Sister Of Iran’s Supreme Chief Pens Open Letter Hoping For Finish To ‘Tyranny’ Of Brother’s Rule


“[Russian President Vladimir Putin’s] troopers are firing Grads at civilians, hitting residential areas, orphanages, maternity hospitals with ballistic and cruise missiles. Ukraine is our house!”

That is the final social media publish by 28-year-old Valeria Hlodan from Odesa.

On April 23, a Russian missile fired from the Caspian Sea hit the 16-story constructing the place Valeria and her household lived. The fourth and fifth flooring of the constructing collapsed, and the home caught fireplace. Twenty folks have been injured and eight died. The rocket claimed the lives of three generations of the household residing on the fourth ground: Valeria; her 3-month-old daughter, Kira; and Valeria’s mom, Lyudmyla Yavkina.

Shortly earlier than the assault, Valeria’s husband, Yuriy Hlodan, had gone to the shop to purchase groceries. Yuriy rushed house and demanded that rescuers let him into the burning condo. He discovered the our bodies of his spouse and her mom. Later, rescuers carried out the physique of his daughter.

The truth that a missile launched from the Caspian Sea claimed the lives of three generations of 1 household was revealed to the world in a video message from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. “Amongst these killed was a 3-month-old child lady. How did she threaten Russia? It appears that evidently killing youngsters is only a new nationwide concept of the Russian Federation,” Zelenskiy mentioned.

It was one of many first deaths reported exterior of the Ukraine fight zone. At the moment, the combating was largely targeted within the Kherson, Zaporizhzhya, and Mykolayiv areas, a whole lot of kilometers east of Odesa. However Russia continued to shell civilian targets removed from the fight zone.

(Left to proper) Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Turkmen President Serdar Berdymukhammedov, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Kazakh President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev pose for an image on the Caspian summit in Ashgabat on June 29.

On Might 3, Tu-95 strategic bombers launched high-precision missiles from the Caspian Sea at infrastructure targets within the Lviv, Dnepropetrovsk, Kropyvnytskiy, Vinnytsya, Kyiv, and Zakarpattya areas. Within the west and within the middle of the nation, there have been explosions on the railways; the trains stopped operating. In quite a lot of areas, producing amenities failed and residents have been left with out electrical energy.

On June 26, Russia fired six X-101 high-precision missiles within the course of Kyiv from the Caspian Sea. The Ukrainian air-defense system shot down a number of missiles, however one hit a residential constructing in Kyiv, killing one particular person and injuring 5 others.

Russia continued to launch missiles from the Caspian Sea in July, August, and September. In October and November, the Russian army even stepped up its missile strikes following retreats within the south and east after setbacks on the entrance.

Missiles fired by Moscow — Russia launched missiles from missile-carrying plane within the Caspian Sea, ships within the Black Sea, and within the Rostov area — disabled vitality and water amenities throughout Ukraine, leaving tens of millions of individuals with out water and electrical energy. On October 10, the Russian Protection Ministry mentioned that missile strikes on army installations and energy techniques had “hit the goal.”

The Silence Of The Caspian States

4 years in the past, after 22 years of negotiations, the leaders of the 5 littoral states of the Caspian Sea — Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan — signed a conference defining its authorized standing. The conference regulates the rights and obligations of the events in relation to the usage of the Caspian Sea, together with its waters, mattress, subsoil, pure sources, and airspace.

In response to the doc, the events agreed to make use of the ocean just for peaceable functions.

“We succeeded in turning the Caspian Sea right into a sea of friendship,” mentioned then-Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, who praised the achievement of the Conference on the Authorized Standing of the Caspian Sea at a summit of leaders of the Caspian states held in Aqtau 4 years in the past.

The “sea of friendship” that Nazarbaev spoke of was enshrined in Article 3 of the conference: The events agreed to “use the ocean for peaceable functions, flip it right into a zone of peace, good-neighborliness, friendship, and cooperation.”

On the assembly, the leaders of the opposite nations additionally praised the conference.

Then-Iranian President Hassan Rohani mentioned that it was vital not solely to undertake the conference however to implement it correctly.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev referred to as the conference a “historic doc” and the ocean a “zone of stability and safety.”

Assessing the doc as an “epoch-making occasion,” Putin mentioned the conference “ensures that the Caspian Sea shall be used just for peaceable functions.”

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4 years after Putin’s phrases, Russia launched missiles into Ukraine and turned the Caspian Sea into a part of the struggle zone, however the states on the Caspian coast have but to react.

After Moscow launched missiles from the Caspian on June 30, the Ukrainian Overseas Ministry issued an attraction wherein it referred to as on Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan “to make each effort to drive Russia to stick to its worldwide authorized obligations, particularly the Conference on the Authorized Standing of the Caspian Sea.”

The sixth Caspian summit had been held in Ashgabat on the day earlier than the Ukrainian attraction, with the participation of the leaders of Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. In response to the communiqué adopted on June 29, the coastal states reaffirmed the precept of utilizing the Caspian Sea for peaceable functions.

Not one of the leaders attending the assembly raised the problem of Russia’s use of the Caspian for army functions.

Dependence On Russia, Or Bare Self-Curiosity?

RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service requested the Kazakh Overseas Ministry why Astana didn’t reply to Russia’s use of the Caspian to fireside missiles at Ukraine. The ministry responded that “all of the provisions of the conference, together with Paragraph 2 of Article 3 (the usage of the Caspian Sea for peaceable functions, turning it right into a zone of peace, good neighborliness, friendship and cooperation, resolving all points associated to the Caspian Sea by peaceable means), apply solely to the Caspian states and are targeted on relations between them and don’t regulate the sphere of interplay with third nations.”

Analysts say the conference is absolutely solely geared toward regulating relations between the collaborating events. In response to the conference, the Caspian states are obliged to respect one another’s territorial integrity and independence, to not use drive in opposition to one another, and to not intrude in one another’s inside affairs. The conference accommodates just one provision regarding third nations: that armed forces not belonging to the events shouldn’t be on the ocean.

“I feel the view of the Caspian littoral states is that Russian vessels are in worldwide waters even within the Caspian — or are in Russian waters. The one factor the opposite littoral states have dedicated to is holding exterior powers out,” says Paul Goble, a longtime analyst of Russian and post-Soviet affairs.

Michal Pietkiewicz, a lawyer and professor on the College of Legislation and Administration on the College of Warmia and Mazury in Poland, who has studied the Caspian conference, notes that it is just a regional doc, a closed system for coastal nations. Due to this fact, in accordance with Pietkiewicz, in observe, Russia didn’t violate the provisions of the conference in relation to the Caspian states.

“Within the preamble of the conference, the events to the treaty emphasised that each one points concerning the Caspian Sea are throughout the unique competence of the events. Summing up: The Caspian conference is a closed system (just for coastal states), so the ultimate query arises: Can army actions carried out from Russian territory in opposition to a state that’s not a celebration to the conference be thought to be a violation of the ‘peaceable functions’ clause?” Pietkiewicz asks.

“And in attempting to present a solution, we should always ask one other query: Did Russia threaten or use drive in opposition to the territorial integrity or political independence or in another method undertake any actions inconsistent with the rules of worldwide legislation embodied within the constitution of the United Nations in opposition to Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan? The reply isn’t any.”

The Kazakh Overseas Ministry additionally advised RFE/RL that the conference had not entered into drive, so “Kazakhstan has no authorized grounds to require Russia to adjust to the provisions of the conference.”

In 2018, the conference was publicly signed by the 5 Caspian nations after which the doc was ratified by all of them, besides Iran. Iran refused to ratify the conference as a result of it mentioned the doc didn’t meet its strategic pursuits and the problem of figuring out the baselines dividing the sovereign territory of every state had not been resolved.

Even if Iran has not ratified the conference, this has nothing to do with the truth that the Caspian nations haven’t expressed concern about missile launches, Pietkiewich believes, as a result of every of the coastal states is impartial and may act independently.

Dependence On Russia

Even when the Caspian states can’t depend on the Caspian conference to use to Russia, they are often guided by different worldwide devices, and since all of them are members of the United Nations, Pietkiewich says, the Caspian states may theoretically take motion in opposition to Russia, based mostly on worldwide legislation that prohibits genocide, struggle crimes, and crimes in opposition to humanity.

However the primary cause the Caspian states have remained silent concerning the missile launches is their dependence on Russia, analysts say. The Caspian states are members of alliances led by Russia.

Kazakhstan is a member of the Collective Safety Treaty Group and the Eurasian Financial Union. The nation additionally will depend on Russian commerce: Russia’s share of Kazakh imports is 38 %. Kazakh oil exports to Europe cross via Russia.

Because the starting of the yr, Russia has partially or fully stopped the operation of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, which carries Kazakh oil via its territory, 4 instances. Analysts counsel that it is as a result of Kazakhstan has not publicly supported Russia in its struggle with Ukraine, permitting tens of 1000’s of Russians fleeing a army mobilization in Russia into Kazakhstan and declining to acknowledge the Kremlin’s declaration of 4 partially managed Ukrainian areas as sovereign states.

Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan are members of the Commonwealth of Impartial States and each have established commerce and financial relations with Russia.

And following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Tehran and Moscow have strengthened army cooperation, with stories that Iran is offering Russia with army drones. In response to Kyiv, its army has shot down greater than 300 Iranian-made drones. On October 16, The Washington Put up reported that Iran had offered not solely drones however even ballistic missiles to Russia.

In an interview with The Economist, Vadym Skibitskiy, Ukraine’s deputy head of army intelligence, mentioned that Iranian missiles could be delivered by air to Russian-occupied Crimea and by sea to Russian ports on the Caspian Sea. The Economist predicted that, after receiving these missiles, Russia will step up its air strikes.

“There’s a lack of duty for different states (right here for Ukraine), and a scarcity of solidarity with different states (Ukraine), and a few states are too afraid of dropping their gasoline and oil provides. Due to this fact, the actual pursuits of a person state typically take priority over the worldwide state of affairs,” Pietkiewich says. “However, if we stay silent concerning the violation of the fundamental norms of worldwide legislation, this provides the aggressor a free hand. Acts of aggression might unfold to different territories, together with ‘silent’ states.”

Says Goble: “I feel that the others ought to make it very clear that this use by Russia of the Caspian is inconsistent with the spirit, if not the letter, of their settlement. I concern none of them could be prepared to take action individually, and I do not see a lot prospect for a collective démarche.”

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