Putin called the Russian advance into Ukraine “peacekeeping” at the start of the war. The United Nations, however, lays claim to the term. UN Peacekeeping Operations date back to 1948. The UN has used the phrase for over seventy-four years.
In its mission to bring “lasting peace to war-torn nations”, the UN developed a set of Peacekeeping requirements. The twelve Peacekeeping Operations currently under deployment follow these principles. As a matter of record, Putin’s use of military force does not adhere to these conditions.
As the first principle, Peacekeeping Operations are authorized by The UN. (Goulding, 453). The Russian troops that moved into Ukraine were not authorized by the UN. The United Nations General Assembly did not support Putin’s military actions.
In an added measure, the UN strongly condemned the military move into Ukraine. The UN’s general assembly voted against the move of Russian Troops across the Ukrainian border. Specifically, they urged Putin to “withdraw all its military forces.”
Additionally, the move into Ukraine lacked the requirement of consent. The UN deploys Peacekeeping Operations – only after a country consents to have the troops. The Russian forces that moved into Ukraine didn’t have consent. In addition to not giving consent, Ukrainian President Zelensky urged its citizens to oppose Russian forces.
Lastly, the UN requires that troops in Peacekeeping Operations limit the use of force. With the military act, Russian troops didn’t limit the use of force. The convoy was 40 miles long. News reports cite the deaths of 549 civilians. From the violence, millions of refugees fled the country.
To put it simply, there are technical differences between Peacekeeping Operations and Russia’s recent military deployment. The UN didn’t authorize Putin’s move into Ukraine. The troops didn’t have Ukraine’s consent. Finally, the military isn’t limiting the use of force.
In addition to taking different actions, the UN and Putin have different goals. The United Nations Peacekeeping operations strive to bring “lasting peace” to a country that is in conflict. By sending troops over the border. Putin’s operations appear to be – not bringing peace – but bringing conflict.
With Peacekeeping Operations, the UN tries to stop countries from becoming more “war-torn”. The footage in the news suggests that the military act may be making Ukraine “war-torn”. The United Nations Peacekeeping Operations advocate for diplomacy. Many believe that Putin is advocating for authoritarianism.
Some claim that the use of “peacekeeping” in regard to Russia’s military moves is propaganda. Political rhetoric is not new. We’ve all seen hypocrisy before. In this instance, the use of the word “peacekeeping” to refer to aggression may be confusing to many people.
Putin appears to be saying one thing with the term. At the same time, it looks like he’s doing the opposite with his military. After hearing Putin call his forces “peacekeeping”, a naive listener might support it and not know that Putin is doing something else.
What’s more, this faulty comparison to “peacekeeping” might interfere with people’s perception of “peace” and of “war”. With the confusion, some might start to doubt or question their understanding of “peace”.
Finally, hearing one thing and seeing another might make other people pause. Putin might be obtaining a stronger position by creating uncertainty. By confusing the public, he could be gaining the advantage of time.
A Hit to the UN
Unfortunately, the misuse of the term “peacekeeping” negatively affects the UN’s reputation. The United Nations put time into developing the criteria for Peacekeeping Operations. Communicating its message to the public took effort. The misuse of the expression takes away from the UN’s accomplishments.
Also, someone who doesn’t know about real Peacekeeping might credit the Russian military for the UN’s successes for example. In addition, the misinformation might pull down the positive connotations associated with the UN’s Peacekeeping.
The United Nations deserves recognition for its altruistic undertakings. The contributions of its Peacekeeping Operations are many. Learn more about its missions by clicking here. Thank you for reading. Double thanks for following me here and on my site.