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The Maidan Uprising, Separatism and Foreign Intervention

Ukraine’s complex transition


Edited By Klaus Bachmann and Igor Lyubashenko

The current crisis in Ukraine has revealed a striking lack of background knowledge about Ukraine’s history and politics among West European politicians, journalists, intellectuals and even many academics. In this book, experts from Poland, Ukraine, the US, Russia and Western Europe fill the gap between an omnipresent and easily available narrative about Russia and a scarce, scattered knowledge about Ukraine. They show what history and political science can offer for a better understanding of the crisis and provide insights, which are based on reliable Ukrainian, Russian, Polish and Turkish sources and confidential interviews with key actors and advisors. Rather than offering easy answers, the authors present facts and knowledge, which enables the reader to make up his own informed opinion.
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International Law Aspects of the Situation in Ukraine


The recent events in and around Ukraine can be analysed in the perspective of international law. This chapter is aimed at identifying crucial legal contexts, applicable rules and instruments, and, if they exist, international bodies and courts to which parties of the dispute may submit their grievances. Shortcomings of the relevant international law mechanisms are also demonstrated.

The legal construct of aggression

Today’s legal understanding of aggression dates back to several sources: The Kellogg-Briand Pact, the charters of the post-war International Military Tribunals (popularly known as Nuremberg and Tokyo ones) and the Charter of the United Nations. The Kellogg-Briand Pact (its full title is “General Treaty for Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy”), signed in Paris on 27 August 1928,1 declared that the contracting parties condemned a recourse to war for the solution of international controversies of whatever nature or origin and renounce war as an instrument of national policy (Article I). All disputes and conflicts were to be solved only by peaceful means (Article II).

Article VI (a) of the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal determined that the leaders of the Third Reich are subject to criminal responsibility for crimes against peace (this is a broader concept than a crime of aggression), defined as the planning, preparation, initiation and waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances.2 The UN Charter obliges member states to settle their international disputes...

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