Statement by Robert Amsterdam Disavowing False Claims in Ukrainian Media


The following statement was circulated to media today:

KYIV, UKRAINE – Over the past several days we have become aware of a series of false and malicious claims aired on Channel 5 (5 канал) and, among others, purporting that my firm, Amsterdam & Partners LLP, is allegedly working on behalf of Patriarch Kirill and/or the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC).

This claim is false and bears all the hallmarks of the sort of weaponized disinformation designed to intimidate and threaten us during our consultations with our client in Kyiv. Neither I nor my firm have ever had any contact nor any relationship whatsoever with the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, nor any other member of clergy of that institution. We represent the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) in its effort to survive a state-led campaign of persecution and defend the human rights of its parishioners. This engagement was announced to the public on October 18, 2023.

We have been unable to correct Channel 5’s false reporting as we are told that local Ukrainian media have been “instructed” not to speak with us.

During our consultations with members of the UOC in Kyiv this week, we have documented numerous instances of harassment and false claims. One senior cleric of the UOC had his home raided by the security services the morning after meeting with us.

We firmly reject these latest false claims of any association with the ROC, and we will not be deterred from our work on behalf of the UOC by these crass and unlawful tactics. The right to counsel exists in Ukraine, even as rule of law is being challenged on a daily basis.


Robert R. Amsterdam

Founding Partner