Conflict Weekly

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Conflict Weekly
Six months of War in Ukraine

  IPRI Team

Conflict Weekly #138, 25 August 2022, Vol.3, No.21
An initiative by NIAS-IPRI and the India Office of the KAS

The War in Ukraine: Six months later
Rishma Banerjee, Harini Madhusudan, Padmashree Anandhan, and Sai Pranav 

War on the ground
24 August marked the six months of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In the last six months, the war has taken a heavy toll on Ukraine. Currently, the frontline stretches close to 2500 kilometres from southern Ukraine, through eastern Donetsk, into the northeast Kharkiv region.

In the initial days of the war, Ukraine resisted the Russian blitzkrieg attacks in the north and central regions efficiently. Russia then moved its offensive to the east, shifting its focus on the Donbas region. On 24 February, when Russia first ordered its troops to attack Ukraine, it controlled around 14,000 square kilometres of Ukraine’s territory. In the last six months, that has increased to 47,000 square kilometres;Russia now controls around 20 per cent of Ukraine. In the Donbas, the entire Luhansk region and over half of Donetsk is under Russia’s control, along with important port cities like, Mariupol and Odesa. According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports, 41,170 Russian personnel have died or have been injured in the war. Russia has lost an estimated 3000-4000 armored vehicles, 730 UAVs, 250 MLRS, 220 warplanes, 175 cruise missiles, around 100 artillery systems, and 15 warships amongst other military equipment. 

Forcing Russia’s troops to retreat from the north and central Ukraine were major victory for Ukraine’s troops. The sinking of Russia’s Moskva warship, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, was a strategic win for Ukraine, similar to its regaining control over the Snake islands. Even though Ukraine has not taken the responsibility for explosions and attacks in Crimea, it maintains that victory means regaining its control of Crimea.

Russia’s relentless attack in Ukraine has had a devastating impact on the country’s population and economy. The official civilian death toll according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reports that 5,587 civilians have been killed since the war began. However, the organization disclaims that the number could be a considerable under-count. Around 9000 of Ukraine’s soldiers have lost their lives. 200 healthcare facilities have been attacked. Ukraine’s government estimates that around 140,000 homes, apartments, and civilian institutions have been destroyed. So far, it is estimated that destruction has already cost Ukraine approximately USD 113.5 billion, and it may need more than USD 200 billion to rebuild. Ukraine’s GDP is also expected to shrink by 40-45 per cent, which will make reconstruction efforts even more difficult.

The war in Ukraine has displaced over 11.2 million people, which is Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II. This is contributed to the rise in global refugee numbers to beyond the 100 million. The UNHCR said that around 6.6 million have been forced to flee the country, while 7 million have been internally displaced. Most of the international refugees due to the war initially entered Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova. 2.3 million Ukrainians are alleged to have forcibly taken refuge in Russia. The next largest diaspora is observed to be in Poland with 1.3 million followed by Germany with one million. As per UNHCR reports, close to 4.5 million Ukrainians have returned to Ukraine since the war began.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has rallied tremendous support for the West, and it has been unwavering in nature. He has been successful in gaining the support and solidarity of the international community. Since the invasion, grants, loans, and aid from the west have facilitated the success of Ukraine’s troops in resisting Russia’s forces. The US provided around EUR 44.5 billion in bilateral financial, humanitarian, and military aid to Ukraine. The second highest value of commitments was recorded from the EU institutions, such as the European Commission and the EU Council, at approximately EUR 16.2 billion. In terms of humanitarian aid, international organizations like the International Committee of the Red Cross and Amnesty International have also sent aid to Ukraine and arranged for personnel to assist in the evacuation of civilians from war-torn parts of Ukraine.

The Moscow view
Moscow has sustained the Ukrainian and the collective Western response, so far. In February, Russia began its offensive with the aim of a lightning war to seize Kyiv and decapitate the Ukrainian government. This attempt did not work in Moscow’s favour due to the stiff Ukrainian resistance. Following this, the Russian offensive faced a few setbacks but continued to attack the country from three sides- the East, South East and the North. While the prolonged war has not been in the favour of Russia, Moscow has captured a sizeable number of Ukrainian territory. It is predicted that the next move by Russia would be to encourage referendum in the multiple occupied territories in line with how Crimea was annexed. 

