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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

Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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