more information, visit www.opencinemafest.ru



Saturday, Aug. 2


Gatchina Palace Park Museum will host its second annual Night of Light, an impressive audio-visual show across the night sky. Tickets are 600 rubles ($16).


If graphic design is more your thing then check out Illustration Day, where you will be able to visit an exhibition, attend lectures by professionals and even show experts some of your own work. The event starts at noon at Zona Deystvia, 73 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 350 rubles ($10).



Sunday, Aug. 3


History lovers shouldnt miss the chance to see reenactments of World War I battles in Pushkin at noon. Besides exciting war scenes, visitors can enjoy live music, historical costumes, an equestrian show and a fancy-dress parade starting from the Moscow gates.


Garage Sale, the popular and growing flea market where nothing is priced over 500 rubles ($14.11), starts today at noon in Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt. Be sure to get in early to score a bargain. Entry costs 50 rubles ($1.40)



Monday, Aug. 4


Continue the working week with a calm and steady mind with a free yoga lesson at 7 p.m. in the Bukvoyed store at 23A Vladimirsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Aug. 5


Visit The Romanov Dynasty doll exhibition today, where more than fifty porcelain dolls depicting Russian rulers, and made by Olina Ventzel, will be on show. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31 in Sheremetyev Palace, 34 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.



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