FOCUS on the Laws of War: The Geneva Conventions

War, like any other human endeavor throughout history, has historically had rules. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the actions of its soldiers in alleged incidents, such as in the suburb of Bucha the capital of Kyiv, have led members of the international community to accuse the Russian government of war crimes. The modern outlook on what constitutes a war crime can be traced far back, most notably to 20th-century agreements like the Geneva Conventions.

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FOCUS on the Laws of War: The ICC and ICJ

The Ukraine war has renewed conversations about justice and accountability over crimes that violate international law. The alleged massacre in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha and claims that Russian forces are targeting civilians have mobilized figures in Western nations, including U.S. President Joe Biden, to call for prosecutions of war criminals, reports Business Insider. 

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FOCUS on the Laws of War: Treatment of Civilians and POWs

Amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, information has come out pointing to incidents that could be considered violations of civilian and prisoner of war (POW) rights in many areas of the country. Many experts believe that the actions of the Russian Federation could violate the protection of civilians and POWs during wartime under the Geneva Convention of 1949, Protocol 1, and the Hague Convention of 1907, which Russia is party to, according to Human Rights Watch.

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FOCUS on the Laws of War: Nuclear Weapons and Other Banned Arms

The war in Ukraine has brought renewed attention to laws surrounding the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), including banned ones. Amid concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin might unleash WMDs on Ukraine if he keeps losing the advantage in the war, arms control treaties have been thrown back in the limelight. 

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FOCUS on Ukraine: Global Sanctions

Although the United States and its European allies have so far avoided direct military contact with the Russian armed forces, they have engaged in a different kind of warfare. Economic warfare has been employed to deter further Russian aggression in Ukraine and punish the regime for its illegal territorial expansion.

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FOCUS on Ukraine: Refugees

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, an estimated 3.1 million Ukrainians have fled the country, reported by the Brookings Institution as of March 18.  It is currently estimated that the number may reach 4 million if Russia’s military offensive continues at its current rate.  

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FOCUS on Ukraine: Ukrainian Resistance

Ukrainians have mounted a “stiffer-than-expected” military and civil resistance since Russian troops invaded the country in late February, the New York Times reports. 

The Ukrainian military, one of Europe’s largest with over 370,000 active and reserve troops, has spent billions training its soldiers to counter Russian offenses in the aftermath of the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Thus far, it appears that their efforts have paid off – Russia, despite its military and economic advantages, has managed to capture only one major city in 10 days, the southern city of Kherson.

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FOCUS on Sports Geopolitics: The Olympics

Those who follow sports in some way will know that politics always get involved no matter how much fans wish otherwise. As has been shown this year, domestic and international politics have characterized the Olympic Games, as the most international and inherently political non-political event there is. With the 2022 Beijing games ongoing, it is worth remembering that the Olympics’ thrust into political spotlights isn’t new.

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FOCUS on Sports Geopolitics: Sportswashing

Saudi Arabia recently made headlines in the sporting world with its purchase of a stake in the English Premier League club Newcastle United as part of their Public Investment Fund, according to NPR. This fund, which is owned by the Saudi Arabian government, ended up purchasing an 80% stake of Newcastle United for 300 million pounds, the equivalent of $400 million. 

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