Russia plunders Ukrainian military equipment: Is there a legal basis?

Russia, not content to steal Ukraine’s land, is now plundering her military equipment.

This seems to me to be complete bullshit. Even assuming arguendo that the Russian annexation of Crimea is legitimate, any Ukrainian military hardware contained therein would still be property of the Ukrainian military, which should have the opportunity for an orderly withdraw to uncontested territory. However, I’m no expert on international military law. Does Russia have any legal basis for this, no matter how weak?

Russia is acting under the International Legal Principle of “What are you going to do to stop us, punk?”

There’s a fairly famous line by Pompey the Great, the Roman general, when he came into some city and started requisitioning provisions. The city complained to him that what he was doing was illegal, because the city had an ancient right to not have to provide supplies to the army. He answered, “Little man, don’t quote the law to me. We have swords.”

Or there’s the more recent quote by Mao: “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

But I’m sure that the Russians will invent some argument that they claim gives them the legal right to plunder Ukrainian property. And within a few days, we’ll hear it being parroted on this board.

That dude Obama (who might not be such a Communist after all) did something that might slow them down a bit. With the stroke of a pen, he directed the Treasury Department to black-list Bank Rossiya.

This article, from March 21, explains what that means and discusses how, and how badly, it will cripple a substantial chunk of the Russian economy. How Obama Crippled a Russian Bank with a Stroke of a Pen.

To be sure, this was only a couple days ago. I wonder how long it takes to see what damage really happens. Is this something that will have an immediate awful effect on Russia?

According to Russia, the Ukraine government is illegal, the state is in chaos, and during this chaos the Ukraines are terrorizing the Russians in Crimea and other parts of the land. The Russians have a doctrine that allows them to protect the Russian (speaking) population in neighbor states. So they move in to protect the Russians in neighbor state with an illegal government. The population of the geographical state supports this (according to Russia), and even votes for a Russian annexation. Now Crimea is Russian, and Russia can’t have Ukraine military bases in its land. So they get rid of them in one way or another. – All is perfectly legal according to Putin. Another way of looking at this of course, is that it is simply a land grab.

I thought dirty communists loved smashing down banks and other engines of capitalism.

Well they’ve been telling us Obama’s a no good dirty soshulist for a long time, NOW we’ve got proof ! :slight_smile:

Silent enim leges inter arma. The laws are silent in the presence of weapons, says Cicero. Thanks, Cicero.

Keep in mind that Putin also said that any military action without UN Security Council approval is illegal, claimed Kosovo’s split with Serbia was illegal, and claimed UN Security Council approval to protect civilians was a false pretense for war in Libya.

But notice how fast he changes his tune when it benefits him.

Wow. That’s great. I’m trying (with no luck) to find the original quote.

This addresses the same sentiment, for sure, but Cicero’s quote is more a social observation whereas Pompey’s quote is a badass “Don’t fuck with me” kind of a quote.
Wikiquote attributes Pompey’s “Stop quoting laws, we carry weapons!” to Plutarch. Did Plutarch write The Life of Pompey in Latin or Greek? (He wrote in both languages, did he not?). Searching the phrase in English, I’m only finding cites in English. I was hoping to find a cite that presents it as it was originally written.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2008.01.0123%3Achapter%3D10%3Asection%3D2

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2008.01.0058%3Achapter%3D10%3Asection%3D2

“It all used to be Soviet anyway, and we are the recognized successor state. You owe us 20 years’ back rent and interest.” Or something like that.

But yes, what **silenus **said. They’re not even going to give the Ukrainian forces the chance to retreat back to “home” territory as any kind of effective force. If I were Kiev, anything really strategic, expensive or hard to replace near Kharkov or Donetsk I’d be repositioning westward as we speak.

Meh, it’s a Foxtrot, launched in 1970. Per Wikipedia:

They did the Ukrainians a favor hauling that junk off to a museum.

And the more they take without consequence, the more they will want. Could be hot and interesting summer in Eastern Europe.

I didn’t realize the Russians were known as junk-haulers.

Putin’s been making noises about the treatment of Russians in the Baltic states.

What happens if he decides he wants them, too?

He can haul off the T-55s, BRDMs and BMPs to put them in the museum they belong in, too? It’s not like the Latvians will miss that junk.

Hasn’t invading foreign countries in order to plunder and/or destroy their assets been a time-honored tradition dating back to the beginning of recorded history?

The Baltic states are members of NATO and the EU, so I would expect a Russian invasion to have a quite different outcome.