Ukrainian military forces have engaged the Russian armored column which entered the Ukraine near Luhansk Thursday evening, and according to Kiev destroyed at least part of it.
See Michael Birnbaum, “Ukraine forces destroy most of a column of Russian military vehicles, president says, Wasington Post, August 15, 2014 (2:02 p.m.).
Overt Russian military intervention, as occurred Thursday night when a column of Armored Personnel Carriers and related equipment crossed over the border into the Ukraine near “separatist” controlled areas including Luhansk, represents an overt act of war.
The incursion constitutes a flagrant violation of Article 2 paragraph 4 of the U.N. Charter, which prohibits “the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.”
Russian military intervention in the Ukraine was discussed at the U.N. Security Council meeting on August 8, 2014. The statements of the representatives (see links to Transcript and Webcast, below) are quite revealing in terms of what is going on in the Donbass, and the illegality of Russian military intervention under the U.N. Charter and international law.
See the minutes of the U.N. Security Council meeting on the Ukraine, August 8, 2014, here.
Links to the Webcast of the meeting, in both English and the original language of the speaker, as well as the Press Release on the meeting, are found here.
The Security Council should reconvene in emergency session immediately.
Delegates should set forth clear evidence regarding Russian military intervention in the eastern Ukraine, both by irregular and by regular forces, and table a resolution condemning the Russian invasion.
While Russia will surely veto the resolution, a vote on it will force other members to take a position. China should be lobbied very hard by EU, NATO and other civilized countries to at least abstain on the vote.
Defending Russian aggression in the Ukraine is not in the long-term interests of China, a rising global power with important responsibilities for the maintenance of international peace and security.
Just because Russia has trashed its “brand” through its overt policies of aggression is no reason for China, which has an increasingly attractive “brand” throughout the world, to do likewise.
In the meantime, Western countries should actively press countries which abstained on the last General Assembly resolution on the Ukraine, including the other BRICS countries besides China, to vote in favor of a new General Assembly resolution condemning Russia’s military intervention in the country.
Once this lobbying has lined up the votes in the General Assembly, the Security Council resolution can be put to a vote. Following the Russian veto of that resolution, a similar resolution should be taken up for consideration and put to a vote in the General Assembly.
In the meantime, the U.S. and the EU should adopt further “stage 3” sanctions (including a ban on all existing defense contracts), and begin supplying serious military training, arms and equipment to the Ukraine.
The “containment” of Russia’s xenophobic nationalism and aggression must begin now, in earnest.
All declarations and promises from Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials should simply be ignored, unless promises can be specifically monitored and verified as they are implemented, in real time.
Russian war propaganda should likewise be ignored, except that investigations into whether such “propaganda for war” constitutes an international crime should be opened and vigorously pursued.
The Trenchant Observer
Der Scharfsinniger Beobachter
El Observador Incisivo