Image by James Wiseman

New project: Assessing Accountability Avenues for Ukraine



We are pleased to announce that PEJ, with funding support provided exclusively by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, has launched a new project to pursue accountability for crimes committed in the context of Russia's war in Ukraine. We are grateful to have the opportunity to support justice, compensation, and reparations for those affected by these crimes and to contribute to the international response to this crisis.


PEJ’s Ukraine Legal Team centers on international and Ukrainian lawyers working in partnership with decades of experience in international legal matters, supporting national organizations and relevant authorities. The project seeks to use all available legal options to pursue accountability. Our team has started working with local stakeholders to collect and synthesize information about the crimes committed and to identify ways to respond to the crimes by advocating for administrative and judicial remedies and providing legal briefs to relevant local and international authorities.


Our team is focused on the issue of the Russian military pillaging Ukraine's agricultural production and Russia using food as a weapon of war. From Russian’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 through October 2022, the Kyiv School of Economics estimates that Russia has stolen or destroyed 4.04 million tons of grain and oilseeds, valued at about $1.9 billion in Ukrainian territories. This situation is pronounced because Ukraine accounts for one-tenth of global wheat exports. Food insecurity affects us all. Russia’s attack on Ukraine has created a worldwide food crisis. This orchestrated theft of a critical share of Ukraine’s food supply requires a political response and legal remedies.



Further reading:


Read more about how Russia is smuggling Ukrainian grain to help pay for Putin’s war.


For more information on Ukraine’s history, we recommend Timothy Snyder’s Yale course “The Making of Modern Ukraine.” We also enjoyed Snyder’s article on how Ukraine Holds the Future in the war between Democracy and Nihilism.


For a shorter-form video on the history of the relationship between Ukraine and Russia, watch this video from Vox.


For in-depth reading about the legal issue of famine and mass starvation, see this recently published book on Accountability for Mass Starvation.


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