The people that Russia’s agents in Slovyansk kidnapped weren’t just observers. Under the Vienna Document, a treaty that provides for military inspections, 57 nations, including Russia, created a mechanism to address military related developments through the conduct of force inspections. Here is a good article by the Brookings Institute describing the Vienna Documents and how it works. http://goo.gl/slpcru
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (“OSCE”) announced today that the kidnapping victims were members of a Vienna Document inspection team conducting an inspection in the Ukraine. It was also reported by local media in the Ukraine, so fare unconfirmed, that many of the kidnapping victims were in military uniform, a fact that should not be a surprise when you consider their function is to inspect military bases and force concentrations.
Though it will no doubt deny its involvement, the Russian agents who committed the crime openly acknowledged that they must report to Moscow. The seizure of peacekeepers is considered a war crime under international and U.S. law. See 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2441(d)(I) (taking of hostages “with the intent of compelling any nation, person other than the hostage, or group of persons to act or refrain from acting as an explicit or implicit condition for the safety or release of such person or persons.”).
So what happens now? Because the nationality of the kidnapping victims has not been disclosed it is unclear which nations may have a direct act of war claim against Russia. The victim nations know who their inspectors are and, it is unclear whether, under the U.N. Security Counsel Charter, such victim states would be justified to take immediate military action against Russia without warning. I would presume a more measured approach will be applied that will simply unify the free world to crush the Russian economy and deal Russia one more well deserved humiliation.
We should know soon if the Russian Dons are all in with the Dictator’s war of aggression. If not, I expect the Dons to announce the Dictator had an unfortunate accident over the weekend. Otherwise, Ukraine will soon be at war and so too will Russia.