International Law Essay

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Legal Analysis of the Annexation of Crimea Cody Shilling Legal Analysis of the Annexation of Crimea In the words of Henry Ward Beecher, “Law represents the effort of man to organize society; governments, the efforts of selfishness to overthrow liberty.” This quote comes to mind when thinking about the rapidly escalating events taking place in Ukraine. Perhaps it was not an “effort of selfishness” as the primary motivation for Russian President Vladimir Putin to authorize a military incursion into Ukrainian sovereign territory, but despite his motives, or motives of the Russian Federation for that matter, this violation of international law must be addressed and analyzed. As a member of the United Nations, Russia is obligated, and in many instances bound, by the UN Charter, treaties, and resolutions. By no means can Russia, or any UN member state, be exempt from following international law by pursuing its own internal or external interests. There are undoubtedly several legal violations and implications of the actions taken by Russia in the past few months in which the UN, United States, NATO, etc. condemn and will not tolerate. No matter how Russia, or pro-Russian Ukrainians, justify or underplay the recent Crimean annexation, the unlawfulness of these actions must be taken into account. This is the case from the moment Russia forces stepped into Ukrainian territory, which is nothing short of an armed invasion, to President Putin’s signature on the Moscow treaty annexing Crimea from Ukraine. Debated by scholars, legal analysts, and politicians alike, there are several concepts and areas of international law surrounding the Crimean annexation and clear violations associated with it. This paper provides an overview of the recent events leading up to Russian annexation of Crimea in Ukraine as well as legal analysis and interpretation of these events. Although

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