No. 2: Legal and political dimensions of contemporary conflicts in Europe

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    (2016) Petrov, Roman
    Preface to the second issue of the Kyiv-Mohyla Law and Politics Journal.
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    The EU and conflict mitigation in the European neighborhood: a story of a gap between ambition and deeds
    (2016) Novakova, Zuzana; Petrov, Roman
    From Russia’s aggression in Eastern Europe to the aftermath of the Arab Spring in the Southern Mediterranean, conflicts and violence highlight a range of new challenges to the EU’s external policy. There were six territorial disputes among the EU’s neighbours when the European Neighbourhood Policy was launched 12 years ago. None of these has been resolved, and both the Eastern and the Southern neighbours are more unstable and insecure today than they were when the Policy was launched. The EU seems unprepared to deal with these conflicts, as they now exist. This article analyses the European Neighborhood Policy as a framework for EU involvement in conflict prevention, management and resolution. The focus is twofold: first, on the principle of good neighborliness and the pitfalls preventing its effective implementation and, second, on the wider policy and political context of EU actorness in conflict and security matters.
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    The Crimea Crisis from an International Law Perspective
    (2016) Marxsen, Christian
    In February and March 2014, Ukraine was literally overrun by a chain of events that eventually led to Crimea’s incorporation into Russian territory. Crimean and Russian authorities jointly used the internal conflict in Ukraine to deprive the Ukrainian government of its control over Crimea, to hold a so-called referendum, and to declare Crimea’s independence. On the day after independence was declared, Russia formally recognized Crimea as an independent state, and the Crimean parliament requested Russia to admit Crimea to the Russian Federation. Soon after that, the accession treaty was signed, and, within a few more days, all Russian constitutional requirements for Crimea’s accession to the Russian Federation were fulfilled. All parties to the conflict refer to international law to justify their positions. The Crimean authorities and Russia claim that Russia had a legal basis for intervening and that Crimea had the right to secede from Ukraine. Most states, however, reject these claims. Thus, three questions are presented: Was Crimea’s secession lawful under international law? To what extent has Russia violated international law? And what is Crimea’s status? This article addresses these questions. Part 1 briefly describes the relevant circumstances and events leading to Crimea’s secession. Part 2 reviews the legal obligations between Ukraine and Russia concerning territorial integrity and the prohibition against the use and threat of force. Parts 3 and 4 discuss the legality of Russia’s intervention in Crimea and the legality of Crimea’s secession from Ukraine, respectively. Part 5 concludes this article by answering the questions it raises.
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    Crimea’s Annexation in the Light of International Law. A Critique of Russia’s Legal Argumentation
    (2016) Merezhko, Oleksandr
    Crimea’s annexation by Russia violated a whole range of the fundamental principles of international law and international treaties guaranteeing Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the inviolability of its borders, and security. By annexing Crimea, Russia also violated the estoppel principle of law and international morality. In light of the principles of contemporary international law, as well as in light of the Russian doctrine of international law, the arguments put forward by Russia’s President Putin, Russian officials, and international lawyers are untenable and in contradiction of the previous Russian doctrine’s approach towards the relationship between the principles of self-determination and territorial integrity.
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    The Orange and Euromaidan Revolutions: Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives
    (2016) Kuzio, Taras
    Ukraine has experienced two popular uprisings in a decade (2004, 2013–2014), which took place in four different circumstances. Firstly, the Orange Revolution began as a protest against election fraud during an election cycle while the Euromaidan began in protest at the abrupt end to European integration and was outside an election cycle. Secondly, whether the incumbent was leaving office (Leonid Kuchma, 2004) or seeking to be re-elected and remain in power indefinitely (Viktor Yanukovych, 2013–2014) had a direct bearing on regime strategies against the protestors. Thirdly, Russian intervention was limited to finances, the supply of political technologists and diplomatic support in the former whereas during the latter, Russia used its intelligence, special forces and military to intervene in the protests, annex territory and invade Ukraine. Fourthly, the type of leader which was in power (former Soviet nomenklatura versus thuggish and criminalized Donetsk clan) had a direct impact on whether the authorities would seek compromise and non-violence (Kuchma, 2004) or reject compromise and resort to violence through vigilantes, Berkut riot police and the Security Service (Yanukovch, 2013–2014).