The Hague tribunal has equated the annexation of Crimea to an international military conflict. This means that no referendum took place, and there was no “will of the people of Crimea.” What took place is the beginning of the war between Russia and Ukraine that spread to Donbas. The annual report on the preliminary investigation by chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of International Criminal Court, published on November 14 reads: “The information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on February 26 when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government.” The prosecutor underlines: “For purposes of the Rome Statute an armed conflict may be international in nature if one or more States partially or totally occupies the territory of another State, whether or not the occupation meets with armed resistance.”
Thus, the people who participated in the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula one day will be brought before an international court. Provided they survive, of course. But most importantly, Crimea will sooner or later return to Ukraine. Because any court decision of the facts of crime always entails restoration of violated rights.
The decision of the Hague Tribunal means that everything that is happening in Crimea: kidnapping, arrests, ethnic and religious persecution, the designation of the representative authority of the indigenous people as an extremist organization, forced registration into Russian citizenship, mass layoffs, the use of Crimean bases and Ukrainian citizens conscripted from the Peninsula in the military operation in Syria – all of that are war crimes. Any attempts to dismiss it are nothing more than a criminal complicity.
Are they still hoping for a “constructive talks on Ukraine”? Do they calculate the potential exchange of Donbas on Crimea, Donbas on Ukraine, Ukraine on Syria? Are they waiting for “dear Donald” to propose them a new world partition? Pathetic. With one stroke of the pen – or rather with one decision of the court – the Yalta 2.0 conference got transformed into The Hague Tribunal. And I congratulate everyone on that.