New York State Bar Association Offers Support, Solidarity With Members in Ukraine
The New York State Bar Association’s International Section held an early morning video call Thursday with its members in Ukraine to offer assistance and solidarity while NYSBA President T. Andrew Brown issued a strongly-worded condemnation of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine.
“This act of unwarranted and illegal military aggression against a sovereign state is a flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter, Helsinki Accords, and established norms and principles of international law,” Brown said. “NYSBA joins the international community in demanding that the Russian Federation immediately withdraw its armed forces from Ukraine and restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity and international borders. NYSBA supports our new friends and colleagues in Ukraine and, in this dark hour, NYSBA stands with Ukraine.”
On the video call, NYSBA members from Ukraine gave first hand accounts of the overnight missile strikes. They reported that they were safe but feared for the safety of extended family members in the country. The association established a chapter in Ukraine in December 2021 by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ukraine Bar Association. Last week, with tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, NYSBA’s International Section formed a Ukraine task force. Many members with ties to Ukraine are mobilized and eager to help.
“We are going to do anything we can to help our members in Ukraine,” said Edward Lenci, chair of the association’s International Section and co-chair of the International Section’s newly-formed task force.
Ukrainian Bar Association President Anna Ogrenchuk, who is also president of the NYSBA chapter in the Ukraine, expressed gratitude for the assistance.
“We consider that the only way to stop military actions is military resistance and application of such sanctions that would render a normal functioning of the Russian government impossible,” Ogrenchuk said.
The Ukrainian Bar Association released a statement Thursday calling on the international community to provide weapons and armor to the Ukrainian resistance, deploy a peacekeeping force to Ukraine and impose sanctions against Russia and its leadership.
The New York State Bar Association has 65 chapters outside of the United States. The chapter in Ukraine is its newest, founded Dec. 21, 2021.