U. N. Security Council meets on Ukraine (with video links to webcast); Medvedev insinuates world community will accept further Russian military intervention in the Ukraine; Russian “President” of “Donetsk People’s Repiblic” resigns in favor of Ukrainian deputy


Medvedev’s Remarks

Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency reported today on Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev’s comments in Russian military intervention in Georgia in 2008, insinuating that the international community would similarly accept a further military intervention in the Ukraine.

His remarks were reported as follows:

MOSCOW, August 08, /ITAR-TASS/. The world community was wise and strong enough to understand Russia’s actions during Georgia’s aggression against South Ossetia back in August 2008, and now the region is a territory of peace, Russian Prime Minister Dimuitry Medvedev wrote on his Facebook account on Friday.

“Six years ago, Georgia unleashed a war against South Ossetia delivering air strikes at peaceful Tskhinval. Its key goal was to annex South Ossetia,” he wrote. “On those days, I had to make one of the most difficult decisions in my entire life and declare a peace-enforcement operation in Georgia.”
“Now we see that it was the only right decision,” Medvedev went on. “Two new states – South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which was involved in that conflict, emerged on the world map.”

“However, six years ago, our recognition of these states caused strains in Russia’s relations with the West, but back then the world community was wise and strong enough to understand Russia and to show respect to our position,” he noted. “As a result, peace has been reigning in Abkhazia and South Ossetia for six years.

Medvedev’s statement is significant for two reasons.

First, it follows a pattern by Russia of well-orchestrated moves as part of a propaganda campaign to lay the basis for military intervention.

Second, it is suggestive of just how delusional Vladimir Putin’s thinking is vis-avis the consequences for Russia of a further military intervention in the Ukraine.

The West needs to pierce Putin’s delusional bubble.

To do so, it should:

(1) Immediately prepare for implementation of a broader array of “stage 3” sanctions to be imposed on Russia, in the very near future, in the light of its continued support of the “separatists” in the Donbass with sophisticated air defense systems, arms and materiel, and special operations and irregular forces under Moscow’s direction and control;

(2) Decide upon, on an urgent basis, and immediately begin forward deployment of large numbers of NATO troops to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and Romania;

(3) Provide the Ukraine with military assistance and sophisticated equipment, and not just ready-to-eat meals and socks, beginning immediately.

Replacement of Russian Citizen By Ukrainian Deputy as “president” of the “Donetsk People’s Republic”

Connecting the dots, the resignation of the self-denominated president on the “Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Borodai, by his Ukrainian deputy, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, corrects the obvious weakness in a probable Kremlin strategy of having the President of the Donetsk People’s Republic appeal to Russia for “humanitarian intervention” (unilateral and by miltary means) in order to protect the population of Donetsk and Luhansk (Lugansk, in Ruusian) from the attacks and humanitarian consequences of the Ukrainian forces’ efforts to retake these two “separatist” strongholds.

Wikipedia describes the bew president as follows:

Aleksandr Zakharchenko
Александр Захарченко (in Russian)
Олександр Захарченко (in Ukrainian)

Aleksandr Vladimirovich Zakharchenko (Russian: Александр Владимирович Захарченко, Ukrainian: Олександр Володимирович Захарченко; born 1976, is the current Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic that declared its independence from Ukraine on 12 May 2014. He succeeded Alexander Borodai on 7 August 2014 who became his Deputy Prime Minister.

For revealing information on the backgrounds and close ties to Russia of other “separatist” leaders, see

Harriet Salem, “Who’s Who in the Donetsk People’s Republic,” VICE News, July 1, 2014.

Perhaps in Moscow they have realized that the international law argument supporting intervention to protect cultural nationals will not receive any support fromother counties, and decided to use a “humanitarian intervention” justification in the event regular Russian forces intervene in the Donbas (Donbass in Russian, referring to the Donets Basin).

U.N. Security Council Meeting (August 8, 2014)

Meanwhile, Russian diplomatic efforts to build support for “humanitarian intervention” continue, while it is unclear whether America’s multilateral diplomacy reaches beyond the U.N Security Council.

The Security Council met this morning, on August 8, 2014, to discuss the situation in the Ukraine.

The wecast, in English, is found here.

The webcast, in the original language of each speaker, is found here.

The speech of the representative of the United Kingdom, is found here.

The U.N Security Council Press Release of August 8, 2014 (Doc. SC/11516), containg sumaries of the briefings and the interventions by the representatives, is found here.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.