Russian Intervention in Crimea and the Question of Responsibility to Protect

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Virginia Tech

The Russian Federation has claimed that its unilateral intervention in Crimea represents a case for Responsibility to Protect. This study investigates how the international community reacts to and determines a case of Responsibility to Protect. Three criteria to justify use of Responsibility to Protect are created from an analysis of international deliberations in previous interventions in Côte d'Ivoire (2010), Libya (2011), and Syria (2011). The Russian Federation involvement in Kosovo is analyzed in order to better understand its stance regarding intervention in Crimea. Classification as Responsibility to Protect requires (1) the case must have confirmed human rights violations; (2) the state must demonstrate that the human rights violations are more important than the state's sovereignty; and, (3) the state must use the multilateral system in the United Nations Security Council. The Russian Federation's intervention in Crimea constitutes a case for Responsibility to Protect to a minimal extent as their case did not have confirmed human rights violations and did not intervene multilaterally through the United Nations Security Council.

Responsibility to Protect, Unilateral Intervention, Crimea, Russian Federation