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To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.
1) “Russia warns US not to provide longer-range missiles to Ukraine; Russia’s foreign ministry says if the US sends Ukraine longer-range missiles, then it would become a ‘party to conflict,'” Al Jazeera (English), September 15, 2022;
2) “Ukraine: Putin’s “red lines” and the “red lines” of the U.N. Charter and international law,” The Trenchant Observer, December 21, 2021;
Vladimir Putin has been adept in using his “red lines” to strike fear into the hearts of Joe Biden and Western leaders that he will be provoked (e.g., to use nuclear weapons) if they are crossed.
It is vitally important for the victory of Ukraine and the West in their war of self-defense against Russian aggression that Putin’s latest threats be ignored.
Ukraine has an absolute right to strike targets in Russia from which armed attacks are being launched against its cities and territory.
The “inherent right” of individual and collective self-dense is a fundamental norm of international law which is also guaranteed by Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.
The “red lines” are the prohibition of the use of force in Article 2 paragraph 4 of the U.N. Charter, and the right of individual and collective self-defense in Article 51 of the U.N. Charter.
Any attack against a state exercising the right of individual or collective self-defense is itself a violation of Article 2 paragraph 4 of the Charter.
Putin’s “red lines” are no more than threats made by a war criminal directing a war of aggression against Ukraine.
What Putin is saying is merely that he may be provoked to escalate his illegal use of force if Ukraine tries to defend iself, e.g., by sending missiles to knock out missile batteries in Russia that are launching attacks against Ukrainian cities and territory.
It is time for the United States and NATO countries to stand up to Putin and defend the real “red lines” that are contained in the U.N. Charter.
Putin is on weak ground here, as the overwhelming majority of countries in the world support these “red lines”.
The U.S. and the West should relax their restrictions on the type of weapons and their use that may be supplied to Ukraine for its self-defense.
If Putin escalates and uses a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine, the U.S. and NATO countries should intervene with conventional military forces against Russian forces in Ukraine, in exercise of their right of collective self-defense.
Real “red lines” like the “red lines” in the U.N. Charter are important and must be defended.
They are the “red lines” of the entire international community, including China, not the arbitrary threats of a war criminal committing the crime of aggression.
See Xi Jinping’s statement of support of Kazakhstan on September 15.
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