Instituto de Estudios Políticos y Derecho Público "Dr. Humberto J. La Roche"
de la Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas y Políticas de la Universidad del Zulia
Maracaibo, Venezuela
Esta publicación cientíca en formato digital es continuidad de la revista impresa
ISSN-Versión Impresa 0798-1406 / ISSN-Versión on line 2542-3185Depósito legal pp
197402ZU34
ppi 201502ZU4645
Vol.40 N° 73
Julio
Diciembre
2022
ISSN 0798- 1406 ~ De pó si to le gal pp 198502ZU132
Cues tio nes Po lí ti cas
La re vis ta Cues tio nes Po lí ti cas, es una pu bli ca cn aus pi cia da por el Ins ti tu to
de Es tu dios Po lí ti cos y De re cho Pú bli co Dr. Hum ber to J. La Ro che” (IEPDP) de la Fa-
cul tad de Cien cias Ju rí di cas y Po ti cas de la Uni ver si dad del Zu lia.
En tre sus ob je ti vos fi gu ran: con tri buir con el pro gre so cien tí fi co de las Cien cias
Hu ma nas y So cia les, a tra vés de la di vul ga ción de los re sul ta dos lo gra dos por sus in ves-
ti ga do res; es ti mu lar la in ves ti ga ción en es tas áreas del sa ber; y pro pi ciar la pre sen ta-
ción, dis cu sión y con fron ta ción de las ideas y avan ces cien tí fi cos con com pro mi so so cial.
Cues tio nes Po lí ti cas apa re ce dos ve ces al o y pu bli ca tra ba jos ori gi na les con
avan ces o re sul ta dos de in ves ti ga ción en las áreas de Cien cia Po lí ti ca y De re cho Pú bli-
co, los cua les son so me ti dos a la con si de ra ción de ár bi tros ca li fi ca dos.
ESTA PU BLI CA CIÓN APA RE CE RE SE ÑA DA, EN TRE OTROS ÍN DI CES, EN
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Re vicyhLUZ, In ter na tio nal Po li ti cal Scien ce Abs tracts, Re vis ta In ter ame ri ca na de
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gra fía So cio Eco nó mi ca de Ve ne zue la de RE DIN SE, In ter na tio nal Bi blio graphy of
Po li ti cal Scien ce, Re vencyt, His pa nic Ame ri can Pe rio di cals In dex/HAPI), Ul ri chs
Pe rio di cals Di rec tory, EBS CO. Se en cuen tra acre di ta da al Re gis tro de Pu bli ca cio-
nes Cien tí fi cas y Tec no ló gi cas Ve ne zo la nas del FO NA CIT, La tin dex.
Di rec to ra
L
OIRALITH
M. C
HIRINOS
P
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Co mi Edi tor
Eduviges Morales Villalobos
Fabiola Tavares Duarte
Ma ría Eu ge nia Soto Hernández
Nila Leal González
Carmen Pérez Baralt
Co mi Ase sor
Pedro Bracho Grand
J. M. Del ga do Ocan do
Jo Ce rra da
Ri car do Com bel las
An gel Lom bar di
Die ter Nohlen
Al fre do Ra mos Ji mé nez
Go ran Ther born
Frie drich Welsch
Asis ten tes Ad mi nis tra ti vos
Joan López Urdaneta y Nil da Ma n
Re vis ta Cues tio nes Po lí ti cas. Av. Gua ji ra. Uni ver si dad del Zu lia. Nú cleo Hu ma nís ti co. Fa-
cul tad de Cien cias Ju rí di cas y Po lí ti cas. Ins ti tu to de Es tu dios Po lí ti cos y De re cho Pú bli co
Dr. Hum ber to J. La Ro che. Ma ra cai bo, Ve ne zue la. E- mail: cues tio nes po li ti cas@gmail.
com ~ loi chi ri nos por til lo@gmail.com. Te le fax: 58- 0261- 4127018.
