War or Peace?

Human Rights and Russian Military Involvement in the “Near Abroad”

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The Russian Federation is engaged in military policies in several armed conflicts in the “near abroad” — the countries of the former Soviet Union — that simultaneously protect and violate human rights. Russia inherited command of the far-flung Soviet armed forces after the legal dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991; it has deployed additional troops as peace-keepers and sent millions of dollars worth of humanitarian assistance to areas of conflict that are now legally separate from Russia, including Georgia, Moldova and Tajikistan. At the same time, some Russian forces have violated their officially neutral position and joined the fighting, killing and injuring civilians and looting their property, in violation of international law.

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