The War in Ukraine: How Did We Get Here?

The following article was authored by Tatyana Pishnyak, an associate attorney with Mansour Gavin, and the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed throughout this article are those of Ms. Pishnyak and not Mansour Gavin LPA. However, Mansour Gavin LPA stands with Ukraine and its efforts in resisting the Russian invasion and occupation.

Almost two months ago, the life of every Ukrainian was divided into “before” and “after.” The Russian invasion of 2022 started a new chapter in Ukraine’s history. An unprovoked attack, intentionally targeting civilians, has already taken thousands of Ukrainian lives and forced millions to leave their homes. Ukraine has never seen destruction at this level, even during the tragic events of WWII.

Over the years, Russia has taken steps to ostracize itself from the rest of the world. For years, its propaganda system cultivated views inside the country that Russia is surrounded by enemies. Russia’s actions are similar to Germany in WWII and most Russians are in support of this war. Having a goal to restore their empire, they started a war. It is impossible to imagine that this level of brutality exists in 2022. Russian soldiers are intentionally targeting hospitals, shelters, and civilians, and killing children in the hundreds. They vandalize historical places. They forcefully relocated over 500,000 Ukrainians to Russian territory. This is genocide and Russia’s intent is to wipe out the Ukrainian nation.

In 1994, when Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in accordance with the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurance, the United States, Great Britain, and Russia agreed to never invade Ukraine and to defend Ukraine if it was ever occupied. Despite its promise not to invade Ukraine, in 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, a Ukrainian territory. It started a local war in the Donbas region the same year. When the world did not react with sanctions at that time, Russia concluded that it could easily “annex” the entire country of Ukraine. A couple of days is what Russia believed it would need to gain control over Ukraine. However, after about two months now, Russia has learned it was gravely mistaken and entirely underestimated Ukrainians, their grit, resolve, and fearlessness to defend their lives and land.

The war waged against Ukraine is not just a local conflict or too far away to be of any concern here in the U.S. Russia will not stop until they are stopped. Russia has already threatened an attack on NATO and suggested that it will use nuclear weapons to achieve its goals in eastern Europe.

Please stand with Ukraine in your words and actions. You can help by donating to any of these organizations below. 

Cleveland Maidan Association
was formed in 2014 and provides critical humanitarian aid to Ukrainians on the ground. The organization has sent close to $200,000 of medical supplies each year since 2014, 9 ambulances and 4 pickup trucks, and over 500 parcels filled with warm clothes, sanitary supplies, and medical equipment to various hospitals and non-profits in Ukraine.

Razom Ukraine provides urgent help and support in face of an extreme and unforeseen situation in Ukraine. Razom is responding to this by providing critical medical supplies and amplifying the voices of Ukrainians. The current emergency response is focused on purchasing medical supplies for critical situations like blood loss and other tactical medicine items. They are also working with governments and embassies on humanitarian corridors.

Saint Josephat Eparchy is a Ukrainian Catholic church that supports those who become refugees due to the war. Food, clothing and shelter needs are being met immediately. Medical assistance, now and in the future, will be needed. More permanent housing, jobs, education, documents and much more will be needed. 

Tatyana Pishnyak joined Mansour Gavin in early 2020 as an attorney in the firm’s Business and Corporate Services Practice Group. Tatyana structures and assists clients in selling and purchasing businesses as well as advising clients on various corporate and tax issues.

Tatyana is from Ukraine where she received her J.D. and LL.M. degrees from the prestigious Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Tatyana has resided in Ohio since 2006. She graduated from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law and was admitted to practice law in Ohio in 2011. She continues to have close ties to Ukraine as her family, including her mother and brother, and her friends remain there.

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