Vol. 40, Nº 73 (2022), 16-24
IEPDP-Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas y Políticas - LUZ
Reections for the interdisciplinary
study of the Russian Federation’s invasion
of Ukraine in 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.46398/cuestpol.4073.00
Jorge J. Villasmil-Espinoza *
Yevhen Leheza **
Liudmyla Holovii ***
Abstract
The Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine in February
2022 is an unusual geopolitical event that puts the security of
Western Europe at risk and, at the same time, erodes the norms
of international law that regulate, at least in theory, relations
between civilized countries. Indeed, it is a tragic event that has cost
the lives of thousands of civilians who have been victims of war
crimes and serious violations of their fundamental rights. In this
sense, the objective of this editorial is twofold, on the one hand, to present
volume 40, number 73 of Political Questions and, on the other, to briey
explain the causes and geopolitical consequences of the Russian invasion
of Ukraine. It is concluded that the invasion of Putin’s Russia in Ukraine
can trigger a prolonged and extensive conict that can even confront NATO
directly with Russia. Ideologically, it is a conict that means a clash between
dierent political models such as the liberal democracies of the West
(ensuring human rights, adherence to the principles of international law -
the sovereignty of the country, freedom of speech, free movement around
the world, etc.) with the militarist and neoconservative authoritarianism of
tsarist roots.
Keywords: Russian Federation invasion of Ukraine in 2022; war crimes;
human rights violations; interdisciplinary study of war; war
in Ukraine.
* Historian expert in contemporary historical processes. PhD in Political Science with postdoctoral
studies in Human Rights; editor of the journal Cuestiones Políticas; Director of the Scientic
Dissemination Foundation; holder professor at the University of Zulia in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Web
of Science Researcher ID: AAO-7385-2020. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0791-3331
** Professor, Doctor of Science in law, Professor at the Department of public and private law, University
of Customs and Finance, Dnipro, Ukraine. Web of Science Researcher ID: X-9904-2019. ORCID ID:
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9134-8499
*** National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine, Kiev. ORCID ID: https://orcid.
org/0000-0002-5537-0944
17
CUESTIONES POLÍTICAS
Vol. 40 Nº 73 (2022): 16-24
Reexiones para el estudio interdisciplinario
de la invasión de Ucrania por parte de la Federación
Rusa en 2022
Resumen
La invasión de Ucrania por parte de Rusia en febrero de 2022 es un
evento geopolítico que pone en riesgo la seguridad de Europa Occidental
y, al mismo tiempo, erosiona las normas del derecho internacional que
regulan las relaciones entre países civilizados. De hecho, se trata de un
acontecimiento trágico que ha costado la vida a miles de civiles que han
sido víctimas de crímenes de guerra y de graves violaciones de sus derechos
fundamentales. En este sentido, el objetivo de este editorial es doble, por
un lado, presentar el volumen 40, número 73 de Cuestiones políticas y,
por otro, explicar brevemente las causas y consecuencias geopolíticas de la
invasión rusa de Ucrania. Se concluye que la invasión de la Rusia de Putin en
Ucrania puede desencadenar un conicto prolongado y extenso que incluso
puede enfrentar a la OTAN directamente con Rusia. Ideológicamente, es un
conicto que signica un choque entre diferentes modelos políticos como
las democracias liberales de Occidente (garantizar los derechos humanos,
la adhesión a los principios del derecho internacional - la soberanía del
país, la libertad de expresión, la libre circulación en todo el mundo, etc.)
con el autoritarismo militarista y neoconservador de raíces zaristas.
Palabras clave: Invasión de Ucrania por parte de la Federación Rusa en
2022; crímenes de guerra; violaciones de los derechos
humanos; estudio interdisciplinario de la guerra; guerra
en Ucrania.
Exordium
An adequate understanding of the invasion of the Russian Federation
to Ukraine that occurred on February 24, 2022, demands the identication
of the main actors and factors, texts, and contexts that have converged
dialectically in the realization of the dramatic events that represent a war
of defense with characteristics of hybrid war on the part of Russia, for the
Ukrainian society as a whole in the general framework of the commission
of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the invading troops, as
evidenced by the ruthless killings (massacres) of thousands of civilians in
the cities of Bucha, Borodyanka, Gostomel, Irpin, Buzova, and others.
The analysis presented below is based on the consideration of 7
important factors to take into account in political and legal analysis as a
necessary condition to understand, without bias or partial vision, the main
Jorge J. Villasmil Espinoza, Yevhen Leheza y Liudmyla Holovii
Presentación
18
events that determine the dynamics of political conict in its course and
war between Russia and Ukraine, the latter, a sovereign and independent
country that has the irrefutable right to self-determine its national destiny,
without the interference of Russia, beyond its historical and cultural ties.
The reasons and factors for the beginning of the war between the Russian
Federation and Ukraine are:
1. Signing without guarantees of compliance of the Budapest
Memorandum on December 5, 1994. Denial of nuclear weapons.
