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Address by the World Congress of Ukrainian Lawyers
to Ukrainians living abroad and lawyers around the world
April 4, 2022, Kyiv
The full-scale war in Ukraine, caused by the armed aggression of the Russian Federation, has already been waged for a month and ten days. The Ukrainian nation with weapons in its hands defends its right to physical existence, right to freedom and independent state, its own history, language and culture. For the Ukrainian people this war is not only the national liberation competitions, but also the fight against a totalitarian, in fact, fascist regime for protection of democratic values of the world as well as better future of all humanity!
The World Congress of Ukrainian Lawyers states that Russian invaders ignore all international rules and customs of warfare, demonstrate behavior, inherent to Hitler’s war criminals. Exactly at this moment Ukrainian cities and villages, hospitals, schools and kindergartens with their civilian population – children, teenagers, pregnant women, elderly people, are deliberately and consistently striked. Is it possible to imagine that in the 21st century bomb and rocket strikes will eliminate from the face of the Earth the whole cities and regions such as Mariupol, Okhtyrka, Volnovakha, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, the suburbs of Kiev – Gostomel, Bucha and Irpin?! That thermobaric and phosphorus bombs, subversive devices, prohibited by international conventions, will be used against ordinary citizens. That journalists, sanitary vehicles and humanitarian convoys will be shooted?! That Russian inhumans will rape children and women, torture and execute massively ordinary inhabitants of cities and villages, as it took place in Bucha?!
The World Congress of Ukrainian Lawyers notices that in the occupied territories Russian invaders conduct cleaning up of everything that is perceived as Ukrainian one – they kill people who defend their right to be Ukrainians, destroy the monuments of architecture, churches, burn out cultural objects and Ukrainian-language editions. And they call cynically this barbaricism as «denacification» although such crimes in international law are qualified as military ones and genocide for ethnic and national characteristics.
But they can’t scare us! We know that the winner will be the only one — it is Ukraine and the Ukrainian people! We understand that happy life of our next generations depends only from resilience, courage and cohesion of the Ukrainian nation, its Armed Forces.
We are grateful to the peoples of West and many of its leaders for moral, financial, military and humanitarian assistance to our state in fighting against the Russian invader. At the same time weeks of resistance and heavy fighting prove that it is still not enough, and unprecedented world sanctions do not stop the aggressor. Long-continued and clumsy procedures in making decisions by international institutions, hesitation and delays in actions, pure fear in the eyes of some European politicians, false hopes that their states will be spared by the war in case of military defeat of Ukraine create a favorable ground for further growing of cynicism and insolence of Kremlin and stimulate a sense of impunity among the Moscow elite.
The World Congress of Ukrainian Lawyers calls on all Ukrainians living in the USA, Canada, Australia, European countries, Asia, South America, Africa to continue to initiate and conduct large-scale events and keep on actions to encourage politicians, parliaments and governments of their countries to support Ukraine in this blood war, stop the genocide of the Ukrainian people, to resume peace in the heart of Europe.
We believe that current efforts of all Ukrainians abroad should be aimed at lobbying the following processes:
— provision of modern offensive arms, military equipment and communication facilities; airplanes, long-ranged air and missile defense for closing Ukrainian airspace;
— implementation of effective control over existing restrictive measures and introduction of new sanctions against the Russian Federation: sectoral, economic measures, individual sanctions against companies, oligarchs and their families, exclusion of all banks without exception from the SWIFT, closure of world ports, total trade blockade, and essentially – embargo on Russian oil and gas;
— exclusion of the Russian Federation from the United Nations Security Council as well as the United Nations, suspension of its participation in other international organizations as an aggressor country, a terrorist country for actions that contradict goals and fundamental documents of these humanitarian organizations;
— evidence collection to prosecute all those involved in committing crimes against humanity;
— provision of financial, economic and technical assistance from countries in the world and international organizations for reconstruction of Ukraine as well as attraction of private investors.
We offer all lawyers of Ukrainian origin, all lawyers around the world to make the following efforts:
— exclusion of legal organizations, law firms of the Russian Federation from international and European associations of lawyers such as: International Bar Association (IBA), International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), International Law Association (ILA), International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA) , Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CJEU), European Bars Federation (FBI), etc;
— withdrawal of all international and European associations of lawyers from the International Union (Association) of Lawers (IUA) and similar international legal organizations, the governing bodies of which are located in Moscow;
— creation of an international alliance of lawyers, separately or on the basis of existing international non-governmental legal institutions, for preparation and support of proceedings in international criminal courts.
The World Congress of Ukrainian Lawyers addresses all Ukrainians around the world:
Remember that today the fate of Ukraine is in your hands! That today it is a turning point in human history! You should not stay indifferent! Keep fighting and you are sure to win!
Together to victory! Glory to Ukraine!
The World Congress of Ukrainian Lawyers