Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Invasion of Ukraine on February 24. In the last three months, however, what the West has called a war has been a “special military operation”, which aims to “denazify” the neighboring territory and stop an alleged persecution of Russians in the country.
Despite the bombings, thousands of deaths and millions of refugees, Russia does not legally recognize the military operation as a war. If in practice the Ukrainian panorama would not change so much, in theory the matter already becomes a little different.
According to ESPM-RS professor of international relations Roberto Uebel, there are no great expectations that Putin will declare war on Ukraine, since for the president, military actions in neighboring territory are not an attack.
“[A declaração de guerra] it didn’t happen and I highly doubt it will happen because from the Russian perspective, in the president’s logic, he’s not attacking a foreign state. He is carrying out a military operation in defense of Russian interests, of the Russian population in Ukraine”, tells Uebel to the R7.
For international relations, actions on Ukrainian territory are acts of war, although Putin does not interpret the invasion in this way.
The professor says that a possible declaration of war would force Putin to respect a series of signed treaties that impose limits on the actions of armies in foreign territory.
“When you declare war on a country, one country declares war on another, there are a series of rules to be met. There is even the law of war, which is precisely for the protection of the civilian population, protection of hospitals. In other words, special places to care for the wounded and displaced people.”
Regardless of the Russian interpretation of what the actions in Ukraine are about, crimes allegedly committed by Russian troops will be judged from the war treaties.
“The UN itself is already looking into investigating possible and probable acts of war committed by Russian troops on Ukrainian territory. One of the main consequences of this is already the flow of 8 million Ukrainian refugees which is one of the biggest refugees in history and the biggest since the Second World War”, concludes Uebel.