Press Release: Ukraine’s Decision to Spend $3.5 Million of US Taxpayer Funds on PR is Shameful, Says UOC Lawyer Robert Amsterdam


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“Reckless and irresponsible” spending on Washington lobbyists is an insult to all Ukrainians, especially those fighting on the frontlines, says Amsterdam

WASHINGTON DC, April 16, 2024 – Robert Amsterdam, an international lawyer representing the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, has denounced the timing of the Ukrainian government’s decision to spend $3.5 million on an influence campaign in the United States aimed at concealing their abuses against religious freedoms and the upcoming passage of a bill to ban the country’s largest denomination church.

“As someone who strongly supports aid to Ukraine, it is incomprehensible to me why right now, just as Congress considers approving more support, that the leadership would carelessly splash millions of dollars around DC to cover up its own worst abuses – especially when that money is so badly needed at the front,” said Amsterdam. “Wouldn’t it be so much cheaper to just stop attacking churches in Ukraine? Every penny of these much-needed funds must be dedicated to Ukraine’s defense.”

According to public record filings under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), on March 7, 2024, a front organization acting on behalf of Ukraine called Kyiv Global Outreach hired DCI Group for a staggering sum of $3,563,250. Their stated purpose in the filing was to “carry out analytical research, educational, and advocacy activities aimed at effectively satisfying and protecting the national interests of Ukraine.”

However the true purpose of the contract was revealed on April 10, when new filings revealed that DCI had been hired to create a fake anonymous website and associated social media accounts under the banner of “Defenders of Faith and Religious Freedom in Ukraine.” The purpose of this campaign appears to be to deflect attention from the government’s persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and their determination to pass draft law 8371, which aims to ban the Church entirely, says Amsterdam.

FARA filing screenshot

“It is reckless and irresponsible for the Ukrainian government to continue pursuing the targeted harassment against Christians and trying to cover it up with millions of dollars,” says Amsterdam. “They are taking US taxpayer money and sending it back to Washington to clean up their own problematic behavior. For them to undertake such measures, when young men and women on the frontlines don’t have enough supplies, is a striking illustration of misaligned priorities. This is an effort by those parliamentarians in Kyiv, who know banning a church is unlawful, to cover-up and continue to act with impunity without international repercussions for their illegal behavior.”

Amsterdam & Partners LLP has published numerous reports detailing Ukraine’s abuses against the church, including the White Paper, “Freedom of Religion under Attack in Ukraine: A White Paper on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” is available for download on More information about Amsterdam & Partners LLP is available at


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