(Memorandum on security assurances in connection with Ukraine’s
accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear
Weapons. 1994)
2. The arrival of the pro-Russian president of Ukraine Viktor
Fyodorovich Yanukovych who governed between 2010-2014,
ruining the national economy and the military establishment.
3. Annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 by the Russian
Federation and the weak position of Europe in the form of sanctions.
4. Uncontrolled dynamics of Corruption in Ukraine for 30 years
(from 1990-2021). In fact, there were no arms purchases, especially
military plans.
5. The impunity of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin
in the military conicts in Chechnya 1999-2009, Syria, and Ukraine.
A situation that has underpinned Putin’s “reign” from 1999 to the
present.
6. Russian information war in the media inciting the Russians against
the Ukrainians. Systematic lies about Nazis and fascists, NATO
bases locations, etc., live on the territory of Ukraine.
7. Ukraine’s withdrawal from Russian oil and gas, reduction in
commercial turnover, i.e., a decrease in Russia’s prots. It is
protable for Ukraine to sell products to Europe, and Asian
countries. Russia is not happy about this.
The purpose of this editorial is to briey explain the causes and geopolitical
consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. On the ideological level,
the authors of the text openly and unambiguously support unrestricted
respect for international humanitarian law and public international law as
a guarantee of the order in international relations!
At the same time, people in Ukraine are suering every day as a result of
the war, which is manifested in the killing of civilians, constant air alarms,
and the senseless destruction of civilian infrastructure, which is projected
to reach about 600 billion US dollars.
19
CUESTIONES POLÍTICAS
Vol. 40 Nº 73 (2022): 16-24
In fact, it should be noted that one of the authors of this editorial,
Professor Yevhen Leheza of the University of Customs and Finance in
Dnipro, Ukraine, has witnessed the ravages of war with his family, so his
testimony should be valued for its eyewitness status of the events.
This work is presented simultaneously in three languages: English,
Spanish, and Ukrainian, with the humble intention of shedding light on the
international debate on the scope and meaning of the war in Ukraine.
1. Texts and contexts that reveal the war in Ukraine
As in all social and political phenomena, the Russian invasion of Ukraine
unfolded not only on the battleelds, but also in the collective imaginary
of international politics through the staging of two completely exclusive
narratives, each one of which responds to particular hegemonic interests in
the case of Russia or, contract hegemonic, in the case of Ukraine.
For Putin’s Russia, as absurd as it may seem, Ukraine is a “tool” of NATO
and the US, which is used as a spearhead to erode its national security. In
addition to the fact that the country is being controlled by NAZI forces that
have systematically committed a kind of genocide against the Russians who
live in Crimea and in the Donbas region. So, the “special operation” of the
Russian military forces in Ukraine aims to liberate this country from the
Nazis and genocides who are in power protected by President of Ukraine
Volodymyr Zelensky, who otherwise contradictorily is from Jewish origin.
As is customary in propaganda stories, the Putin administration does not
present concrete evidence to support or at least justify these controversial
claims, much less plural and independent ow of information is allowed in
Russia to question the ocial narrative of the war in Russia. public opinion
or, at least, generate a serious debate about it. For its part, the Ukrainian
narrative of the conict argues that the country has been the victim of an
unprecedented invasion that has meant the destruction of entire regions
with a dicult to quantify balance of loss of human life, displaced persons,
and refugees.
In this sense, the organized civil society and the armed forces of Ukraine
thus have the historical responsibility to resist the Russian invasion as
an indispensable condition to protect their lives, families, and national
sovereignty against the onslaught of war from a power, which also threatens
to unleash a nuclear war that would put the survival of Euro-Western
civilization as a whole at imminent risk.
According to the Wilson Center’s Nuclear Proliferation International
History Project, a global network of researchers and institutions studying
international nuclear history, the Budapest Memorandum was struck
Jorge J. Villasmil Espinoza, Yevhen Leheza y Liudmyla Holovii
Presentación
20
in 1994 and was a key agreement in assuring Ukraine’s sovereignty and
territorial integrity from Russia (What is the Budapest memorandum and
how does it impact the current crisis in Ukraine?, 2022).
With the memorandum, the United States, the United Kingdom and
Russia committed “to respect the independence and sovereignty and the
existing borders of Ukraine” and “to refrain from the threat or use of force”
against the country (Budapest memorandum on security assurances, 1994).
