Uploaded by aditya mohan


 Overview of the situation in Ukraine:
 On February 24, 2022, Russia started an military invasion of Ukraine,
where President Vladimir Putin claimed that it was only a “special military
operation”( it’s clearly a WAR), which lead to deaths of hundreds of Ukrainian
civilian deaths and casualties while forcing others (more than half a million) to
to bordering nations (including Poland, Romania, Hungary, Moldova, and
 This conflict can be related back to the year 2014, with the revolution of dignity
( also known as the maidan revolution) where there were clashes between
protesters and the security forces in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv resulting in the
ousting of elected President Viktor Yanukovych and the overthrew the Ukrainian
government. This was because President Viktor Yanukovych decided not to sign
a political association and free trade agreement with the European Union (EU),
instead choosing closer ties to Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union while the
Ukrainian parliament had overwhelmingly approved of finalizing the agreement
with the EU. It is said that this decision choice was also partly due to Russia’s
continued pressure on Ukraine to reject the agreement and also Russia's
unnecessary involvement in Ukraine's internal affairs. Tensions also escaladed to
war like situation when Russia successfully annexed Crimea.
 A reason to clearly identify Putin’s motive through invasion of Ukraine is seen
through his relationship to Viktor Medvedchuk, who is a Ukrainian businessman
and politician, and acted Putin’s eyes, ears and influence in Ukraine until he was
charged with treason and placed under house arrest. But in the ongoing war, Putin
views Viktor Medvedchuk as a likely figure to sit in the position of the head of
the state in Ukraine.
 Another potential reason for the war is justified through the fact that Putin does
not see the government in Ukraine as legitimate nor Ukraine as a sovereign nation.
HE also does not support NATO’s increased eastward expansion, as Russia
recognizes this as a threat to its security and hence has repeatedly forced both
NATO and Ukraine into ensuring that Ukraine does receive membership in
NATO. (Seen in his speech on February 21)
 In an effort to justify the invasion, President Putin, claimed that “his goal was to
protect people subjected to bullying and genocide and aim for the demilitarization
and de-Nazification of Ukraine.”
 In reaction to the Ukrainian invasion by Russian force, US, UK and EU nations
have imposed economic sanctions on Russia which abolish any free trade
with Russia and ban on imports of Russian goods and services. Moreover, US,
UK and EU countries have also blocked any financial assets of Russian
government and individuals through blocking Russian banks from SWIFT,
preventing any global transactions from happening. Even companies like Apple
have stopped operations in Russia where Russian citizens are faced with high
rates of inflation and interest rates (reaching nearly 20%) and also depreciation of
the Russian rubble.
Putin justified his invasion by claiming that Ukraine was not a “real” state. On
Feb. 21, the day Putin recognized two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine as
independent entities and then ordered Russian troops there to “maintain peace,”
he accused Ukrainian leaders of having “replaced the real cultural, economic and
social interests of the people and Ukraine’s true sovereignty” with a corrupt and
“corroded Ukrainian statehood.”
A major concept that relates to this issue is
the concept of sovereignty, specifically
external sovereignty.
 External sovereignty: It refers to the
ability of states to act independently in
the face of external forces, moreover it
also identifies a countries right to be free
from any external inferences into it
domestic issues, that challenge the rights
and freedom of a nation to have absolute
control over its own territory.
In this case we have to consider that
President Vladimir Putin never recognized
Ukraine as a independent sovereign nation.
Russian troops invasion into Ukraine poses a
threat to and is a blatant violation of their
territorial sovereignty. It also contrasts with Putin’s claims of noninterference in
countries’ internal affairs. While Putin justifies his invasion through his claims about
performing “peacekeeping duties” while Ukraine and western nations will view this
as an attempt of occupation of the region.
There has been a violation of human rights
from both the Russian and Ukrainian sides.
 Ukrainian side:
Human Rights
The right to freedom of choice and
conscience has been violated with the imposition of the martial law , which bans men
aged 18 to 60 from leaving the country and makes it compulsory for them to be a part
of the war in defending the Ukrainian front from Russian troops. It is also true that
Ukrainian government has also failed to protect the security of citizens.
 Russian side:
Russia is condemned of war crimes and violating international laws and treaties.
Russia violated the Geneva
Conventions, which states that
all parties involved in armed
conflict have obligations to
distinguish between civilians
and combatants in order to
protect civilians and noncombatants from hazards of war.
