On 24 February 2022, the life of Ukrainians changed radically. Every Ukrainian, whether at home or abroad, felt the impact of the war on a physical and emotional level. In the first days of the war, it was very clear that the military power of the invaders was ten times greater than ours. If you compare the maps of Ukraine and Russia – everything is clear without words, especially since Russia has been preparing for this insidious war for decades, disarming and exhausting the Ukrainian Army.
Personally, I rather believed in a miracle and hoped that the story of David and Goliath would repeat nowadays in the war with the Russian Federation. However, I do also realize that any miracle never happens ‘just like that’; you need to act. I believe that in an open war, which we have faced today, all Ukrainians should act in their place as best they can.
We all have seen the dedication and heroism of our soldiers, who now inspire the entire world. That is why, at the beginning of the invasion, together with my friends and colleagues, we have been engaged in the creation of the #SaveUkraineNow Coordination Center, where I was responsible for providing assistance to the servicemen, and managing logistics. We quickly had to master a new profession together with a team of ‘newly trained logisticians’. Besides that, there was admission and training in the Voluntary Formation of Territorial Defense. At the same time, we still had to manage our professional activities for providing our clients with quality legal support, as well as paying salaries to employees.
At first, it seemed that it would be simply impossible to combine all of these duties at once, but today we understand that it could not be otherwise.
Therefore, if we talk about a day in the life of a Ukrainian lawyer at war, and my personal experience, I would describe it as follows.
Voluntary work: I coordinate logistics in #SaveUkraineNow. The range of responsibilities includes the delivery of goods for the military with proper processing of all shipping documents. Almost 90% of all deliveries are from abroad. We often have difficulties in finding vehicles and crossing the customs border for urgent needs, because of long queues and the shortage of trucks. However, we have already managed to establish a very well-coordinated cooperation with a Polish company, which has organized the so-called transshipment and helped with the preparation of documents.
Professional activity: I manage the Dispute Resolution practice at MORIS Law Firm. I spend a significant part of my working day on this. Now, we are focused on the most relevant and necessary legal services for business – collecting evidence of war damages and filing lawsuits for their compensation.
Public activity: Being the Head of the Committee on Procedural Law of the Ukrainian Bar Association, I coordinate its work. Together with the Committee’s Council, we respond to the acute challenges that periodically arise with regard to legal proceedings in Ukraine. Among others, we prepare proposals to Parliament regarding legislative initiatives, provide our expert opinions, organize events for the professional community etc.
Family life: Together with my wife, we are raising three children. The war has geographically separated a lot of families, and ours is not an exception. Nevertheless, we have created our own family rituals, which help me to connect with my family for at least few minutes: every evening we arrange a video call to share the news for the day, and then I tell the children a story that I make up ‘on the go’. Now that my family is in Western Ukraine, every weekend I travel from Kyiv to visit them. This has been our new reality for more than seven months now.
Safety: Air raid alarms have become a part of our life. I decided to react appropriately to all alarms whenever they sounded. That is why there are nights in Kyiv when I wake up several times because of the sound of an alarm and go to a shelter.
No matter how difficult it is, I constantly remind myself that our joint great victory is ahead. When you see how every day our soldiers, volunteers, political leaders and international partners do incredible things – you have no right to give up!