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ISSN 2698-6140   ♦  Volume 7   2023/4  ♦  30 pages   pdf-Format   ♦   2023 Aug 9    

Sabine Riedel


The Ukraine War in the Light of International Law, Humanitarian Intervention, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Outsourcing of Foreign Policy, Economic Sanctions and War Economy

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  • UN Prohibition of Violence and Sanctions
  • “Humanitarian” Interventions have Failed
  • IAEA/WHO fail: Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • EU Outsourcing of National Foreign Policies
  • With EU Sanctions into War Economy
  • Summary Theses
  • References


The 30 pages contain: analysis, summary, 13 illustrations and source texts, approx. 223 sources (linked)


The Ukraine war is not only dividing Ukrainians and Russians, and thus two brother nations that have been closely connected for centuries. It is also splitting the European continent, which has grown to-gether again after the Cold War. How could the hopes for more prosperity be so disappointed after only a few decades and enemy images emerge that lead Europe and the entire world towards the abyss of nuclear war? Why has the European peace order, represented by the Organisation for Secu-rity and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe and the European Union, failed? What is the role of the United Nations and the UN Charter’s ban on violence? Is it only today that the UN is so powerless or are we observing the process of disintegration of the current international order?

All these questions are taken up by the media and research institutes but answered with a universal formula: The Russian Federation – or even more briefly: Putin – is solely responsible for the war. Only people who are already in a war situation are satisfied with this. Open or democratic societies look for conflict solutions and ways to peace and prosperity. This contribution also wants to focus, but discuss the question posed from different aspects: Why can wars be waged for decades even though the UN Charter bans declarations of war? Where are the grey areas to bypass European and interna-tional treaties? Does everything automatically lead to a nuclear showdown, this time not in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but in Eastern Europe?

All forecasts fail simply because they cannot really predict human decisions. Viewed positively, this means that responsible politicians are in a position to change course and correct misjudgements. This article elaborates on such scope for political action in the hope that humanity as a whole is more intelligent than the representatives of particular power interests: The UN prohibition of violence is de-fended, among other things against the unsuccessful concept of “humanitarian” intervention and states with a power of disposal over weapons of mass destruction are held accountable. The EU outsourcing of national foreign policy, i.e. its transfer to illegitimate international organisations, is al-so increasingly coming under suspicion, and economic sanctions are perceived and outlawed as economic wars.

US President Harry S. Truman on Dropping the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima:

“Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima, an important Japanese Army base. […] With this bomb we have now added a new and revolutionary increase in destruction to supplement the growing power of our armed forces. In their present form these bombs are now in production.” […].”

In: Truman Statement on Hiroshima, The White House, Washington, D.C., 6.8.1945, Statement by the President of the United States, Atomic Heritage Foundation,

The theoretical framework of this analysis is the international law principle of prohibiting the threat and use of force. Only a few weeks after the end of the Second World War, the founding states of the United Nations agreed on this in the UN Charter (Art. 2.4 UN-Charter, 26.6.1945, see Figure 1). Even though this principle was violated by the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki before it came into force (24.10.1945), it is still part of the core of international law today. Even the five veto powers of the UN Security Council have not been able to change this. The many military operations of the U.S. since 1945 (sueddeutsche. de, 17.5.2010) have not led to a new practice of international law, i.e. to a change in customary international law (, customary law).

The prohibition of the use of force and the obligation of all UN members to respect their equal rights, self-determination, political independence and territorial integrity have made declarations of war since 1945 practically impossible. A violation of these principles can be sanctioned by the UN General Assembly, whether by temporarily suspending membership or expelling the state concerned (see Chapter II, Articles 5 and 6 of the UN-Charter, 26.6.1945, Figure 1). In the literature, it is emphasised that there was no exclusion until 2002, despite various disputes (1974: South Africa; nations, 2023).

It is not mentioned that the UN General Assembly on 25.10.1971 excluded Taiwan (UN-Resolution 2758, 25.10.1971), which until then had been one of the five veto powers of the UN Security Council and had violated the UN Charter in the smallest way. […, S. 2]