UDC 341.31(477)
Biblid: 0543-3657, 73 (2022)
Vol. 73, No 1186, pp. 7-34
DOI: https://doi.org/10.18485/iipe_mp.2022.73.1186.1

Original scientific paper
Received: 12 Oct 2022
Accepted: 17 Nov 2022
CC BY-SA 4.0

CONFLICT IN UKRAINE AND THE RIGHT TO USE FORCE

Dimitrijević Duško (Naučni savetnik, Institut za međunarodnu politiku i privredu u Beogradu, Srbija), dimitrijevivicd@diplomacy.bg.ac.rs

The fact that war is prohibited by international law does not mean that a violation of that prohibition cannot occur. After all, this is evidenced by the practice of international relations after the end of the Cold War, when force was applied randomly, without a valid legal basis, leading to serious political crises and confrontations, causing real humanitarian disasters. Even the latest use of armed force in Ukraine is not without the aforementioned consequences. On the Russian side, the use of armed force in Ukraine, called a “special military operation”, is justified by the exercise of the right to selfdefense in order to prevent a threat that is certain and that comes due to the expansion of NATO to the East, but beyond the borders of Russian state territory. On the Ukrainian side, the use of armed force is considered legitimate self-defense against Russian aggression against its independence and territorial integrity. Since both states call for the lawful use of force by exercising the right to self-defense, the analysis is based on the thesis that the background of this conflict is the competition between the great powers – the United States of America (USA) and the Russian Federation (Russia) – for expansion, i.e. by retaining spheres of influence. The conflict in Ukraine therefore has much deeper roots stemming from the Cold War and the process of disintegration of the Soviet Union (USSR), which seriously disrupted the balance of power in the world. The imbalance has led to global political division and polarization based on competing Eurasian and EuroAtlantic geopolitical strategies. The political redistribution of the world is also present in the armed conflict in Ukraine, which, according to the author, seriously undermines the current collective security system of the United Nations, whose fundamental value is the maintenance of international peace.

Keywords: Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian conflict, United Nations Charter, collective security, prohibition of use of force