An Imperial Legacy: Revisiting the Crimean Crisis from the Lens of International Law

  • Rishita Chatterjee
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  • Rishita Chatterjee

    Student at Jindal Global Law School, India

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As approximately 96.6% of Crimean people were willing to join the Russian Federation, the Sevastopol City Council, along with the Crimean Supreme Court, adopted a declaration of independence from Ukraine less than 48 hours prior to Russia’s infamous annexation of Crimea. The Crimean Crisis is one that has encompassed ethnic and ideological conflicts, controversial political architectures, and the inconclusive question of the application of self-determination. With the unanimous use of internal conflict as a tool to deprive the Ukrainian government of its control over Crimea, leading to its declaration of independence and subsequent admission to the Russian Federation, the chain of said events marked a significant matter of deliberation on the integrity of contemporary international relations. Most states rejected Russia’s de-facto proclamation of sovereignty over the territory of Crimea. However, the Russian and Crimean authorities continue to justify both Crimea’s right to secede from Ukraine and Russia’s eventual intervention by virtue of international law. The article aims to answer the two primary questions the circumstances present - Does Russia’s annexation of Crimea violate international law? And can Crimea’s secession be legally justified through “self-determination”?


Research Paper


International Journal of Legal Science and Innovation, Volume 4, Issue 1, Page 641 - 645


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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits remixing, adapting, and building upon the work for non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.


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