Dr. Vikas Kumar, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi
The unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russia has shocked the entire world, especially those who are protagonists and supporters of international law. This act of Russia has not only raised so many questions before the international community about the working of international laws but has also opened a new debate about the authority, legality, and significance of international laws. It has also threatened and broken the myth of those who think that international laws are strong and superior and that no country would ever dare to break them. The indiscriminate bombing of forests, terrestrial and marine ecosystems, industrial facilities, transportation and housing infrastructure, cities, residential houses, forests, and crop fields, as well as water supply, sanitation, and waste management infrastructure, has caused widespread and severe damage, with immediate and long-term consequences for human health, biodiversity, and the entire natural ecosystem.
By invading Ukraine, Russia has not only broken the perceptions of lawmakers and jurists but has also allowed critics of international laws to speak heavily against the legality, authority, and relevancy of international laws. This has also put a question mark on the legality of the global fight going on to tackle the monstrous climate change that is posing a big threat to the very survival of life on the planet. This paper is thus an attempt to understand the legality of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and will seek to answer questions like, "What are the ecological consequences of war and the destruction caused by military action taken by Russia on Ukraine’s environment? And what is the responsibility of international law in protecting the environment during the armed conflict, and is this duty being discharged by it in the case of Ukraine? Ukraine has not only badly suffered economically but is also facing the worst environmental crisis ever in history, even more than the Chernobyl disaster. We will also try to understand what Ukraine is doing to protect life and the environment in the midst of the ongoing war.
Keywords: Natural Environment, bio-diversity, International Laws, health hazard, Climate Change, International Institutions, Air and Water Pollution