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has publicly commented on
the Budapest Memorandum by arguing that it provides no true guarantee
of safety due to Russia’s coercive power (Zelensky’s full speech at Munich
Security Conference, 2022).
On 19 February 2022, Zelenskyy made a speech at the Munich Security
Conference (Zelensky’s full speech at Munich Security Conference, 2022)
in which he said “Since 2014, Ukraine has tried three times to convene
consultations with the guarantor states of the Budapest Memorandum
[i.e., United States and the United Kingdom]. Three times without success.
Today Ukraine will do it for the fourth time. ... If they do not happen again
or their results do not guarantee security for our country, Ukraine will have
every right to believe that the Budapest Memorandum is not working and
all the package decisions of 1994 are in doubt.”(Zelensky’s full speech at
Munich Security Conference, 2022).
This treaty has since been violated by Russia at the outbreak of the 2022
Russian invasion of Ukraine.
During the reign of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych (2010-
2014), Ukraine’s gold and foreign exchange reserves fell from $ 34 billion
to $ 7 billion, the population became poorer, unemployment increased,
and the formal attitude to defending the country’s sovereignty and national
security led to the annexation of Crimea. February 2014.
In February and March 2014, Russia invaded and subsequently annexed
the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine (Annexation of Crimea by the Russian
Federation, 2014).
This event took place in the aftermath of the Revolution of Dignity and
is part of the wider Russo-Ukrainian War (Annexation of Crimea by the
Russian Federation, 2014).
On 22–23 February 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin convened
an all-night meeting with security service chiefs to discuss assisting the
deposed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych with leaving the country
(Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, 2014). At the end of the
meeting, Putin remarked that “we must start working on returning Crimea
to Russia”(Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, 2014). On 23
February 2014, pro-Russian demonstrations were held in the Crimean city
21
CUESTIONES POLÍTICAS
Vol. 40 Nº 73 (2022): 16-24
of Sevastopol (Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, 2014).
On 27 February 2014, masked Russian troops without insignia took over
the Supreme Council (parliament) of Crimea and captured strategic sites
across Crimea.
This led to the installation of the pro-Russian Sergey Aksyonov
government in Crimea, the Crimean status referendum, and the declaration
of Crimea’s independence on 16 March 2014(Annexation of Crimea by
the Russian Federation, 2014). Russia formally incorporated Crimea as
two Russian federal subjects—the Republic of Crimea and the federal city
of Sevastopol on 18 March 2014 (Annexation of Crimea by the Russian
Federation, 2014). Following the annexation, Russia escalated its military
presence on the peninsula and made nuclear threats to solidify the new
status quo on the ground (Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation,
2014).
The Minsk agreements were a series of international agreements which
sought to end the war in the Donbas region of Ukraine (Minsk agreements,
2015). The rst, known as the Minsk Protocol, was drafted in 2014 by
the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, consisting of Ukraine, Russia, and
the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), with
mediation by the leaders of France and Germany in the so-called Normandy
Format (Minsk agreements, 2015). After extensive talks in Minsk, Belarus,
the agreement was signed on 5 September 2014 by representatives of the
Trilateral Contact Group and, without recognition of their status, by the
then-leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR)
and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) (Minsk agreements, 2015). This
agreement followed multiple previous attempts to stop the ghting in the
region and aimed to implement an immediate ceasere (Minsk agreements,
2015).
The agreement failed to stop ghting and was thus followed with a
revised and updated agreement, Minsk II, which was signed on 12 February
2015 (Minsk agreements, 2015). This agreement consisted of a package of
measures, including a ceasere, withdrawal of heavy weapons from the
front line, release of prisoners of war, constitutional reform in Ukraine
granting self-government to certain areas of Donbas and restoring control
of the state border to the Ukrainian government (Minsk agreements, 2015).
While ghting subsided following the agreement’s signing, it never ended
completely, and the agreement’s provisions were never fully implemented
(Minsk agreements, 2015). The Normandy Format parties agreed that the
Minsk II remains the basis for any future resolution to the conict (Minsk
agreements, 2015).
Amid rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine in early 2022, Russia
ocially recognised the Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics on 21
February 2022 (Minsk agreements, 2015). Following that decision, on 22
Jorge J. Villasmil Espinoza, Yevhen Leheza y Liudmyla Holovii
Presentación
22
February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that the Minsk
agreements «no longer existed», and that Ukraine, not Russia, was to
blame for their collapse (Minsk agreements, 2015). Russia then invaded
Ukraine on 24 February 2022.
