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11 Times Russian Leaders Condemned The Use Of Force Without U.N. Approval

On Saturday Russian President Vladimir Putin got approval from his senate to send combat troops to Ukraine. But he has made it very clear in the past that no war is justified without approval from the United Nations.

Posted on March 1, 2014, at 1:56 p.m. ET

1. Putin on Iraq in 2003: "The use of force abroad, according to existing international laws, can only be sanctioned by the United Nations. This is the international law."

Ria Novosti / Reuters

2. "I am convinced that it would be a grave error to be drawn into unilateral action, outside of international law," he said.

Armed servicemen wait near Russian military vehicles outside a Ukrainian border guard post in the Crimean town of Balaclava, March 1. / Via Stringer / Reuters

3. "Everything that is done without the UN Security Council's sanction cannot be recognized as fair or justified," Putin said in 2003.

Pro Russian riots near Crimea / Via Stringer / Reuters

4. Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich has said: "Any unilateral use of force without the authorisation of the U.N. Security Council, no matter how 'limited' it is, will be a clear violation of international law."

David Mdzinarishvili / Reuters

5. "Attempts to bypass the Security Council... create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention," Lukashevich said in August.

Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters

6. In April 2013, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said that "it is unacceptable to use force in international relations."

Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

7. "The use of force without the approval of the United Nations Security Council is a very grave violation of international law," Lavrov said in August.

Thaier Al-Sudani / Reuters

8. Speaking in 2003, Lavrov said that a "U.S.-led invasion of Iraq" without U.N. support "would be a clear violation of international law."

Armed servicemen stand on guard at the Belbek airport near Sevastopol, March 1, 2014. / Via Stringer / Reuters

9. In a New York Times opinion piece published this summer, Putin reinforced the importance of the United Nations: "No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage..."

Pro-Russian protesters with Russian flags take part in a rally in central Donetsk, March 1. / Via Stringer / Reuters

"This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization."

10. "Force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council," he continued in his op-ed.

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

"Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression."

11. "We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos."

Ukrainian men help pull one another out of a stampede / Via Baz Ratner / Reuters

From Putin's New York Times op-ed.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.