Changing the rules of engagement – Ukraine amends laws on military

September 21, 2012

Tempted as I am to join the throng raising legitimate concern over the proposed criminalisation of libel in Ukraine – something that should never be a criminal offence, and with quality journalism simply wouldn’t happen anyway, I won’t – yet!

Concerned as I am over the new law that entered into force yesterday over the requirement to give 48 hours notice to the authorities for mass gatherings and the requirement for such rallies/demonstrations to be authorised, I am not going to.  Admittedly this new law is pretty much in line with those that exist in many nations, that cannot be denied, but this is Ukraine and the manipulation of such a law for political ends is a real issue.

No, worthy as both those issues are of reflection and comment, today I will ruminate of the amendments to laws relating to the Ukrainian military that were made a few days ago, and which have largely passed under the radar.

More specifically the changes to the laws that govern the Ukrainian military were changed in relation to its activities outside the territorial borders of Ukraine – rather than within.

The laws have been changed not only to allow for increased input by the Ukrainian military into humanitarian assistance and conflict prevention, and Ukraine is a keen UN participant – particularly when it comes to Chapter 8 of the UN Charter, but also allows for the Ukrainian military to engage in combat missions on foreign soil – something it was until a few days ago prevented from doing.

In total, 11 existing laws were amended to allow all the above to occur.

What these changes, particularly with respect to combat operations in effect mean, is that the Ukrainian military could now, theoretically speaking, join joint actions with the EU battle groups for example, or NATO, or equally those of the CSTO, or any other organisation that Ukraine belongs to that is currently or in the future may become militarised.

For such a potentially major change in Ukrainian military policy, it has brought very little media or political comment.

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