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Letter from the Ukrainian Maritime Bar Association

Ukrainian Maritime Bar Association

In a letter dated February 26, 2022, the Ukrainian Maritime Bar Association (UMBA) called on the Comité Maritime International and Presidents of National Maritime Law Associations to support Ukraine by taking the below actions:


1. Close the seaports to all without exceptions vessels and ships under the Russian flag. This is to show disagreement with years-long and current blockage of all seaports of Ukraine, as well as the invasion of the Serpents Island and occupation of Crimea. Two more merchant ships were hit by Russian attacks in the Black Sea. Japanese bulk carrier MV Namura Queen was hit by a rocket at anchor off Yuzhne. Moldovan chemical tanker MV Millennial Spirit hit and set on fire 12 miles to the south.

2. Prohibit the Russian airplanes to fly above the territory of Your countries.

3. SWIFT cut-off, embargo on the import of Russian oil and gas, as well as support other economical sanctions in the strategic to the Russia fields, as it is using their super profits to conduct the war in Ukraine and other hot zones.

4. Suspend Russia’s participation in all international organizations.

5. Completely block Russian state media to transmit in Your countries - they spread lies and disinformation to your citizens.

6. Provide to Ukraine financial, military and humanitarian assistance.


On February 28, MLA President Farrell forwarded the UMBA letter to the U.S. State Department, USCG, MARAD, and FMC for consideration and expressed our horror over Ukraine’s plight in a letter to UMBA President Denys Rabomizo. The UMBA letter provides links to donation sites, which the MLA has not vetted.

Request for Support from MLA Member Svetlana Spivak

In a separate request for support, MLA Member Svetlana Spivak shared her background and asked MLA Members to consider donating to humanitarian organizations. Ms. Spivak’s communication is below. She included links to several avenues for donation. We have included only the UNICEF and Red Cross donation links, but if you wish to contact Ms. Spivak individually to inquire about additional forms of donation, please feel free to do so at:

Dear Colleagues:

My name is Svetlana. I am a defense maritime attorney in Seattle. Many of you don’t know me. Some of you may have heard of me. And some may know me in person.

My father was born in Perm, Russia. My mother was born in Kyiv, Ukraine. Both families lost loved ones in WWII. I grew up in Lviv, Ukraine - the most beautiful city in the world. My family was Russian. Russian was our first language. Ukraine was our home.

We came to the United States as refugees in 1993, with one suitcase per person. Though, unlike the Ukrainian refugees today, we had a bit more time to prepare and did not leave with bombs exploding around us. Still, I have a pretty good idea of how it feels to leave everything and everyone behind; to be uprooted and thrown into the unknown, with no language, no money, no support, and a lot of uncertainty.

What is happening in Ukraine is maddening and is breaking my heart. It is unjustified murder of innocent people. It is unjustified murder of blossoming democracy.

I am asking for your support of those Ukrainian women, children, elders, and others who, for no fault of their own, just lost everything, including their loved ones. Money will not fix everything. But at least it will provide them with necessities, medications, food, and give them opportunity to gather their wits and decide what’s next.

Please consider donating:


International Committee of the Red Cross

Thank you,

Bolshoye Spasibo (R)

Duzhe Diakuyu (U)

Svetlana Spivak

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