The human cost of the war has not been officially disclosed by Kremlin. According to the US, an estimated 15,000 Russian soldiers have died in the Ukrainian territory and three times of it, have been wounded. Additionally, Moscow has notably lost high ranking senior officials and generals during the war and up to 4,000 armoured vehicle losses. The strategic miscalculation also witnessed the Russian air force missing-in-action and the lack of combined arms operations from the Russian side. During the months, Moscow also faced supply issues, disorder and discipline problems within the Russian ranks, including sabotage, surrender, and disobedience. Though a large portion of the Ukrainian migration has been towards the western side of Europe, some Ukrainians have fled to Russia in the early months. 

Russian government faced internal opposition to their war efforts in Ukraine. A report by OVD-info an independent human rights reporter has revealed that Moscow has successfully suppressed internal dissent. The portal estimates over 16,437 arrests in connection with anti-war protests between 24 February and 17 August 2022 in Russia. The numbers includes 138 arrests for anti-war posts on social media, 118 arrests for anti-war symbols, and 62 arrests carried out after anti-war demonstrations. On 22 August, during Russia’s flag day, Moscow’s facial recognition system was used to arrest at least 33 people as ‘preventive detention,’ using facial recognition technology. Since 24 February, the Russian State Duma lawmakers have adopted a total of 16 new repressive laws or amendments to existing legislation. Russia has used one of its legislations to designate up to 74 organisations as ‘foreign agents,’ and 15 organisations as ‘undesirable.’ Moscow has blocked over 7000 domestic and western websites for their information about the war citing military censorship. 

The economic implications of the war have been the strongest towards Russia. Following the harsh sanctions placed by the Western alliance, the Russian economy has experienced one of its greatest shocks since 1991. In April, the Central Bank projected the Russian economy to face 8- 10 per cent losses, and currently, it is estimated that the USD 1.8 trillion economy of Russia would face four to six per cent losses in 2022. Though the projections are lesser than early estimates, Russia has only now begun to face the brunt of supply shortages. Moscow has been cut off from the Western financial markets and in July 2022, Russia defaulted on its foreign obligations due to challenges of payment through Roubles.  As a retaliation, Russia has cut back on supplies of its natural gas to Europe, as an unexpected but potent economic weapon. Though the high global energy prices have helped the Russian economy from huge losses, the domestic inflation and the lack of supply of essential goods would remain a problem in the months to come.

The West View
First, while the sanctions extend across sectors, the effectiveness is slow. The West since the beginning of the war has step by step sanctioned all the high-performing Russian industries and service sectors, despite that, Russia continues to hold strong in Ukraine. Five basic categories of sanctions imposed are, individuals, financial, economy, military, and services. The economic sanctions top the list of EUs seven packages of sanctions, the US, the UK, and Switzerland, the main target being isolating Russian energy, material to the manufacturing and technology industries, precious metals such as platinum, palladium, gold, and diamond, and barring its supply chain via road and port. Although such sanctions have derailed Russia’s economic growth, through re-routing its goods and energy to China, Turkey, and India, it has found ways to keep it afloat and keep the war going. The second target is the financial sectors, by freezing the assets and reserves held by Russia in the US and European banks, which have to an extent lashed out against the Russians from launching a more intensive war. In terms of individual sanctions, from the Russian elites to the military official responsible for Bucha Massacre, war crimes and civilian killing have been sanctioned on a retaliatory basis only. Along with Russia, Belarus was also under scrutiny due to its closeness and support to Russia in war, this was particularly imposed by the UK and Switzerland. In terms of military, Russian defence exports, along with equipment for aircraft and space, but compared to economy and financial, military sanctions are observed to be less.

When comparing the total economic, humanitarian, and military aid support provided by the western countries, the US tops the most with EUR 44 billion, while the EU has provided only EUR 16.25 billion, followed by the UK, Germany, Canada, Poland, Norway, and France. From the start of the war, intelligence support has been consistent from the US, UK, and NATO. But in terms of military aid, till the fall of Mariupol city in May, the weapon capacity and military aid have been on low range from helmets, bulletproof jackets, soviet era weapons, and mid-range missiles. Only after June, did the high-capacity weapons, such as High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), NATO-calibre weapons, and advanced missile systems began to be supplied to Ukraine, boosting the Ukraine force to win back some of the lost cities such as the southern city of Kherson and north of Kharkiv. This shows the shortfall in addressing the post-war economic impact and slackness in humanitarian protection. 

