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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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Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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