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Lawyers will put an end to this war after the military and politicians – address by the President of Ukraine to the participants of the meeting organized by the International Bar Association (IBA)

31 October 2022

Ladies and Gentlemen! Dear defenders of the law and human rights!

Greetings to all of you – participants of the International Bar Association meeting and thank you for your attention to the Ukrainian struggle for freedom.
This year, your Association celebrated its 75th anniversary. It was on February 17 – a week before the terrible Russian invasion of Ukraine, which undermines the long-term achievements of humanity in the protection of international law and order and peace.
This ongoing war in Ukraine has long had echoes in all other parts of the world.
Somewhere there are waves of refugees. Somewhere there is a threat of large-scale famine due to the artificial food crisis provoked by Russia. Somewhere there is a brutal cost-of-living crisis that drives millions of people into poverty and destroys the well-being of the middle class even where Russia cannot reach with its aggression.
And somewhere there are the toughest possible things. This is happening in Ukraine. Artillery shelling of our cities – hundreds of Ukrainian cities were destroyed, dozens – completely burned. Constant missile and bomb terror. Iranian combat drones that Russia is using against our infrastructure.
Millions of Ukrainians suffered losses from this war unleashed by Russia – they lost loved ones, friends, their homes. At least tens of thousands of Ukrainians have already been killed.
Of course, we are doing everything to protect our people and oust the Russian invaders from Ukrainian land as soon as possible. We are doing everything to restore freedom to all Ukrainians in all corners of our country. And I believe that we will do it – thanks to our heroic defenders, thanks to everyone who fights and works for the victory of Ukraine.
Very powerful assistance is provided by our partners – and I am especially grateful to the United States of America for its leadership in the global coalition formed this year to protect Ukraine and freedom.
But I would like to draw attention to the fact that lawyers will put an end to this war – after the military, after politicians. Exactly lawyers.
Those who will ensure that all those guilty of terror are brought to justice and that all damages caused by Russia are compensated – at the expense of the assets of the aggressor state itself.
It is this kind of justice that should be the end of the evil that Russia has brought.
Behind every of four and a half thousand Russian missiles there are people who are responsible for the deaths and losses that those missiles have caused. Behind every mass burial of the victims of Russian torturers, there are savages who are guilty of these murders. Behind every manifestation of Russian aggression there are those who planned it, organized it, justified it and prevented its termination.
We have already started working to establish a Special Tribunal to punish Russia for the crime of aggression against Ukraine. This tribunal will happen. We are already cooperating with the United States, with European countries, with the International Criminal Court to punish all Russian murderers and torturers.
We have already started the creation of the Compensation Mechanism, which will ensure the confiscation and channeling of Russian assets to compensate for the losses caused by this war.
And I invite you to join this work!
This is an opportunity for each of you to help people who have become innocent victims of war as specifically as possible. This is a chance for each of you to become part of the multi-generational global effort to establish the force of international law.
Perhaps, right now in this hall, among you, there are those whose names will soon be inscribed in the world history of the protection of freedom and law and order – for all people, for all countries, for all times.
I thank you for the already started cooperation of your Association with the Ukrainian Office of the Prosecutor General and for your initiatives that help us fight for justice for all the victims of this Russian terrorist war.
I urge you to be active in the future!
Together we can prove that the law is effective, that the law works, that every war crime will be investigated, and every war criminal will be brought to justice.

Thank you for your attention! Long live freedom and let justice prevail!

Glory to Ukraine!