With the government mandating the oil companies to pull out its operations. Major European oil firms such as BP, Norway’s Equinor, France’s Total Energies, Siemens, Rio Tinto, US’s Halliburton, and Baker Hughes withdrew their operations, with increasing pressure on the economy over western sanctions, Russia began to reduce and cut down its oil and gas supplies to the Baltic, northern and western European countries through Nord Stream, Gazprom, and Rosneft. This has now led to an energy imbalance in Europe, which was most dependent on Russian energy, although Europe is so far been able to meet its energy demands through alternatives from the US, Africa, and new regional explorations, its environment, and climate goals have been forced to be neglected. With the reduced energy alternatives and prices on a hike, Europe is now facing an energy crisis-induced inflation.

The enlargement process which slowed down due to the block from western Europe over eastern Europe fearing the Islamic extremism, democratic backsliding, and misuse of EU funds, reversed back with Russia launching the war. This pushed, the western Balkans and the Nordic to reconsider their membership status and participation in NATO and the EU. With differences persisting between Turkey, Sweden, and Finland over the deportation of Kurdish activists, the ratification is still yet to be complete. But the difference between west and east Europe has slimmed down to fasten the membership process.

With the failure of the Normandy format dialogue and talks with Russia, the Ukraine war began, which later turned into individual leaders having direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, to de-intensify the war. With all such efforts taken by French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and the mediation efforts of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko failing, the war continued to aggravate for 180-plus days. Finally on 22 July, through Turkey’s mediation, the first historic deal was signed between Ukraine and Russia to address the growing food insecurity.

The global fallouts
COVID-19 pandemic led the world to inflation, energy and food crises due to country-wide lockdowns. Russia attacking Ukraine on 24 February overturned the world's healing from the pandemic's repercussions. Many of the implications of the war were also felt by countries outside Europe. Energy, food, and economic crises were amplified due to the war. There are three global impacts. 

First, food insecurity and grain deal. Russia and Ukraine being one of the largest exporters of wheat, fertilizers, food grains and sunflower oil. The sanctions on Russian exports and sea blockade placed by Russia on Ukraine ports disrupted the supply chain, deepening the global food crisis. The Baltics, the Caspian Sea and Sub-Saharan Africa, especially the Sahel region, were affected by the shortage in grain supply aggravating the food shortages, and famine. The reliance of Africa on Russia and Ukraine for food resources has put it in a critical position at present affecting over 345 million people across 82 countries. 

The food crisis amplified after the ships that carried more than 20 tonnes of grains and sunflower oil were blocked by the Russians at the Black Sea ports of Ukraine after its capture. After negotiations mediated by Turkey and the UN on 22 July 2022, Russia unblocked the ships and the first one left Odesa port on 31 July 2022. These ships containing tons of food resources are looking to relieve the current food crisis around the world temporarily.

Second, economic effects. The global economy plunged downward during the pandemic—energy, food and cost of living crises culminated in a global financial problem. The Ukraine war amplified the crisis. Ban on Russian goods, including its energy and food resources, led to a collapse of the economies of the countries that were dependent on Russian grains and energy. Africa was the most afflicted by the sanctions that were imposed on Russia. The rising food and energy costs largely contributed to the anguish of the cost of living for ordinary citizens in any state. IMF had downgraded global economic growth for the fourth time since its prediction of 4.9 per cent in July 2021 to 3.2 per cent. Inflation is observed to be on the rise for more than five per cent across two and three tier countries since the Ukraine war began.

Three, sanctions imposed by the global. Japan, an ally of the US was the first non-western state to impose export, financial and travel bans on Russia to take action against the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore followed suit with sanctions against Russia. However, India and China have not imposed sanctions on Russia, and abstained from voting for Russia in the UNGA voting. Similarly, South Africa, Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil took stance in support of Russia and did not impose sanctions.

Also, from around the World
Avishka Ashok, Akriti Sharma, Abigail Miriam Fernandez, Joel Jacob, Rashmi BR, Anu Maria Joseph, Harini Madhusudan, Padmashree Anandhan, and Ankit Singh
East and Southeast Asia
China: Foreign Ministry spokesperson objects Japanese politician’s visit to Taiwan.
On 23 August, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson expressed the country’s objection to Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party Lawmaker Keiji Furuya’s visit to Taiwan. The spokesperson said that China would take resolute and strong measures against the Japanese politician’s decision to visit and meet the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. The Chinese spokesperson said: “In disregard of China's solemn representations, Keiji Furuya has visited the Taiwan region of China, which grossly interferes in China's internal affairs, blatantly violates the one-China principle and the spirit of the four China-Japan political documents and sends a seriously wrong signal to the "Taiwan independence" separatist forces.” China stressed that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the country and that Japan’s adherence the one-China principle would be the basis for the future of their bilateral relations.

China: Foreign Ministry condemns US Ambassador’s statements on House Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan
On 22 August, the Chinese Foreign Minister referred to the US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns’ remarks on the Taiwan issue and said that the statements distorted facts and displays the hegemonic logic of the US. During an interview with the CNN, Ambassador Burns claimed that China is the cause for instability in the Taiwan Straits and that the country overacted to the US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. The Chinese spokesperson said that the US had been warned multiple times before Pelosi’s visit and was made aware of the serious consequence to her visit. On 25 August, the Chinese state media also released a 11-point factsheet on China’s right to take military action against Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

Myanmar: Junta kills civilians, torches hundreds of homes
On 23 August, members of the resistance accused junta forces in the western Sagaing region’s Paungbyin Township for killing four civilians and torching more than 300 households in the community earlier. A column of around 80 Myanmar army troops attacked Tha Nga, situated on the eastern banks of the Chindwin River, with 60-millimetre artillery shells on 22 August before overrunning the village. The civilian casualties and damage to the community were discovered after the soldiers left Tha Nga after occupying a monastery overnight.

South Asia
India: Attack on Rushdie “horrific”
On 25 August, India for the first time condemned the attack on the author Salman Rushdie. The Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson said that it was a “horrific” attack. He added: “India has always stood against violence and extremism. We condemn the horrific attack on Salman Rushdie and we wish him a speedy recovery.”

Sri Lanka: Indian fishermen arrested
On 22 August, Sri Lankan Navy arrested 10 fishermen from Tamil Nadu for illegal fishing and breaching the International Maritime Boundary Line. The trawlers were seized by Sri Lanka. According to Colombo Page, the trawler and the fishermen will be handed over to Trincomalee Fisheries authorities for further legal action.

Pakistan: Government declares ‘national emergency’ amid rain-induced floods
On 25 August, the government declared a ‘national emergency’ amid the rain-induced floods which killed 937 people and left at least 30 million without shelter, terming the monsoon rains a “climate-inducted humanitarian crisis of epic proportions.” According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Sindh reported the highest number of deaths as 306 people lost their lives due to floods and rain-related incidents while Balochistan reported 234 deaths whereas Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab recorded 185 and 165 deaths, respectively.

Afghanistan: Reported killing of Zawahiri is an allegation, says Taliban
On 25 August, Taliban’s spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid stated that the reported killing of the al-Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri is an allegation and that the investigation has yet to be finalized. He said: “It is still at the level of allegation. The results have yet to be clarified. The body has not been found there because of the rockets that targeted the area—the area is destroyed and nothing is left of it.” Further, Mujahid criticized the US arguing that the drones flying in Afghan airspace belong to the US, adding that the Taliban considers this an aggression and the US should share these concerns.

Armenia-Azerbaijan: Leaders agree to meet for EU-mediated talks
On 25 August, the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to hold talks mediated by the EU on 31 August. The meeting is scheduled to take place in Brussels and be attended by European Council chief Charles Michel who mediated talks between the two leaders in Brussels in May. Previously, on 19 August, senior representatives of Armenia and Azerbaijan held a discussion in Brussels. Following the meeting, EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar said: “good and substantive discussions” with the secretary of Armenia’s Security Council, Armen Grigorian, and a foreign-policy adviser to the president of Azerbaijan, Hikmet Haciyev.

Tajikistan: HRW calls on authorities to stop the “wrongful detention” of residents Gorno-Badakhshan region
On 23 August, Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on Tajikistan’s authorities to stop the “wrongful detention” of residents in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO). Additional, HRW said that Tajik authorities have arrested and detained more than 200 residents in the GBAO on charges related to the protests in May and “are facing closed, unfair trials.” Previously in May, Tajik authorities carried out a crackdown in GBAO following protests over the lack of an investigation into the death of an activist in police custody as well as the refusal by regional authorities to consider the resignation of two regional leaders.

Central Asia, Middle East, and Africa
Syria: Attack in northern Syria kills civilians
On 19 August, a missile attack hit al-Bab, a town in northern Syria, killing at least 14 civilians and wounding nearly 30 others. The Syrian Civil Defence or the White Helmets said that the casualties included five children. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Syrian government carried out the attack in response to the recent Turkish attacks that targeted Aleppo in the Kurdish-held north-eastern part of the country.

Somalia: At least 21 people killed in gunmen attack in a famed hotel
On 20 August, the officials reported that at least 21 people were killed after gunmen attacked a hotel in the capital Mogadishu. Security forces were found to be battling to end the 20-hour siege at the hotel. The al-Shabab armed group linked to al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attack, which entered the Hayat hotel on 19 August, triggering explosions and gunfire. According to the government officials, the attack is a major incident since Somalia's new leader took office in May.

Nigeria: military reportedly kills 25 Islamist militants
On 23 August the Nigerian military reported that it had killed 25 militants belonging to Islamic State West Africa Province (Iswap) in a series of air strikes in the north-east of the country. Nigeria military spokesperson said that Iswap’s local leader Fiya Ba Yuram was also targeted, but it is not confirmed if he was killed. The military also said it killed an unidentified number of militants in another attack on 20 August, in Tunbuns area on the shores of Lake Chad and in Borno state. Iswap broke away from Boko Haram in 2016. The two groups continue to carry out attacks in the region.

Africa: Fresh fighting between Ethiopia and Tigray forces; UN and African Union raise concerns
On 24 August, Tigray forces accused Ethiopian forces of launching a fresh offensive on the southern border with Amhara. While the Ethiopian government blamed Tigrayan forces for starting the fight, its military reported on hitting an airplane in Mekelle carrying weapons for the TPLF. According to the head of African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat called for “de-escalation” and “talks to seek a peaceful solution.” The AU’s Horn of Africa envoy, Olusegun Obasanjo, who has been leading the peace talks to end the 21-month Tigray conflict. Earlier, the Ethiopian government appealed for a formal Tigray ceasefire agreement, where the government wants the AU envoy to lead the peace talks however, Tigray authorities want former Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta to lead the talks. Re-emergence of tensions between the two sides has been threatening to undo a humanitarian truce reached in March. Meanwhile, UN chief Antonio Guterres said he was “deeply shocked” by the renewed fighting and called for an “immediate cessation of hostilities” and to resume peace talks, humanitarian access and re-establishing public services in Tigray.

South Africa: Trade unions protest against rising cost of living
On 24 August, hundreds of South African people protested in the executive and legislative capitals of Pretoria and Cape Town amid rising inflation, the highest in 13 years. The protests were led by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), a longtime ally of the African National Congress. The protesters marched through central Pretoria towards Union Buildings, which houses the office of President Cyril Ramaphosa holding placards saying “stop basic food items.” In July, the central bank increased the interest rates, highest in 20 years, to curb inflation.

