Round Table Discussion

Armed Conflict in Ukraine and Modern European and Global Changes

Thursday, 5 October 2017


Dr. Bruno Husquinet – independent humanitarian affairs specialist, the Deputy Head of the ICRC delegation in Moscow 2014-2015. He has been working in conflict zones since 2003, headed the offices of the ICRC in Libya, Iraq, Pakistan during the period of escalation of armed conflicts. Now is working in conflict zones again.  Leveraging on his professional experience and his background in Slavic Studies, he provides strategic support to profit and non-profit institutions.


 Programme of the Round Table 

Administrative notes: Opening, introduction of participants – 15 min., Addresses – 15 min. each, Q&A/ discussion – 15 min., summing up – 5 min.

 09.00 – 09.30

Registration of participants

Lobby of the Academic Council Hall № 6 (NLU main building)

 09.30 – 11.30

Academic Council Hall № 6 (NLU main building)


Minsk Agreements: Legalization as a Strategic Project?

Cindy Wittke, Leader of the Research Group Frozen and Unfrozen Conflicts, Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies

Abstract: The contribution analyses the legal and political dimensions of the Minsk Agreements. The peace and political settlement processes based on the Minsk Agreements are considered as fragile, flawed, and prone to failure. However, the Minsk Agreements continue to serve as formal and substantive politico-legal frameworks of reference for their parties and the international community when addressing the status of war and peace in Donbass. In short, the Minsk Agreements seem to be the worst and best set of formalised arrangements that the parties could agree upon supported by international mediation. How to negotiate and implement ceasefire agreements to settle conflicts that have both intra-state as well as inter-state dimensions is debated by practitioners and scholars of international law and politics alike. These general debates are shaped by questions concerning the legal and political dimensions of these agreements including the mandate and status of the negotiating parties and the nature of obligations they create. To whom are the parties of these negotiations and agreements responsible? Which international legal rules, political standards, and actors frame the negotiation and implementation of these agreements? Who has the authority to interpret and settle disputes concerning the interpretation and implementation of ceasefire agreements? Addressing these questions from both legal and political perspectives paves the way for discussions of whether and how ceasefire agreements like the Minsk Agreements become formalised political (un)settlements for disputed territories.


Problems of international legal personality in the context of armed conflict in Ukraine

Oleg Tarasov, Doctor. Habil., Professor, International Law Department,Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University, Kharkiv, Ukraine

Abstract: The Speaker will provide the personological analysis of the legal personality of participants of the Minsk process and indicates the danger of gradual international legal recognition of terrorist organizations under the guise of the so-called “ORDLO” initially ad hoc, and eventually de facto, through the mechanisms of the UN Security Council and / or the OSCE. The Speaker will criticize the doctrinal approaches to the need to recognize the international legal personality of terrorist organizations in order to bring them to international legal responsibility.


International law grounds for termination of lease agreement of part of the territory of Ukraine because of Russian illegal annexation

Volodymyr Steshenko, PhD, Associate Professor, International Law Department,Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University, Kharkiv, Ukraine

Abstract: International law aspects of the conclusion and prolongation agreement on temporary stay of Russian Black Sea Navy on Ukraine territory (1997) have been studied. Unlawful lease agreement prolongation (2010) is proven. International law grounds for termination of leasing agreement (1997) because of material breach by Russia are formulated.


Addressing displacement in Ukraine: theoretical and paractical aspects

Vartan Muradian, Junior Officer of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Ukraine

Abstract: Migration has always been an integral aspect of society, but now this phenomenon has gained many different aspects and drew the attention of political and public leaders to some issues. UNHCR works with people who, for whatever reason, were forced to leave their homes, to seek asylum in their own or another country. The very existence of such categories of people in Ukraine determines the presence of UNHCR and the work that the agency conducts with them. In addition to providing protection to people seeking international asylum since the beginning of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, it is necessary to expand the scope of its activities and respond to the emergence of a significant number of forced displaced persons.

Ukraine was legally, socially, economically and in other areas of life not ready to respond to the emergence of this situation, and in addition to many other problems there is a problem of protection of IDPs. There are problems of discrimination between IDPs and those living in the conflict zone, even at the legislative level. Ukraine needs to improve its system, bring laws and standards in line with the world, and this and other directions and the UN Refugee Agency are working.


Investment arbitration as a mechanism of protection of foreign investments on occupied territories

Mykola Yurlov, lawyer at Marchenko Danevych Law Firm

Abstract: After annexation of Crimea and occupation of certain territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions a wave of “nationalisations” and other forms of direct and indirect expropriation of property took place on these territories. Is it really possible to employ the mechanisms of Investor-state dispute settlement to claim compensation for damages from the occupants or have the investors fallen into a legal vacuum?

 11.30 – 12.00  Coffee break
NLU main building
 12.00 – 13.30   

Fair trial guarantees during an armed conflict

Vitalii Gutnyk, PhD, Associate Professor, International Law Department, Ivan Franko Lviv National University

Volodymyr Lysyk, PhD, Associate Professor, International Law Department, Ivan Franko Lviv National University

Abstract: Everyone has the right to a fair trial. And it does not matter, criminal proceeding is carried out in peacetime or during an armed conflict, in national legal systems or in international criminal courts. National authorities should ensure the procedural rights not lower than it set out in the relevant norms of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Deprivation of the right to a fair trial during an armed conflict is a war crime. The features of fair trial guarantees during both international and non-international armed conflicts will be analyzed.


Accountability for IHL violations during the armed conflict in Ukraine: shared responsibility of Ukraine and international community

Dmytro Koval, PhD in International Law, PhD in sociology candidate, Associate Professor of the International Law and International Relations Department, National University “Odessa Law Academy”, Truth Hounds expert

Abstract: At least from the International Military Tribunal times the shared understanding exists that fighting impunity for the IHL violations is a common task of both the individual state and international community as such. When Ukraine referred the situation in the parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions to the ICC it opened the door for the international community involvement. This however does not mean that Ukraine may stay passive in reacting on the violations of the IHL on its territory. The effective implementation of the Ukrainian part of “agreement” on punishment of IHL violators depends on a number of factors: the degree of politisation of the IHL discourse, level of education of judges and prosecutors on the war crimes, international cooperation. The address will examine these factors and elaborate the strategies that may be of help for Ukraine to better react on the IHL violations on its territory.


International legal regulation of the restriction of the right to life in armed conflicts

Iurii Usmanov, PhD student of the international law department of Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University

Abstract: The address is devoted to the topical theme of the definition of the limits of the protection of the right to life during any armed conflict. The article explores the conditions and situations, their peculiarities, when, despite the presence of international and regional protection, the right to life of a person can be deprived lawfully, which speaks of the relative nature of such a right.


The role of a Ukrainian Red Cross National Society in the implementation of international humanitarian law

Lukianchenko Evgeniia, National IHL coordinator and Contact person for the Parliament

Abstract: For Ukrainian Red Cross Society, the role of a National Society in the implementation of international humanitarian law, means the actions taken by the Ukrainian Red Cross Society, usually in cooperation with the national authorities, to translate into practical measures the State’s obligations under international humanitarian law. This role may include action to help promote and develop humanitarian law, and to carry out the tasks assigned to the National Society itself under humanitarian law.


Participation of academic circles in the implementation of international humanitarian law

Korotkyi T.R. Professor of the Department of International Law and International Relations, NU OLA, Adviser to the President of the Ukrainian Red Cross Society on International Humanitarian Law, PhD in Law, Associate Professor

Hendel N.V. Associate Professor of the Department of International Law and International Relations, NU OLA, PhD in International Law

Abstract: The directions and results of the activities of academic circles on the implementation of international humanitarian law in the context of armed conflict are analyzed. New forms of activity and cooperation of academic circles with state bodies, non-governmental organizations and international institutions have been introduced.