Russia also violated the Minsk
agreement(attempt to secure a
ceasefire between the Ukrainian government and Russia-backed separatists in the east
of Ukraine) and the UN charter(UN Charter prohibits the use of military force against
another state). The freedom of assembly, freedom from arbitrary arrest and freedom of
expression. In relation to these laws Russia is also accused of using harsh measures
(including arbitrary arrest) and heavy-handed police tactics to suppress peaceful
protests. Russia also violates Ukrainian citizens right to adequate standard of living
and the right to education. These rights are being violated through repeated shelling in
areas, missile attacks, orphanages and schools being targeted in attacks in contested
regions of Ukraine.
The conflict mainly involved use of hard power by a
country in order to achieve its goals Use of hard power- a coercive approach that
involves the use of military power or economic
incentives to influence another actors
 Russian side(Regional level
of analysis)- Russia has been
accused for the use of hard
power, through the use of
military force against
Ukraine. Fears increased
after the shelling of a
Ukrainian kindergarten and
when separatist leaders urged
the evacuation of civilians
from breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine. The fears are also growing as
President Putin put nuclear weapons on high alert near the Ukrainian borders.
 Nations worldwide(US, UK, EU, Japan, Australia etc., Looking thorough the
international level of
analysis)- Nations worldwide
have imposed economic
sanctions on Russia which
bans trade with Russian
companies and any foreign
company. Due to economic
sanctions Russia’s economy is
struggling, with the Russian
ruble is depreciating in
value(The ruble fell about
30% against the dollar). With
the economic sanctions the central bank of Russia raised the interest rates from
9.5% to 20%, to protect the economy from the effects of the sanctions.
The invasion of Ukraine
interestingly covers two types of
violence's caused by Russian
Violence and Conflict
troops- There is both the
existence of direct violence
Conflict Conflict
through military face-offs in the
regions of Donetsk and
Brovary, where there have
been reports of bombings of
hospitals, nurseries,
orphanages and schools.
These repeated targeting of
these essential facilities by
the Russian troops also
signifies the level of
structural violence in Ukraine,
where Russia is deliberately
targeting Ukrainian citizens
and destroying essential and basic needs where there have been reports of shortages of
food, essential medical equipment and medicines. We can also see a domino effect of
the increasing violence in Ukraine on global food supply, as Ukraine is a major
supplier of wheat and the ongoing violence in the country is causing global wheat
prices to rise substantially, eventually
causing some people being unable to
afford the high prices of items
produced with wheat.
We can also identify two major types
of conflicts that come into play which
are- territorial and interest- based
conflicts. Territorial conflict as we
know that President Putin never
recognized Ukraine as a sovereign
nation and his ultimate plan would be
to have full legitimate control over
Ukraine, this invasion can also be
seen through the lens of interestbased conflict as Ukraine is home to
abundant reserves of value-able
minerals including coal, iron ore,salt, manganese, sulfur, titanium, mercury and huge
blocks of oil and gas. These resources may help justify the reason for invasion of
Ukraine by Russian troops, as these resources are highly value-able and high in
demand in the global economy.
The concept of interdependence can bee
seen for both the political actors Ukrainian side- With countries in EU
and UK, US and Australia imposing
sanctions on Russian goods and services
after invasion by Russian troops.
Interdependence is also seen through the increased support by other nations
where Germany has sent their top technologically advanced military weapons,
followed by US and UK. Whereas Poland has supported Ukraine by opening
borders to refugees and providing health care facilities to the wounded. We also
got to consider that Ukraine is
one of the top producers and
exporters of wheat and with
the ongoing war is having an
impact not only on the regional
but also the international level,
with rise in cost of wheat(due
to shortages).
 Russian side- With Belarus
supporting Russia in
conquering Ukraine by
allowing Russian troops to
pass through their country to
the borders between Belarus
and Ukraine giving Russia a strategic advantage as they are able to invade from 3
different fronts(Russian, Belarus, Crimea). Russia’s relation with China is also
considered as interdependence as China is still heavily reliant of oil and gas,
while China abstained from voting in the UN, China signed a oil and gas deal of
around $200 billion with Russia.
 It would be interesting to see how EU nations are able to decrease their
dependence on Russian oil and gas.
Development refers to sustained increased in
the standards of living in a country. In the
situation the levels of development in both the
countries have decreased dramatically(in
measuring development it is better to use
composite indicators like HDI rather than singular indicators like GDP as composite
indicators take into account a variety of measures ranging from literacy rates, to
health care, etc.) Development in Russia(National
level of analysis)- Overall the
Russian economy is suffering
drastically due to the harsh sanctions
imposed by most of the nations
worldwide. This leads to a lower
level of standards of living seen
through lower levels of Human
Development Index(HDI),
increasing inequality in the
country( using Gini coefficient
value), decreasing levels of
education and higher levels of
unemployment as foreign firms shut
down production in the country.
