International War-Damages Compensation Practice

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, in violation of numerous provisions of both domestic and international law, the russian federation has been deliberately destroying critical infrastructure and causing harm to individuals and legal entities. 

ETERNA LAW has expertise and significant experience in compensation for damages caused by war and helps to successfully defend the interests of victims of the armed aggression of the russian federation at the national and international levels.

Obtaining a court decision against Russia

Ukraine is a unique jurisdiction where, due to the progressive approach of the Supreme Court and the application of the tort exception, it is possible to file lawsuits directly against the aggressor state for compensation for damages.

Why file a lawsuit to recover damages from the Russian Federation?

  • to fix the damages by a court decision;
  • to get the opportunity to obtain recognition and enforcement of the decision in the EU and other jurisdictions;
  • assign or sell the right of claim fixed by a court decision to third parties;
  • be in the first line to receive compensation in the case of the creation of national or international special funds.

Why should you use the services of ETERNA LAW?

ETERNA LAW became the first law firm to obtain a court decision on full compensation for actual losses and lost profits incurred by businesses in Ukraine as a result of russia’s armed aggression.

ETERNA LAW is one of the leading law firms in Ukraine (among the Top 5) specializing in international law, with 20 years of experience in multi-million dollar international disputes and arbitrations, and is recommended by all international rankings: Legal 500, Chamber & Partners, IFLR.

The uniqueness of ETERNA LAW’s approach lies in its comprehensiveness: we help to collect the necessary evidence, prepare a claim to a Ukrainian court, represent you during its consideration at the national stage, and provide legal support at the stage of recognition and enforcement of the decision abroad.

How to enforce a Ukrainian judgment abroad?

In order to be able to recognize and enforce a Ukrainian court decision abroad, certain requirements must be met, enshrined both in international multilateral conventions and in bilateral treaties on legal assistance. Among them, the most common are the following:

  • the requirement to give proper notice to the plaintiff in compliance with all requirements of both Ukrainian and international law;
  • the requirement to comply with public order;
  • the requirement of finality of the court decision.

What other opportunities are available today?

Taking into account the interests and situation of the client, except for obtaining a Ukrainian court decision and its enforcement abroad, the following methods of legal protection and compensation for damages may be considered.

  • Initiation of investment arbitration proceedings against Russia

If the asset is located or was located in the temporarily occupied territory and was expropriated, similar to the Crimean precedents, an investment arbitration may be initiated against Russia under the 1998 Ukraine-Russia Agreement on the Promotion and Mutual Protection of Investments (BIT).

For instance, in the case of Everest Estate LLC and others v. the russian federation, it was established that Russia exercised effective control over Crimea (the decision had been supported, among others, by the Netherlands and Switzerland). The result was the freezing of the assets of VTB Bank, Sberbank of Russia, and VEB, and the investor managed to recover damages from Russia.

Since Russia follows a similar scenario and, after a full-scale invasion, officially announced the annexation of new territories, the latter is responsible for the expropriation of assets located in these territories.

  • Appeal to the European Court of Human Rights

After being expelled from the Council of Europe on March 16, 2022, Russia ceased to be a contracting party to the European Convention on Human Rights. At the same time, the ECHR can be approached with claims against Russia for violations of the Convention that occurred before September 16, 2022.

  • Obtaining compensation through the international compensation mechanism

The International compensation mechanism is a quasi-judicial process, the first stage of which will involve recording claims for damages and entering them into the relevant register, the second stage will involve consideration of claims by the compensation commission and decision-making, and the third stage will involve payment from the fund, which is to be filled with russian assets.

It is expected that the decisions of Ukrainian courts, fixing the amount of damages, will be implemented in a comprehensive compensation system, following the example of the experience of the UN Compensation Commission for Kuwait, which Ukraine has taken as a basis.

Regardless of the chosen method of protection, it should be taken into account that the process of collecting evidence, proving the facts, and the amount of damages shall be carried out by the applicants. The professional team of ETERNA LAW will advise and provide professional assistance at all stages of the compensation mechanism until the victims receive the actual payment.


Partner, Head of Corporate an  M&A, International Trade.

Senior Partner and Head of International Litigation Department

Counsel, Attorney-At-Law. Head of International War-Damages Compensation Practice