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Although the proceedings did manage to unearth thousands of pages of secret archives detailing past atrocities, at the end of the day the trial was condemned as a bureaucratic farce that failed to acknowledge the collective trauma of the past.

[Ilya Nuzov is an Assistant Researcher with the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and a Ph D student in International Law at the University of Geneva.

His main research area concerns transitional justice in Eastern Europe.] Much has been said in recent discussions on the Ukraine crisis in an attempt to qualify the ongoing Russian intervention as one kind of violation of international law or another and to ascertain possible legal and political repercussions for either state.

(See previous posts in this symposium by Robert Mc Corquodale, Greg Fox, Remy Jorritsma).

This post seeks to bring to the foray what it considers a fundamental issue driving the rift between the two brotherly nations and standing in the way of their reconciliation and democratization.

Namely, the failure of either Russia or Ukraine to meaningfully work through the Soviet past internally, as well as with respect to each other, through the institution of any of the transitional justice measures previously employed and recommended by the international community.

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