 Development in
Ukraine(National level of
analysis)- Similar to Russia, the
levels of development and standard
of living have severely depleted in
Ukraine. Mainly seen through
infrastructural damage, lower
levels of Human Development
index(HDI), higher illiteracy
rates(due to bombings of schools
and orphanages). We must not look
at the increase in GDP as an
indicator, rather we should look where the money is being spent which is clearly
being spent on increasing military forces and purchase of military weapons. This
is driving away essential money needed to rebuild sectors like health,
education,etc. Which may also inhibit long term human development.
 Development
worldwide(International level
of analysis)- The overall
development world wide
decreases as the prices of goods
and services in the economy
increases. European countries
are able to experience a larger
effect as some of the countries
are heavily reliant on Russian
oil and gas to provide for
heating in their homes.The
overall world economy suffers
from higher inflation rates and
also spending being diverted
from sectors promoting grater
human development to sectors
such as defense due to rising
risk of Russia using of nuclear
weapons and similar invasions
into other bordering nations.
We can also consider the roles
of MNC’s in the international
level of analysis where
companies like Apple,
McDonald, H&M, Google,
Meta, etc, have stopped their
operations and production
facilities in Russia amid the
invasion. We could also look at Elon Musk’s, Star-link which is providing
satelli8te TV to the Ukrainian citizens.
Conflict between Turkey and Kurdish groups
 Overview of the situation(Context+ Current situation):
The Kurdish–Turkish conflict is an armed conflict between Turkey and
various Kurdish insurgent groups whose motives are to either have a separation
from Turkey and establish an independent Kurdistan or secure autonomy and
greater political and cultural rights for Kurds inside the Republic of Turkey
Kurds comprise nearly one-fifth of Turkey’s population of seventy-nine
million. The PKK, established by Abdullah Ocalan in 1978, has waged an
insurgency since 1984 against Turkish authorities for greater cultural and
political rights, primarily with the objective of establishing an independent
Kurdish state. The ongoing conflict has resulted in nearly forty
thousand deaths.
Turkey wants to push back Syrian Kurdish militia called the People's Protection
Units (YPG)from its border as Turkish leaders view them as a terrorist
The PKK's presence in Iraqi Kurdistan has resulted in the Turkish Armed
Forces carrying out frequent ground incursions and air and artillery strikes in the
region, and also a similar situation in the Syrian Kurdistan side.The conflict has
cost the economy of Turkey an estimated $300 to 450 billion, in military costs.
The PKK was founded in 1978 by a group of Kurdish students led by Abdullah
Öcalan. The initial reason given by the PKK for this was the oppression of Kurds
in Turkey and the PKK was formed in order to establish linguistic, cultural, and
political rights for Turkey's Kurdish minority. At the time, the use of Kurdish
language, dress, folklore, and names were banned in Kurdish-inhabited areas.
Under the Erdogan(Turkish president) regime, popular discontent has
steadily increased: the PKK, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) (a
left-wing pro-Kurdish party), and the People’s Protection Unit (YPG) (the
armed wing of the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD) with ties to the
PKK) have increasingly agitated against the government, conducting
numerous attacks against Turkish authorities in the southeast
Following attempted coup in July 2016, Erdogan cracked down on suspected
coup conspirators, arrested an estimated fifty thousand people, and
increased air strikes on PKK militants in southeastern Turkey.
In March 2018, Turkey launched military operations to eliminate the Kurdish
PKK fighters in northern Iraq. This failed however, as the PKK has expanded its
operations in Iran.
On 14 February 2021, Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar claimed that 13
soldiers and police officers, who had been held hostage by the PKK since 2015
and 2016, were executed during an attempted rescue operation.
The YPG dominates an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias called the Syrian
Democratic Forces (SDF), which drove IS out of a quarter of Syria with the help
of a US-led multinational coalition.
When the US declared the defeat of IS in March, Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan pushed it to create a "safe zone" clear of YPG fighters in north-eastern
Syria where refugees could be resettled. The US agreed to establish one together
with Turkey in August and the YPG complied.
Turkey’s defense secretary said the attacks were launched against positions
occupied by the PKK, the People’s Protection Units (YPG) who it views as a
PKK affiliate, and other “outlawed groups” in the northern Syrian area of Derik
and the northern Iraqi regions of Sinjar and Karacak.
Violence and Conflict
Conflict Conflict
The main concept that applies to the
global issue is conflict, covering 3
types of conflicts covered in the
course Territorial conflict- It is clear
that Turkey does not consider Kurds
and their traditions/ culture as a part
of their country(even though they
make up one fifth of the population),
they rather consider them as terrorists.
