February 23, 2023 — New York
American Jewish Committee (AJC) CEO Ted Deutch today reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to continue supporting the Ukrainian people as they endure the brutal Russian invasion of their country.
“Russia’s unjust and illegal invasion of Ukraine poses a threat not only to Ukraine, but also global security and the rules-based international order. Like-minded countries must stand together in support of Ukraine, and there must be accountability and justice for Russia’s war crimes,” said Deutch.
AJC has stood in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and staunchly supported a free and democratic Ukraine for more than 30 years. In 1991, AJC became the first Jewish organization outside Ukraine to call on the United States to recognize the country's independence from Moscow.
Through advocacy directly to the White House and Congress and diplomatic outreach to governments around the world, AJC has assertively supported Ukraine since the day Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine a year ago. AJC has been providing vital humanitarian relief assistance through its #StandWithUkraine Fund.
President Zelensky, addressing the AJC Global Forum in June 2022, acknowledged that steadfast support. “I am aware of your substantive help for our state,” Zelensky said in a video message from Kyiv. ”I ask you to redouble your efforts to stop the Russian hatred for humanity.”
Since the start of the war, AJC has advocated for the U.S. to impose crippling sanctions against Russia, and for increased U.S. security, military, economic, and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine and Central European partners. AJC’s call this week for the U.S. to designate the Wagner Group as an FTO is the organization’s latest push to increase American support for Ukraine.
“I have been heartened to see the entire Western world rally in support of Ukraine and its people, and I really give credit to President Biden and the entire U.S. Government for working tirelessly to ensure that this unity was forged and continues,” said Deutch in his address to the Kyiv Jewish Forum earlier this month.
Last April, in its second letter to President Biden since Moscow initiated the war, AJC reaffirmed its support for the president’s “resolute leadership in standing with Ukraine in the face of the reckless and illegal Russian invasion.” The AJC letter stated: “You can continue to count on our full support as you galvanize both American and global power to confront this grave challenge to Ukraine, to international humanitarian law, to democratic aspirations, and to a rules-based international order.”
In January, AJC praised the White House announcement of a major new package of military hardware for Ukraine and expressed hope other partners and allies continue to stand by Ukraine's side.
During the past year, AJC has repeatedly criticized President Putin for asserting Ukraine needed to be denazified and other Russian officials for their narrative of the war. Last month, Deutch condemned Foreign Minister Lavrov’s comparison of U.S. support for Ukraine to the Final Solution. “Holocaust trivialization and distortion is constantly deployed by Russian leadership to justify Putin's unprovoked assault on Ukraine. Hitler's “final solution” was an effort to eradicate the Jewish people. There is no comparison,” Deutch declared.
AJC Central Europe, based in Warsaw, has been the center point for providing humanitarian relief to Ukrainians who crossed into Poland and other countries in the region. AJC’s #StandWithUkraine Fund has raised more than $2.5 million to help Ukrainian refugees. AJC also sponsored two flights to Israel for hundreds of Ukrainian refugees.
Deutch announced today the fund’s most recent two grants to organizations providing direct humanitarian relief to Ukrainians. The recipient organizations are The Renew Democracy Initiative (RDI) to purchase and set up a water cleaning station that can serve 30,000 people daily, and “Jewrope,” a Bratislava-based NGO, to deliver food and medication to people in Ukraine.
AJC’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights published on the eve of the anniversary an assessment of the international response to Russia’s attack. JBI Appeal on the One-Year Anniversary of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Collective Action Needed to Uphold Human Rights, Secure Peace, and Ensure Justice urges governments to take further action, individually and collectively, to bring about an end to the conflict and the widespread human rights violations that are ongoing, while upholding Ukraine’s territorial integrity and creating the necessary conditions for the people of Ukraine to obtain redress, including guarantees that the harm to which they have been subjected will not be repeated in the future.