Russian Federation’s Invasion of Ukraine
The New York City Bar Association condemns in the strongest terms the unprovoked, full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, which constitutes a flagrant act of aggression in violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations. Russian Federation troops are attacking heavily populated areas, including the capital of Kyiv, and key objects of critical infrastructure, including the Chernobyl nuclear station.
These attacks have resulted, and will continue to result, in untold civilian casualties. The Russian Federation has created a senseless humanitarian crisis in the region that will result in a lawless and inexcusable human tragedy of immense proportion. The New York City Bar Association further condemns the recognition by the Russian Federation of the self-proclaimed separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, which are integral territories legally recognized under international law as belonging to Ukraine. The Russian Federation’s acts represent blatant violations of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine in breach of international law. Through these acts, the Russian Federation is violating its obligations as a signatory of the Minsk Accord and the Budapest Memorandum, and, moreover, is threatening global peace and security.
The acts of aggression by the Russian Federation violate a fundamental purpose of the United Nations, which, as stated in Article 1(1) of the Charter of the United Nations, is “the suppression of acts of aggression.” This unprovoked initiation of a war and attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine by the Russian Federation constitutes a clear violation of Article 2(4) of the Charter of the United Nations, which prohibits the “threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State.” The invasion of Ukrainian territory by Russian Federation forces and its other acts of aggression violate international law and the Charter of the United Nations because the United Nations Security Council has not authorized such actions, the Ukrainian government has not consented to the presence of Russian Federation troops on its territory, and there is no colorable claim of self-defense on behalf of the Russian Federation.
The Russian Federation must immediately withdraw its forces from Ukrainian territory and comply with its obligations under international law and the Charter of the United Nations. The New York City Bar Association urges all Member States of the United Nations to condemn the Russian Federation’s war in Ukraine, and to demonstrate support for Ukraine and international law by imposing further economic sanctions on the Russian Federation and taking all other appropriate measures.
Sheila S. Boston, President, New York City Bar Association
Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice – Alexander Papachristou, Executive Director
European Affairs Committee – Jonathan N. Halpern, Chair
Council on International Affairs – Mark A. Meyer, Chair
International Law Committee – Ulyana Bardyn, Chair
Rule of Law Task Force – Stephen L. Kass, Chair
United Nations Committee – Clayton Cheney, Co-Chair; Catherine van Kampen, Co-Chair