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Ukrainian American Bar Association

UABA News Blog - In English

This UABA Blog page provides information and commentary on issues that are relevant to the organization and its members. Although the blogs are public, comments can only be made by members. If yoiu wish to join the discussion, you are welcome to become a member.

The comments expressed on these blogs represent the opinions of the authors and not that of the UABA.

  • 23 Aug 2016 11:34 AM | Myroslaw Smorodsky (Administrator)

    How a scheme to help Russians secretly funnel money offshore unravelled

    The New Yorker Magazine

    Almost every weekday between the fall of 2011 and early 2015, a Russian broker named Igor Volkov called the equities desk of Deutsche Bank’s Moscow headquarters. Volkov would speak to a sales trader—often, a young woman named Dina Maksutova—and ask her to place two trades simultaneously. In one, he would use Russian rubles to buy a blue-chip Russian stock, such as Lukoil, for a Russian company that he represented. Usually, the order was for about ten million dollars’ worth of the stock. In the second trade, Volkov—acting on behalf of a different company, which typically was registered in an offshore territory, such as the British Virgin Islands—would sell the same Russian stock, in the same quantity, in London, in exchange for dollars, pounds, or euros. Both the Russian company and the offshore company had the same owner. Deutsche Bank was helping the client to buy and sell to himself Read More

  • 15 Aug 2016 11:52 AM | Myroslaw Smorodsky (Administrator)

    Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief

    “Handwritten ledgers show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Mr. Manafort from (Viktor) Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012, according to Ukraine’s newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau. Investigators assert that the disbursements were part of an illegal off-the-books system whose recipients also included election officials,” Read Entire Article

  • 01 Aug 2016 12:02 AM | Myroslaw Smorodsky (Administrator)


    During his television interview with George Stephanopoulos on July 31, 2016, Donald Trump unabashedly denied Russian military presence on Ukrainian territory.  All Americans of every ethnicity and political affiliation should be appalled by such reckless comments. Trump has displayed his inherent inability to observe and comprehend the reality of the historical events as they occur before his very eyes.  There is no reasonable doubt that Russia has -- in full view of the entire world -- illegally annexed Crimea and it is Russian military and mercenaries who are killing Ukrainian soldiers and civilians daily on Ukrainian soil.  It was the Russian military that shot down MH17 and caused one million Ukrainians to flee to safety!  Is Trump so politically blind that he cannot see this obvious reality?

    During the interview, Trump also candidly admitted that it was “his people” who removed from the GOP platform the grant of lethal military assistance to Ukraine so that Ukraine could defend itself.  He cautiously implied that he was not directly involved in these actions by “his people”.  This raises the question as to which of “his people” is in charge of his foreign-policy. To whom did he outsource decisions on such critical geopolitical foreign policy matters as military assistance to Ukraine? And to whom will he outsource his foreign-policy decisions if he should become president?

    Donald Trump has also flippantly suggested that as president, he would consider recognizing the illegal invasion and unlawful annexation of Crimea by Russia and would lift sanctions.  Such a statement flagrantly and recklessly ignores the elementary principle of international law that a country’s borders cannot and should not be changed by the use of armies.  Since the cataclysmic events of World War II, the nations of the world have established basic principles of international law and behavior that are to be adhered to by the governments of all nations so as to prevent future conflagrations on a global scale. The UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act [the charter document of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] and the various organic documents of the European Union, have had as their linchpin the principle of territorial integrity and security and the inviolability of borders of independent states.  Mr. Trump does not seem to fathom that the mere suggestion that as president, he would contemplate the recognition of Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory by armed force [in obvious violation of international law] critically undermines the very foundation that has prevented a major war on the European Continent.  Nor does he seem to comprehend that his offhand and irresponsible statements on foreign policy put into serious question - in minds of our allies - America’s longstanding leadership and future resolve to support the rule of law in the international arena. 

    The issue before us is not whether we support or oppose either political party. This crucial question is about the future of the United States.  The issue is simply whether the next president of the United States will have the political foresight to comprehend the geo-political events occurring in the world and to take such steps as may be necessary to protect the United States of America.   Regrettably, Donald Trump’s myopic and distorted geo-political vision of the world - as displayed during his interview – does not engender any confidence whatsoever in his ability to be commander-in-chief of the United States of America.

    August 1, 2016

    The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author

    Myroslaw Smorodsky, Esq.

    Communications Director of the Ukrainian American Bar Association (UABA)

    Tel: 201-507-4500; Email; myroslaw@smorodsky.com; Website; www.smorodsky.com


  • 20 Jul 2016 9:53 PM | Anonymous

    Twenty-five days ago, the eight Justices of the Supreme Court issued a one-sentence order which indicated that they were deadlocked four to four on the validity of the Obama administration’s deferred-action policy, which would allow undocumented immigrants who are the parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to apply to remain in the country without fear of deportation and work here legally. Because two lower courts had blocked the administration from implementing the policy before it could go into effect, it looked like the ruling could be the end of the administration’s immediate attempt to revive the policy prior to the end of all the litigation.  SCOTUS.  Read More

  • 20 Jul 2016 9:28 PM | Anonymous

    A prominent radio and television journalist in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, was killed in a car bombing on Wednesday, officials said, in one of the highest-profile assassinations of a reporter in the country in years. The journalist, Pavel Sheremet, 44, a Belarussian citizen who had worked for Russian state television before moving to Ukraine to host a morning radio news program five years ago, died when the car he was driving exploded near Kiev’s government quarter.  NYT.   Read More

  • 06 Jul 2016 10:57 PM | Anonymous

    The Minsk ceasefire agreement, signed February 15, 2015, by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France, along with representatives from the OSCE and from Russian-occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk (DNR and LNR, respectively), is simply not working. It is time to scrap it and make clear to Russia, through a declaration from Western nations, that sanctions will remain in place—and will be increased over time—unless Russia meets several key conditions.   Atlantic Council.   Read More

  • 06 Jul 2016 10:48 PM | Anonymous

    You could say that Serhiy Kvit is a man on a mission. The soft-spoken 50-year-old former journalist may no longer be Ukraine's minister of education and science, having stepped down from that post back in April as part of a governmental reshuffle that accompanied the resignation of controversial Prime Minister Arsenii Yatsenyuk. But he nonetheless remains at the forefront of the fight for the intellectual future of his country.   U.S. News.   Read More

  • 06 Jul 2016 10:39 PM | Anonymous

    Local elections to be held under Ukrainian and OSCE control, with no Russia intruding - Klimkin. Ukraine will never let the current leaders of Russian-backed separatists rule the Donbas region, even in case they are officially elected. This is according to Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin who is currently holding a meeting with his Norwegian counterpart.   Ukraine Today.   Read More

  • 06 Jul 2016 10:36 PM | Anonymous

    Berlin promises to allocate EUR 6 million to help internally displaced people from Donbas.  Germany's Federal Government is set to increase support to Ukraine under a humanitarian program aimed at helping people affected by the war in Donbas. This is according to the German Embassy in Kyiv.   Ukraine Today.   Read More

  • 24 Jun 2016 10:29 PM | Anonymous

    Ukraine's MP says more personal sanctions against Russian top officials are needed. Providing Ukraine with lethal military aid can trigger a worldwide military conflict, according to Ukrainian MP and delegate to PACE Nadiya Savchenko.   Ukraine Today.   Read More

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