Europe and the Americas
Ukraine: Accused Russia on illegal adoption of displaced children
On 23 August, Ukraine accused Russia of the organised adoption of children and transferring them from occupied territories to Russia. Kyiv has been accusing Moscow of "deporting" Ukrainians since the beginning of the War. Ukraine's foreign ministry stated, "The Russian Federation continues to abduct children from the territory of Ukraine and arrange their illegal adoption by Russian citizens.” According to them, over 1000 children from Mariupol were illegally transferred to outsiders in Tyumen, Irkutsk, Kemerovo, and Altai Krai, in Siberia. The claim was based on the findings of information from local authorities in Krasnodar, a southern Russian city near Ukraine. The statement revealed more than 300 Ukrainian children were also held in specialised institutions in the Krasnodar region. This would make Russia a violator of the 1949 Geneva Convention and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Russia: Daughter of Putin ally mistakenly killed in a car bomb
On 20 August, Darya Dugina, daughter of Alexander Dugin, a prominent Russian Ultranationalist, was killed in a car bomb blast outside Russia. The attack is viewed as an attempt to assassinate her father. Dugina died after a remotely controlled explosive device detonated, destroying the Toyota Land Cruiser she was travelling in. Russia’s FSB (Federal Security Service) has accused Ukraine of organising the murder, but Kyiv has denied it. Alexander Dugin is known for his support for Russian President Vladimir Putin including his decision to send troops into Ukraine. The attack comes in the context of the war reaching its sixth month. President Putin posthumously awarded Dugina the Order of Courage, one of Russia’s highest medals.

Europe: NATO to investigate into data breach 
On 25 August, NATO announced on its impact assessment of the recent breach of military documents. During the hack the military documents such as the blueprints of the weapons used by NATO were sold out by the hacker group. As per NATO’s statement: “We are assessing claims relating to data allegedly stolen from MBDA. We have no indication that any Nato network has been compromised.” As per BBC report, the leaked data was found to be “NATO CONFIDENTIAL” or “NATO RESTRICTED” categorised as high classified details. It contained the details of Land Ceptor CAMM (Common Anti-Air Modular Missile) and MBDA Missile Systems. Russian cyber criminals have claimed to be behind the hack and selling of the data.

Columbia: Defence Minister announces halt in aerial bombings against armed groups
On 25 August, Defence Minister Ivan Velasquez announced the suspension of aerial bombings targeting armed groups, in an effort to minimise the deaths of civilians and children who have been forcibly recruited into the organizations. It marks a shift in Colombia’s strategy against leftist rebels and drug-trafficking gangs amid a recent uptick in violence, especially in remote parts of the country. He said: “Children forcibly recruited by illegal groups are victims of this violence. Therefore, no military action with respect to illegal armed organisations can endanger the lives of these victims.”

Haiti: Protests waged against inflation and crime
On 22 August, thousands of Haitians joined rallies around the Caribbean country to protest rampant crime and soaring consumer prices as its central bank reported that inflation had hit a 10-year high. Protesters set up burning barricades in some areas including the capital of Port-au-Prince, some of whom said they were angry over the growing scarcity of gasoline and diesel that could force some businesses to close their doors. Jean Baden Dubois, Haiti's central bank governor, said the economy would likely contract by 0.4 per cent by 20202, following a sharp depreciation of the gourde currency. Demonstrators held rallies in cities including Cap-Haitien, Petit-Goave, and Jacmel, many wearing red shirts emblazoned with the word "endepandans" or "independence." Chronic gang violence has left much of the country's territory out of control of government authorities, and outbreaks of bloody turf battles between rival gangs have left hundreds dead and thousands displaced. 

Venezuela: US courts reaffirm tribunal judgment on oil assets against the Venezuelan government
On 22 August, a Judge in the US, ordered Venezuela to pay about USD 8.7 billion to ConocoPhillips as compensation for seizing the company’s interests in oil projects. In 2013, the International Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes, which manages arbitration proceedings between contracting states, ruled that Venezuela had unlawfully taken ConocoPhillips’ stakes in three oil projects without paying. The company had alleged the move violated a treaty between the Netherlands and Venezuela. Venezuela’s government said in a statement that it was denied the right to represent itself in court, adding the decision was “unfair” and violated international law.

About the authors 
Rashmi Ramesh, Akriti Sharma, Ankit Singh, and Harini Madhusudan are Doctoral scholars at the School of Conflict and Security Studies, NIAS. Avishka Ashok, Abigail Miriam Fernandez, and Padmashree Anandhan are Project Associates at the School of Conflict and Security Studies, NIAS. Joel Jacob, Anu Maria Joseph, Rishma Banerjee, and Sai Pranav are Research Assistants at the School of Conflict and Security Studies, NIAS. 

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