“The West must do whatever it can to support Ukrainian patriots. Ukraine’s fight is our fight, too. As Senator John McCain said in 2014, during the last Russian invasion of Ukraine, “We are all Ukrainians.” – Max Boot, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations
“Our weapons are our truth, and our truth lies in the fact that this is our land, this is our country, our children, and we are going to defend all of this…” - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.” Viktor Frankl
Over the past week as people throughout the world have watched the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine, many have declared “We are all Ukrainians.”
I am not only a Ukrainian in spirit, I am a Ukrainian by blood. My maternal grandmother was born in Kyiv in 1903, and my paternal great grandparents were born in 1877 in the small village of Zvonitz (aka Zhvanets), at the juncture of the Dniester and Zhvanchyk Rivers. Zvonitz is in the district of Kamianets-Podilskyi Raion of the Khmelnytskyi Oblast region in Western Ukraine, about 300 miles southwest of Kyiv, near the borders of Romania and Moldova.
That’s why I am particularly thankful for CSU President Harlan Sands’ statement Standing With Ukraine and the members of our faculty who are standing in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
Please join us today at 12 noon on Zoom for a Russian-Ukraine Conflict Panel Discussion with C|M|LAW Professors David Forte, John Plecnik, Brian Ray, Milena Sterio, and Mark Sundahl.
Please also watch this recent talk by Professor Milena Sterio, The Role of International Law in the Russian-Ukraine Conflict.
As my friend and college classmate, Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, recently wrote. “President Vladimir Putin of Russia launched an unprovoked, unwarranted war of choice against Ukraine, and already it has turned out to be a bad choice.”
From the Ukrainian man who stood in front of a Russian tank, to the woman who walked up to a Russian soldier and told him to put sunflower seeds in his pockets so that flowers will grow when he dies on Ukrainian land, we’ve seen heroic displays of Ukrainian resistance protecting their homeland.
As we watch with grief and horror as the attacks occur, there should be no doubt that we stand in solidarity with our Ukrainian American friends and all the people of Ukraine.
Let’s put our daily challenges, frustrations and setbacks in perspective. Think about those Ukrainians who are fighting for their right to be free and alive.
Live in the moment, value our freedom, and stand up for the people of Ukraine. As Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay Committed to Living Justice.
Have a great day. Have a great week.
Dean, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law | Cleveland State University
Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law
For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages.