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Given the vulnerability in the Russian command and control system right now, some people are thinking that Ukraine should depose Lukashenko as well.

Regardless of whether this would be a good idea or not, would Ukraine have a legal right to do this? I am pretty sure they would given the armed attacks from Belarussian territory and which is being directly aided by the Belarussian military, Article 51 of the UN Charter would protect self defense.

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    Having a legal justification for war is not the same as having a legal justification for deposing the head of state (or head of government, or commander in chief). Which are you asking about?
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 20:54
  • having a Casus Belli does not mean it is legal to attack another country. Judging by history, Germany would have a Casus Belli against Greece for not paying its debt to Germany using early modern definitions for a valid Casus Belli, but Germany is constitutionally barred from attacking any other country first. Likewise, Japan would have many times a Casus Belli to attack North Korea, whenever their rocket tests violate their airspace, but acting on them would violate the Japanese constitution.
    – Trish
    Commented Jul 19, 2023 at 9:32

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I think Ukraine's legal grounds to run a special military operation to depose Lukashenko would have the same validity (if any) as Russia's grounds to do the same to depose Zelenskyy.

I'm not aware of "turnabout is fair play" being codified anywhere in this international rule of law that is the basis for the West's support of Ukraine.

So such an action would then create an intractable moral problem which would hinder ongoing support of Ukraine, and reduce the war and the international support to "might makes right".

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  • however, allowing an insurgent group of Belarussians to go to Belarus is not declaring war or a special operation.
    – Trish
    Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 22:33
  • "I think Ukraine's legal grounds to run a special military operation to depose Lukashenko would have the same validity (if any) as Russia's grounds to do the same to depose Zelenskyy." Well, Zelenskyy is the elected leader of Ukraine. Commented Jun 26, 2023 at 1:17

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