From Minnesota – to the lawyers of the Kyiv region with care and attention: about the visit of an American colleague


From Minnesota – to the lawyers of the Kyiv region with care and attention: about the visit of an American colleague

On September 16, 2022, American lawyer Barbara J. Gislason from Minnesota paid an introductory visit to the lawyers of the Kyiv region. She was in Ukraine at the invitation of the Chairman of the Bar Council of the Kyiv Region, Petro Boyk , representing the interests of the International Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the Minnesota Bar Association.

After visiting the RAKO building in Kyiv at the address of st. Kyrylivska, 15 and after talking with the members of the Council, Barbara Gislason learned about the establishment of the "CHARITY FUND FOR ASSISTANCE TO LAWYERS OF KYIV" , which is currently headed by lawyer Mykola Zamkovenko .

Since the American lawyers expressed their desire to participate in the replenishment of this fund as sponsors, the members of the Council asked Mrs. Gislason to communicate directly with the lawyers of the Kyiv region, who suffered from the influx of Russian aggressors. After all, it is precisely such lawyers who will be the first to receive assistance from the Fund.

During the visit to Borodyanka, Bucha and Irpen, Barbara Gislason was accompanied by the head of RAKO Petro Boyko, the head of KDKA of Kyiv region Volodymyr Polishchuk , the head of the Charitable Fund Mykola Zamkovenko and members of RAKO Hanna Pavlenko , Olga Demidyuk and Valery Kravchuk . Pavlo Lutsyuk , a lawyer from the Rivne region, who met Mrs. Barbara a little earlier, on the way from Poland to Ukraine, helped with a number of organizational issues.

Mrs. Gislason questioned in detail the lawyers who suffered from the Russian occupiers, what they had to face, tried to film the most important moments of the stories, collected photos that clearly demonstrated the consequences of Russian aggression. The American colleague was especially moved by the stories of Ukrainian lawyers who were under occupation with their children or lost absolutely everything because of the war: not only real estate, but even documents and historical memory – family photo albums. At the same time, a significant number of lawyers from Borodyanka, Buchi and Irpen now have no means of livelihood, as their offices and cases are often physically destroyed, the courts do not work, and the clients themselves do not have anything to pay for the services of defense attorneys.

After all, charitable assistance is needed for the residents of Kyiv Oblast because of huge material losses. For example, the damage caused only to the infrastructure of the village of Borodyanka in the Kyiv region is estimated at $148.4 million. During the war, 404 private and 55 apartment buildings were destroyed in the village. The total area of these damaged structures is 328.8 thousand m2. Residents of Buchi, Irpen and other cities and towns of Kyiv region are in a similar difficult situation.

Mrs. Gislason was impressed by what she heard and saw, and promised to contribute to the activities of the Charitable Fund as much as possible – American colleagues not only in Minnesota, but also in other US states will be informed about the situation with the lawyers of the Kyiv region.

The only condition for the involvement of American sponsors will be a transparent and honest mechanism for the distribution of charitable funds, of which the colleague from the USA was assured 100%. The criteria for the allocation of aid will be based on documentary evidence, and the corresponding reports on the use of funds will be as public as possible and available to the general public (to be published on the website of the Bar Council of the Kyiv region).

More photos from the visit – at the link

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