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Ukraine doubled lobbying efforts in the US after the start of the “special operation”

After the start of the Russian “special operation”, 11 public and private structures from Ukraine attracted 14 American lobbyists and advisers to promote their interests, RTVI found out. This follows from the database of the US Department of Justice, replenished under the “Foreign Agents Registration Act” (FARA). For the entire previous year, six companies reported on working for Kyiv or Ukrainian citizens.

Among the Ukrainian structures that hired lobbyists and advisers in the United States:

  • National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC)

The National Security and Defense Council attracted two American organizations – Quantum Technologies Laboratories and Crowell & Moring LLP. Kyiv asks Quantum assist in acquiring sophisticated encrypted messaging software and related satellite transmission services. Due to the Russian “special operation”, Ukraine has neither the state infrastructure to participate in procurement activities, nor the funds to purchase the necessary communications services for the government and the military, the registration card notes. “Registrant [Quantum Technologies]which is a software developer and procurement agent for satellite transmission and reception services, received a request from the government of Ukraine to contact the US State Department on its behalf and ask the State Department to purchase (and pay for) on behalf of the government [Украины] software and related satellite services,” the database says. Crowell & Moring provides legal support for the technology acquisition transaction.

  • Armed Forces of Ukraine (APU)

AFU has attracted American veteran and defense specialist Daniel Rice as an adviser Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny.

  • Office of the President of Ukraine

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky
Press Service of the Government of Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office has hired lawyer Patrick Piersal to advise on international law and reforms. Pirsal will be able to advise other government bodies of Ukraine on the same issues. In addition, the presidential office attracted a law firm Morrison & Foerster for advice on sanctions regimes and other topics related to international law.

  • Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine

The agency brought in Cameron Hardesty, a former official in the White House, as an adviser. He will advise the Ukrainian authorities on public relations issues, writing content for social media accounts and assisting in communications with business, government and media representatives in the United States. As stated in the documents from the FARA law database, Hardesty contacted with representatives from Meta* and TikTok to remove “Russian propaganda on social media” and contacted the Washington Post and Politico to draw attention to Russian “propaganda”.

  • Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security and Defense

The committee decided to use the services of the American company Navigators Global in order to “to educate and defend before American politicians in the US Congress and in the Biden administration the urgent needs” of Ukraine against the backdrop of the Russian “special operation”.

American lawyer Lukasz Jan Kasmarek agreed to provide free legal assistance to the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine on the supply of arms from the United States.

  • Ministry of Finance of Ukraine

The agency has engaged the American division of the Ukrainian firm Asters Consult for legal and political consulting.

  • International Agency for Regional Development

The agency attracted the company Mercury Public Affairs for interaction between the regional authorities of Kharkiv and the United States. The documents indicate that Mercury will provide pro bono services, that is, without charging a fee. Formerly Mercury Public Affairs rendered services to the Russian Sovcombank, but after the start of the “special operation” she stopped cooperation.

  • International Legion for the Defense of Ukraine

The Legion, which recruits foreigners to fight on the side of Ukraine, enlisted the services of lawyer John Morrison to help raise funds in the United States and provide the legion with weapons.

  • Ukrainian Volunteer Association of Journalists

Company PLUS Communications will help build links between Ukrainian journalists and American media to conduct interviews and promote information about the situation in Ukraine from the perspective of Ukrainian parliamentarians, mayors, business leaders and citizens of the country affected by the “special operation”.

  • SCM Consulting Limited is a subsidiary of System Capital Management, owned by the Ukrainian investment group of businessman Rinat Akhmetov

SCM has engaged Qorvis Communications, a public relations and lobbying firm. Among her former clients is a Russian gas company NOVATEK. Qorvis will provide SCM PR services to highlight humanitarian efforts of SCM-affiliated companies and Rinat Akhmetov to counter Russia and provide humanitarian assistance. The services of the American firm will include the coordination of media campaigns and other PR activities. Akhmetov’s structures also engaged the law firm Covington & Burling for advice and assistance in obtaining compensation from Russia for damages caused during the “special operation”. Akhmetov previously stated that will require from Russia to compensate for the damage caused to his assets, including the Azovstal plant and Mariupol Iron and Steel Works named after Ilyich.

After the start of the Russian “special operation”, Western countries provided Ukraine with military and humanitarian aid worth more than 40 billion – more than the total US and EU aid from 2014 to February 2022. The United States was the main donor providing Kyiv military aid worth €24 billion ($25.7 billion) as of mid-May.

*recognized in Russia as an extremist organization

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