So, by launching a full-scale war, the Russian Federation unilaterally
violated the Minsk agreements of 2014 and 2015, Budapest Memorandum
of 1994.
Conclusions
From no point of view is Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine acceptable,
since it is a military onslaught to aect the sovereignty and territorial
integrity of a free and independent country such as Ukraine. Consequently,
Ukraine has every right to build an autonomous national project based
on its interests, aspirations, and needs and everything indicates that this
project will be developed within the framework of the European Union,
liberal democracy, and free trade, tools that characterize the development
strategies of the free world.
Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, which began gradually in 2014
with the de facto annexation of the Crimean peninsula, admits dierent
geopolitical and geostrategic readings. In the rst scenario, it is an attempt
by Moscow to regain the territorial hegemony of the USSR or even of the
Tsarist empire which also implies the political and economic control of
neighboring countries such as Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. This seems
to be the reality of their intentions since the invasion of Georgia and the
latent threat to invade now Moldova. It is a plan of territorial division and
the creation of articial republics in the occupied territories subordinated
to the authoritarian power of the Kremlin, regardless of the parameters of
international law.
However, since the disintegration of the USSR and after having lived
through the experience of real socialism, it is clear that the societies of
the aforementioned countries want to be integrated into the political
expectations of the West, as a condition of possibly increasing their
economic potential and productive capacities in a climate of respect for
individual liberties and the rule of law that identies democracy, since it
is understood in the social representations of the younger generations that
democracy, without denying its contractions, is the best form of government
when seeking the general enjoyment of human rights.
In conclusion, the invasion of Putin’s Russia in Ukraine may trigger
a prolonged and extensive conict where a direct confrontation between
NATO and Russia is not ruled out. Ideologically, it is a conict that
23
CUESTIONES POLÍTICAS
Vol. 40 Nº 73 (2022): 16-24
means a clash between dierent political models, such as Western liberal
democracies (guaranteeing human rights, adherence to the principles of
international law - the sovereignty of the country, freedom of speech, free
movement around the world, etc.) with militaristic and neoconservative
authoritarianism with tsarist roots. Recall that in the absence of the Marxist-
Leninist ideology of yesteryear, Russia has sought to recall its Tsarist past
and its Orthodox religious tradition as a new source of national unity and
historical consciousness.
Thus, the Russian Federation, violating the norms of international
law, bears full legal and political responsibility for thousands of civilians
in Ukraine, destroyed infrastructure (houses, bridges, airports, factories,
hospitals, schools, etc.), world hunger due to blocking the ports of Ukraine
and the exit of civilian ships to the Black Sea to export more than 20 million
tons of wheat.
Bibliographic References
ANNEXATION OF CRIMEA BY THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION. 2014. Available
online. In: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annexation_of_Crimea_by_
the_Russian_Federation Consultation date: 02/06/2022.
BUDAPEST MEMORANDUM ON SECURITY ASSURANCES. Wikipedia.
Available online. In: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapest_
Memorandum_on_Security_Assurances Consultation date:
02/06/2022.
MEMORANDUM ON SECURITY ASSURANCES IN CONNECTION
WITH UKRAINE’S ACCESSION TO THE TREATY ON THE NON-
PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS. 1994. Available online.
In: https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%203007/
Part/volume-3007-I-52241.pdf Consultation date: 02/06/2022.
MINSK AGREEMENTS. 2015. Available online. In: https://en.wikipedia.org/
wiki/Minsk_agreements Consultation date: 02/06/2022.
UKRAINE CONFLICT: BIDEN SANCTIONS RUSSIA OVER ‘BEGINNING
OF INVASION’. 23 February 2022. ВВС News. Available online. In:
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60488037 Consultation
date: 02/06/2022.
WHAT IS THE BUDAPEST MEMORANDUM AND HOW DOES IT IMPACT
THE CURRENT CRISIS IN UKRAINE? 2022. Available online.
In: https://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/world/what-is-the-budapest-
memorandum-and-how-does-it-impact-the-current-crisis-in-
ukraine-1.5804369 Consultation date: 02/06/2022.
Jorge J. Villasmil Espinoza, Yevhen Leheza y Liudmyla Holovii
Presentación
24
ZELENSKY’S FULL SPEECH AT MUNICH SECURITY CONFERENCE.
2022. Available online. In: https://kyivindependent.com/national/
zelenskys-full-speech-at-munich-security-conference/ Consultation
date: 02/06/2022.