• What is Russia’s role in international politics, and should we fear it?
• Are Asian and African countries friends or enemies of Ukraine?
• Why is the decision to arrest Putin historic?
• Crime against humanity or genocide?
The UN is an organization that was created to replace the ineffective and dysfunctional League of Nations. The predecessor of the UN was accused of inaction, connivance of the aggressor, and lack of effective conflict resolution mechanisms. Feel the historical parallels? The current situation in Ukraine is a consequence of violating the security system that developed after the Second World War. Based on the right of the strong, the security system does not ensure the risks of changing regimes within individual countries to aggressive and invasive ones. Russia’s influence within such large international organizations allowed it to provide the necessary pressure to slow down the restoration of justice.
The myth of Russian influence in the world
Russian propaganda in the international arena often tries to show that Russia influences countries that remain neutral toward Ukraine. For example, support for the “global south” and Central Asian republics is often mentioned. At the same time, Professor Garan, analyzing the voting for various resolutions in the UN General Assembly, claims the opposite. Fewer than 10 countries oppose the votes, which are essential for Ukraine. The position of abstaining from voting is a consequence of third factors. Which does not allow us to assert the absolute dominance of Russia. At the same time, it allows and even encourages the spread of pro-Ukrainian communication in Africa and Asia. Here, one cannot mention that Ukraine receives much support from Central Asia, which is considered Russia’s canonical sphere of influence.
The UN is a platform for negotiations or manipulation
In the case of the UN, Ukrainian diplomats are doing solemn work. Since the beginning of the large-scale invasion, the question of Russia’s legitimacy as a permanent member of the Security Council has been actively raised. Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN, Serhiy Kyslytsia, noted that there is no point in working with Russia in any of the legal fields (link). Russia’s succession to the USSR was a political decision, not a legal one. The Russian regime will never implement UN guidelines (even those most countries approve). International law is currently undergoing an incredible test, and to a large extent, its future is determined by its effectiveness.
We see that Russia uses legal instruments quite effectively to reduce the effectiveness of international law. First, this includes abusing the right of veto as a permanent representative of the UN Security Council. In addition, the resolution of spam and the constant propaganda work of Russian diplomats are yielding results. During the presidency of the Russian Federation in the UN Security Council in April 2023, these trends will intensify. However, there is no point in overestimating the threat because the world community is ready for this. At the same time, it is worth mentioning the case when Russia voted for the resolution condemning neo-Nazism. Which has been submitted to the General Assembly for more than 10 years in a row. Amendments were made to this resolution, which mentions that Russia is justifying its aggression in a neo-Nazi vein.
Genocide and the UN
Nevertheless, the Russian influence is present and cannot be denied. We have already written about the incomprehensible, for many, decision of the UN Commission on the absence of signs of genocide in the actions of the Russian leadership. The preliminary report of the commission states not only that there are not enough facts that would allow us to talk about the crimes of genocide. But also indicates that there are also violations of international law among the Armed Forces.
Thus, we see that the commission, trying to be as objective as possible regarding this war, reaches the accusations of the victims of aggression. It should be noted that the published report is preliminary, and the comments on the Ukrainian military were very moderate. In the end, this situation is quite indicative. It once again confirms that diplomatic work and the work of lawyers continue, and the situation will improve over time.
There are changes on the international front
In particular, the warrant for the arrest of Vladimir Putin issued by the International Criminal Court testifies to the improvement of cases in the field of international law. Globally, this did not affect the state of affairs in international politics but marked a significant change in rhetoric. Most countries that supported Ukraine during the large-scale invasion confirmed their positions by declaring their readiness to execute the arrest warrant. For example, the Ministry of Justice of Germany very quickly published a statement about the readiness to implement the decision. However, the German authorities usually maintain a very balanced policy towards Ukraine. At the same time, the authorities of countries loyal to the Russian Federation mostly publicly ignored the International Court of Justice decision. Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow after the announcement of the arrest warrant is the most revealing case.
Nevertheless, it still creates severe limitations for V. Putin in the context of international policy implementation. Interaction with him as an international criminal raises the stakes for neutral countries and deters them from communicating with Russia. Historically, such a decision of the International Court of Justice allows us to talk about Putin’s similarities with Omar al-Bashir (former president of Sudan) and Slobodan Milosevic (former president of Yugoslavia). Although al-Bashir was never detained, this is a real precedent in the legal aspect of the issue. The appearance of the warrant is a strong signal that allows us to understand the road map of further actions of the international community to bring war criminals to justice (here, we are talking not only about Putin but about Russians in general).
Moreover, this warrant was issued in the case of the deportation of children, and such actions, according to the UN convention, are one of the signs of genocide. This is also confirmed by the video of the meeting between Putin and Lvova-Belova on the deportation of Ukrainian children. Which confirms that they are doing it deliberately. Therefore, it can be considered that this is positive in the context of the general responsibility of the Russian regime to the world.
Chaotic nature of Russian communication
Russia is beginning to act in the international arena in line with its domestic propaganda. At first, the decision of the ISS was ignored. However, later there were threats to launch either the “Kinzhal” (a hypersonic missile of the Russian Federation) into the ISS building. Or a nuclear bomb at the country that would arrest Vladimir Putin. It is crucial to understand that the Russian Federation’s foreign policy is losing its systematicity not only in the diplomatic sense but also in the communication sense. Putin’s “visit” to the temporarily occupied Mariupol is also part of this communication. But it did not give the result expected by the propaganda. Such failures occur every time after making similar decisions or making similar statements. Here we can mention the threats against the Minister of Defense of Italy, Guido Crozetto, that sounded from the mouths of Yevgeny Prigozhin and Dmitry Medvedev.
International politics is an inert mechanism that cannot drastically change the vector or manner of its activity. Ukraine needs to recognize its role as an unconditional victim of Russia’s aggression, but hasty decisions can play against it. The insufficient validity of the arguments presented by the international community may, in the future, turn into revanchism and a lack of legitimacy in further interaction with Russia. The work that will be introduced at the international level is the basis of the final decision on the responsibility of the Russian Federation. It is vital for Ukraine that its opinion is considered in the first place, but this work is monotonous and tedious.