Category Archives: Ukraine

The Kosovo Precedent and what it means for Donbass and the rest of the world!

A Precedent is in most legal systems a binding ruling by an authorized Higher court which sets a framework for future cases with identical or at least very similar conditions and circumstances. Most published Precedents consist of the ruling itself and a detailed explanatory annotation to how and under which conditions this ruling should apply to future cases. A formal Precedent is seen as the application of the applicable laws and rules to a particular combination of conditions and circumstances. In future cases, the parties involved can plea to have this Precedent applied to the case at hand, or of course, argue that conditions and circumstances differ to the extend that this Precedent should not apply to this particular case.

In principal, a Precedent is valid until it is either overruled by a higher legal authoritative institution or when a Precedent is developed which specifies further conditions and circumstances to which it should apply. Depending on the legal system, the authoritative value Precedents can vary but most countries only accept rulings by Higher Courts as binding authoritative Precedent, referred to as Case Law. Rulings by Lower or Common Courts can be applied to similar cases but have no binding authoritative value, meaning that they are not binding for the Courts.

Beside the legal way of creating and applying Precedent Rulings and Cases, there is also the practical variation of Precedent Cases. In such practical Precedents, there is no actual ruling by a Court on the particular case. What is referred to as the Precedent is the mode of operation, actions and activities or lack thereof by a certain party under certain circumstances and conditions which would, following the principals of the Legal application of Precedents, also apply to other parties which conducted in the same manner and under the same or similar conditions and circumstances. Although such practical Precedents are not documented and annotated, it is common practice to argue that when Party A can or can not, then Party B can or can not as well under the same conditions.

What is commonly referred to as the “Kosovo Precedent”, actually consists of 3 components:

  1. The advisory opinion on the Unilateral Declaration of Independence by Kosovo by the International Court of Justice.
  2. The practical Precedent created by the deployment and use of foreign military force to implement the Unilateral Declaration of Independence by Kosovo.
  3. The practical Precedent created limiting the jurisdiction of the responsible Tribunal to the native forces, individuals and authorities involved in the conflict and thereby excluding the foreign forces involved in the conflict from the jurisdiction of the responsible Tribunal.

Continue reading The Kosovo Precedent and what it means for Donbass and the rest of the world!

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The Odessa Massacre – How History repeated itself!

When Nazi-Germany attacked Europe, it had clearly separated strategies for Western Europe and Scandinavia on the one hand and Eastern Europe on the other hand. The Western European Nations were to be conquered and submitted under the rule of German Supremacy and cleansed of all unwanted populations, the so called “subhumans”. The strategy of Nazi-Germany for Western Europe and the Scandinavian countries was based on the believe that the population would rapidly accept the German rule and the Arian-supremacy. For Western Europe and Scandinavia, Nazi-Germany set out these objectives:

  • Cleans all countries of unwanted “subhuman” population.
  • Submit France, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Scandinavia in a Blitz-Krieg and place these countries under German ruling with focus on acceptance of being part of the 3rd Reich.
  • Defeat England within 6 months.

For Eastern Europe, Nazi Germany set out an entirely different strategy. Eastern Europe was what Nazi-Germany considered “Lebensraum”, badly needed place to extend the 3rd Reich eastwards and benefit from its fast agricultural potential, resources and workforce. After concurring the Eastern countries, the intention of Nazi-Germany was to have the Slavic race serve the Nazis as labor force. Hitler and his likes determined that to submit the Slavic populations and countries, they would have to achieve the following major objectives:

  • Cleans Slavic countries of unwanted “subhuman” population.
  • Reduce the Slavic population to the required amount as workforce.
  • Defeat the strongest opponent in Europe: The Soviet Union.

These different objectives explain the brutality with which Nazi-Germany and its Allies operated in Eastern-Europe and the parts of the Soviet Union it conquered in the first year of their eastbound quest. The further east the Nazi-German troops wend, the harder the unbridled brutality against the population became, reaching the climax in Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. And puzzling in any way imaginable, the further east the Nazi-Germans and Allies conquered countries, the stronger the propaganda of “liberators from the Soviet Union” seemed to work. Especially in Western-Ukraine, the Nazi occupiers were welcomed and millions joined the armed forces as volunteers. Continue reading The Odessa Massacre – How History repeated itself!

Gorlovka or what is left of it

Last week I was planning to write about Gorlovka, one of many friendly places I visited during the summer of 2012. Not a big city with flair and extravaganza and no ambition to become such a place. Just a typical town for this region. Schools, small and large businesses, students, bars, restaurants, churches, a famous cathedral. Nothing out of the ordinary and still very special. Special because the place is filled with friendly people. Or to be more precise, was filled with friendly people. Since the uprising in South-East Ukraine against the regime in Kiev, Gorlovka has been the center of war. Shelling of houses, buildings, infrastructure and even churches has become an almost daily routine. In the past days, the violence against this once peaceful town has escalated again and lives were lost, again. Children died and others were badly wounded.

