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The Crisis in Crimea and the Principle of Non-Intervention

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image of International Community Law Review

During the civil unrest in Ukraine in early 2014 Russia began supplying rebel groups in Crimea with military equipment, deployed military forces into Crimea and encouraged and supported Crimea’s secession from Ukraine. This article claims that Russia’s conduct between February and March 2014 constitutes unlawful intervention and not a use of force. It reaches this conclusion by, first, exploring the meaning and content of the principles of non-intervention and the non-use of force and then, second, by examining Russia’s justifications namely, that it intervened at the request of Ukraine’s competent authorities, to protect endangered Russian citizens and to support Crimea’s claim to self-determination. The overall aim of this article is to highlight the content and meaning as well as the legal boundaries of the principle of non-intervention as an international legal norm distinct from the prohibition against the use of force.

Affiliations: 1: University of Sheffield ; 2: University of Sheffield


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