A website entitled “Law 360” characterising itself as a “one step source for legal news and analysis” recently published an article about donating to Ukraine discrediting at least two Ukrainian American humanitarian aid organisations as well as Ukrainian history and its current fighters. Here is my letter to “Law 360”:
I am a retired attorney at law with 45 years experience in legal practice in New York City predominantly. A fellow Ukrainian American alerted me to your publication of an article suggesting that due diligence is key for firms donating to Ukraine. I have never visited your site, but do respect your affiliation with Lexis-Nexis. For that reason I was disappointed by your complete lack of balance. You disparaged if not defamed two reputable Ukrainian American humanitarian assistance organisations. Whether your writing rises to the level of defamation with financial consequences for the two 501(c)(3) institutions remains to be seen but, contrary to legal ethics, you have muddied not only these two structures but Ukraine and its people who are being slaughtered in a genocidal war replete with war crimes as well.
Curiously since you should rely on some legal ethics and due diligence yourself, the following statement reflects the characterisation or character assassination of your piece, “But the group has some ties to far-right groups that wouldn’t be obvious to those who are not immersed in Ukrainian politics.” Certainly those not immersed would have to include you.
Having no personal knowledge, you rely primarily on three dubious sources Hans-Jakob Schindler, Al Jazeera and Per Anders Rudling. Schindler is a German diplomat and United Nations bureaucrat dealing primarily with the Middle East, Al Jazeera is a state owned Qatar news service (Qatar has been deemed by other Arab states as a terrorist state) and Per Andres Rudling is a professor at Lund University with a Masters in Russian and serving the Russians well who has devoted his life to denigrating Ukrainian and Belarusian nationalism in favour of their invaders. I am certainly not stretching it if I suggest that all three are less than eminently qualified on the subject of Ukraine. I suggest that you yourself reconsider your sources.
Secondly, I am not being hyperbolic when I submit that you and your publication are doing Russia’s work. When Putin started the war he used the phrase “deNazifying Ukraine”. Is that what you are purporting to do, like Putin, de-Nazify the Ukrainian American community? Shame on you!
Only the state of Israel has had more Jewish prime ministers and presidents than Ukraine. While there may be some individual antisemitism among Ukrainians, there certainly is none in government or society. The Jewish-Ukrainian community which is less than a quarter million disproportionately accounts for more than twenty five percent in government.
The Azov battalion, much disparaged by you and some others, is a right wing structure, but certainly not any more extreme than America’s Proud Boys or Oath Keepers. Frankly, that battalion has been the primary force attempting to protect civilians and prevent further Russian war crimes in the City of Mariupol. Frankly if you are not aware of this then my letter will fall
on deaf ears. Humanitarian and light defensive aid have been provided by many American organisations to Azov and the United States military has provided Javelins, Stingers and the like. This fact alone should underline how out of touch and prejudicial your publication has been.
Finally, your totally ignorant attacks on Ukraine’s heroes, Stepan Bandera and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, suggesting that somehow they collaborated with the Nazis is laughable. Your ignorance has no bounds. The Ukrainian Insurgent Army was formed in 1942 at the height of the Nazi invasion specifically to fight against the Nazis. Stepan Bandera was incarcerated in the Sakhsenhausen concentration camp and his two brothers were killed in the Auschwitz Nazi camp of death. How is that for collaboration?
Frankly, as an attorney with an understanding of ethics and due diligence, I am disgusted with your publication and have only one suggestion for you: go to Black’s Law Dictionary or any other source and look up each of these terms: ethics and due diligence. You neither have any ethics nor have you done due diligence.
May 5, 2022 Askold S. Lozynskyj