Hence Turkish government has
launched air raids and military
operations against them(the kurds)
due to the Kurds repeated attempts to
overthrow the government in Turkey, causing the issue to escalate to a pint where
the Kurds presence in the area is a threat to Turkey’s national security. Territorial
conflict also increased when Turkish government decided to launch an operation
to create a 440km-long "safe zone" unilaterally and following the decision US
troops also withdrew from the region.
 Ideological and Identity conflict- Since World War I, Kurds in Turkey have
been the victims of persistent assaults on their ethnic, cultural, religious identity
and economic and political status by successive Turkish governments. Hence the
PKK was established, in order to fight for the rights of the Kurdish population
and if possible create an independent state for themselves which eliminate any
discrimination against the Kurdish population. But Turkey did not like the idea of
creation of an independent state, Kurdistan, as they had the historical ideologies
of kurds being armed militia groups going against the government and having
their own state would cause a grater threat to turkeys security.
 These conflict eventually led to direct violence in contested regions between
Turkey and the Kurds. On a regional lens this violence had a negative impact on
both the political actors as significant resources were spent on the conflict and
there was a great loss of
civilian lives in the conflict.
There is also involvement of
international political actors
like the US, which has a
history of supporting the PKK
in eliminating the Islamic State
groups in the regions and then
eventually switching sides to
support Turkey once all major
Islamic State groups were eliminated from the region. Turkey is also accused of
using chemical weapons against the Kurdish population.
Human Rights
There have been incidents of human rights
violations by both the political actors involved
in the conflict Human rights violations
by Turkey- Starting from an
international level of analysis,
both European Convention on
Human Rights and the UN have
condemned Turkey of violating
Kurds human rights and have called the country out for reports of alarming
human rights violations against the Kurdish population in the county, and Turkey
has also been accused of using law to detain human rights defenders. Turkey
violated the right to freedom of belief and expression of the Kurdish population
as Kurdish language and traditions have been repeatedly suppressed by the
government. This also connects to the violation of the right to education as
schools that had Kurdish language as the medium of instructions were shut down
and people caught teaching or conversing in Kurdish were arrested. Freedom of
expression is also violated due to to governments increased controlled over media
and journalists going against state propaganda are arrested ad criminally
prosecuted.There have also been incidents of arbitrary arrest carried out by law
personnel's where more than 90,000 citizens were arrested and more than 1,500
nongovernmental organizations were closed on terrorism-related grounds. There have
been reports of continued detention, including opposition politicians and former
members of parliament, lawyers, journalists, human rights activists, and employees of
the U.S. Mission, for purported ties to “terrorist” groups or peaceful legitimate speech.
Freedom of life, liberty and security are also being violated through the government
contributing to civilian deaths in connection with its fight against the terrorist
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Turkish-supported Syrian opposition groups
committed human rights abuses, reportedly targeting Kurdish and Yezidi residents
and other civilians, including arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearance of civilians;
torture and sexual violence; forced evacuations from homes; looting and property
seizures in areas under Turkish control; transfer of detained civilians across the border
into Turkey; restricting water supplies to civilian populations; recruitment of child
soldiers; and looting and desecrating religious shrines. Even though Turkey has
repeatedly denied/ rejected any human rights violations in Syria, it is evident that the
country is actively in violation of the UNDHR.
 Human rights violations by the Kurdish group(PKK/YPG)- The PKK also
doesn’t have a clear record when referring to human rights as the group has been
accused of murdering 13
innocent lives in northern
Iraq. around 2 million
civilians were forced to
migrate from the region east
of the Euphrates River
because of YPG/PKK
arbitrary practices these
forced displacements are
violations of only only the
fundamentals of human rights
but also violation of right to life or the right not to be subjected to inhuman or
degrading treatment. The groups, specifically PKK, have been recruiting under
age children in their military and have been training them, snatching their right to
education and freedom to make their own choices.
Interdependence is interesting while looking
at it from the international level of analysis as
there has been a history of relationship
between the Kurdish groups and the US.The
PKK/ YPG have been a strategic US ally in
countering and fighting Saddam Hussein's
regime. In the process the US provided the
Kurdish with weapons in order to decrease
the Islamic States groups regime, which was
heavily anti- west, particularly anti- US
propaganda. But when the Islamic State
group and the leader, Saddam Hussein, US
support for the Kurdish fell quickly.
Interdependence is not limited to the role of
the US but at the regional level of analysis
we are bale to see that Turkey, Syria, Russia
and Iraq have collectively fought against the
Kurds, in order to have full legitimate
control and sovereignty of their country.
These nations have collectively carried
out air raids and military operations
against the Kurdish populations and the
PKK/ YPG, and are also a part of the
human rights violations that takes place
against the Kurds in the regions of the
middle east.