Aggression against Ukraine: Territory, Responsibility, and by Thomas D. Grant (auth.)

By Thomas D. Grant (auth.)

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Thus, “the sending by or on behalf of a State of armed bands, groups, irregulars or mercenaries, which carry out acts of armed force against another State” of gravity sufficient to amount to one of the other enumerated examples of aggression itself constitutes aggression (Article 3(g)). Though no hierarchy is necessarily to be inferred from the structure of Article 3, the first subparagraph (of seven) specifies as an act of aggression: The invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State or part thereof.

Chapters 1 and 2 considered Russia’s legal arguments, which at least roughly fit within the confines of modern international law. Chapter 8 turns to Russia’s more problematic claim. Russia says that its conduct in Ukraine is comparable to NATO’s intervention in Kosovo (1999) and the Coalition’s intervention in Iraq (2003). Moreover, Russia suggests that the earlier interventions have overturned the limits on use of force and rendered the principle of territorial integrity obsolescent as against certain putative historical rights.

17 The definition of aggression as the General Assembly eventually adopted it (by GAR 3314 (XXIX) of December 14, 1974) indicates a wide range of acts. It indicates relatively transitory acts—such as bombardment of one State’s territory by the forces of another (Article 3(b)). It also encompasses intrusions into the territory of the State by forces other than the regular armed forces of the aggressor. Thus, “the sending by or on behalf of a State of armed bands, groups, irregulars or mercenaries, which carry out acts of armed force against another State” of gravity sufficient to amount to one of the other enumerated examples of aggression itself constitutes aggression (Article 3(g)).

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