I wanted to call a friend’s friend of whom I know he still has family living in Gorlovka but then my blood froze and I feared to hear bad news again. During my trip in 2012, I met so many friendly people of whom I don’t even know now if they are still alive. One evening, we ended up in a bar and watched the football game of the European Championships. We had a couple of beers, we ate some local food, we talked with many people. About the game, about the weather, about my wheelchair, about music. Smiling grim looks when I told them my father was Czech because the Czech Republic won the finals from Russia in hokey, followed by becoming “nascha Pavel” and a round of free beer when I added that my mother was Russian. Explaining that some day I will learn to speak Russian and the challenge to start right there at that moment. My friend from Moscow and our exchange student from Lugansk joking that they should learn to speak proper Russian themselves first and as always the classical joke “visit Russia before Russia visits you”.

Continue reading Gorlovka or what is left of it

Novorossiya – The unkept promise!

During his televised annual Q&A on 17 April 2014, Mr. Putin spoke about the transition of Crimea to Russia and appraised the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation for their role in securing the referendum on the Autonomous Republic. By this statement, Mr. Putin openly admi antted what everybody already knew, the “little green men”, by the Russian majority of Crimea affectionately called Polite People”, were Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and Mr. Putin was very proud of them, grateful for their contributions to bringing Crimea back home. Back from Stepmother Ukraine to the loving arms of Mother Russia.

In that same televised session, which had a record length of almost 4 hours, Mr. Putin also addressed Novorossiya. The south-eastern area of Ukraine with their historical and cultural ties to Russia. The population of Novorossiya feeling, breathing, thinking, speaking and even dreaming Russian. The Russians in Ukraine, Donbass and beyond. Mr. Putin spoke about them, spoke to them, spoke with them. During days filled with fear for what would come from the nationalist who seized power in Kiev, Mr. Putin spoke to them. Mr. Putin, the President of Russia, much more their President than anyone in Kiev can and will ever be.

Mr. Putin also addressed Russian’s right and obligation to protect those who feel Russian, no matter if they are living within the borders of the Russian Federation or not. All this, in one moving televised interview, changed fear of what would come from Kiev in to hope of what would come from Moscow. The message that the population of Novorossiya understood was crystal clear: “Say the word, express your wish and we will protect you. Just like we did in Crimea.”

Continue reading Novorossiya – The unkept promise!

A proposal for Ukraine

Dear Ukraine,

I have a constructive proposal for you and I would really like you to consider this. Why don’t we talk about this as grownups and make this happen.

Since your last revolution, you have turned away from your past as the second largest Soviet Republic in the Soviet Union. Taking down Soviet Memorials and Monuments, you want to show the world that is not how you want to be seen by your new partners. That is ok in a democratic world, every country has the right to work on their image and decide for themselves how they want to present themselves.

And it is nothing uncommon. The United States don’t want to be reminded of the atrocities they committed in the Vietnam War, for example. The Netherlands dissociate themselves from being the inventor of Slavery and Apartheid. Modern Germany has worked hard to move away from their past as starting 2 World Wars and being responsible for the Holocaust. So you too have the right to move away from your recent past and history.

In your current narrative, you were forced into being the second largest Soviet Republic and you honor those who fought side by side with Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union as Heroes of your Nation. That is how strong you want to dissociate yourself from your Soviet past. So why don’t we do this completely, Ukraine? We free you from your past as Soviet Republic.and those who don’t want to be part of you are freed from you in the same deal. That is a Win-Win for all involved!

Continue reading A proposal for Ukraine

Why the OSCE Mission needs a proper mandate…

The Minsk II Protocol is based on 3 initial steps:

  1. Implementation of unconditional ceasefire for the entire conflict zone.
  2. Withdrawal of heavy weaponry to place them outside of their operational range from the line of conflict.
  3. Monitor implementation of Point 1 and Point 2 by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission for Ukraine.

For the OSCE to be able to monitor the situation and report adequately, the following is required:

  1. Unrestricted and safe access to the entire area of conflict and the sectors from which the heavy weapons are to be withdrawn.
  2. Clear and undisputed definition of the sectors of withdrawal and the type of weaponry which needs to be withdrawn, if not all.
  3. Adequate manning and equipment matching the area which needs to be monitored.

The ceasefire is relatively simple and straight forward. Just CEASE FIRE and you are all set. That is the theory and the many reports about ongoing incidents and fighting in the conflict zone make clear that neither party is upholding the ceasefire completely and all parties are accusing the other side of breaching the ceasefire.

Continue reading Why the OSCE Mission needs a proper mandate…