Startseite » Geography learning material » What are aggressor states? – examples

What are aggressor states? – examples

No agreements possible

States that carry out attacks in other countries, appropriate the resources available there, establish another political system that is beneficial to them or carry out other exploitative actions are referred to as aggressor states.

It is characteristic of aggressor states that they do not adhere to any international agreements and thus act completely unpredictably. Their own interests legitimize their penetration into other state territories and military actions there. To justify the military actions they have a pretext ready that has nothing to do with the actual interest.

Russia as an example of an aggressor state

The behavior of an aggressor state can be explained using the example of Russia, which expanded its territory in 2014 with its military invasion of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

The Crimea belonged to Ukraine since 1991. The vast majority of the inhabitants on the Ukrainian peninsula are of Russian descent and the population in Crimea has declared in a referendum with a majority that they want to belong to Russia.

An alliance with the EU or with Russia would have meant financial support for Ukraine. For Russia, unification with Ukraine would have been an antithesis to the economically strong EU. Ukraine’s accession would also have resulted in economic benefits for the EU.

Negotiations for Ukraine to join the EU failed at short notice in 2013.

Russia needs Crimea first and foremost because the Russian Black Sea Fleet is stationed in the city of Sevastopol and the Black Sea can be controlled from here. Ukraine’s accession to NATO, including Crimea, would have meant that the Russian fleet would have to withdraw.

Another reason for annexing Crimea is that it will give Ukraine a territorial dispute and, according to NATO guidelines, no state with territorial disputes may join NATO until these disputes are resolved.

Violated international law through troop invasion and referendum

When armed troops marched into Crimea, Russia acted in violation of international law. Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula and finally made it Russian territory through a referendum. However, this has not been recognized internationally by all countries.

International sanctions

A number of sanctions from different European countries took place. Entry bans have been imposed on certain people and economic sanctions have been issued.

The USA is another example of an aggressor state

Just like Russia, the USA has appeared internationally as an aggressor state several times in the past few decades. The invasion of Iraq was contrary to international law because the United States did not receive a mandate from the UN. This is exactly how the US acts in Syria without a UN mandate, which is also contrary to international law.

Before the Iraq war, the then Secretary of Defense of the United States (Powel) showed samples in test tubes in front of the assembled UN in New York and publicly stated that Saddam Hussein had chemical weapons. After the invasion of Iraq by American and British troops, no chemical weapons have been found in Iraq to this day.