Co-Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Ukraine Chapter Honored for Her Fight to Protect Her Homeland
The International Section of the New York State Bar Association bestowed its highest honor, the Distinction in International Law Award, to the co-chair of its chapter in Ukraine, Anna Ogrenchuk, during a virtual program as part of the association’s Annual Meeting.
“At a time of personal struggle and her homeland under attack, Anna Ogrenchuk is leading the fight to hold the Russian government and its leaders accountable,” said NYSBA president Sherry Levin Wallach. “She is a tireless leader for justice and the rule of law. I am proud to serve alongside her as bar presidents and leaders of our profession.”
Ogrenchuk, president of the Ukrainian Bar Association, has helped marshal an international coalition of law groups to pressure the United Nations to investigate Russia for alleged war crimes.
“Anna Ogrenchuk’s leadership in Ukraine inspires and energizes all of us to work harder in the practice of international law,” said Azish Filabi, chair of the New York State Bar Association’s International Section. “She embodies the qualities of professionalism, dedication, and integrity in her pursuit of justice.”
“It’s a true honor for me to receive this award,” Ogrenchuk said. “Our work in strengthening Ukraine takes place in very unfortunate circumstances. For almost a year, Russian missiles have continued destroying our civil infrastructure and hitting residential buildings in Kiev and many other cities. Ukraine has become the center between the rule of law and lawlessness, between democracy and autocracy, and in general between good and evil.”
In December 2021, the New York State Bar Association signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ukrainian Bar Association that forged a strong alliance. Less than two months later, lawyers in the United States, Ukraine and Poland joined together in a Ukraine Task Force under the auspices of the New York State Bar Association. The task force has played a role in helping refugees fleeing the violence, collecting evidence of war crimes and arguing for an international tribunal to investigate Russian aggression.
“In almost one year of the war together we have managed to build a strong network of lawyers who urged their governments to increase economics sanctions against the aggressed state. NYSBA was the first international legal agency that urged the U.S. General Assembly to establish a special tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine. We do hope other organizations will join and support NYSBA’s message showing the true role of the legal community,” said Ogrenchuk.