Member Bonnie Branciaroli examines the recent conflict in Ukraine and Rotary's role within it. Rotary International's February calendar topic was Peace and Conflict Resolution. How ironic that a major war destined to touch us all in some way reared its head on February 24, 2022.


PRESIDING TODAY IS: Bonnie Branciaroli, Member and Club Secretary/Treasurer

bellDing! We’re now in session.

Welcome, all – visitors, fellow Rotarians, and guests alike to this E-Club program!


Remember the Four-Way Test!

At the beginning of each meeting, we remind ourselves of The Four-Way Test.  Therefore, please remember to ask yourself always ...


Of the things we think, say, or do:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?


Reflective Moment

“An aggressive war is the great crime against everything good in the world. A defensive war, which must necessarily turn to aggressive at the earliest moment, is the necessary great counter-crime. But never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime. Ask the infantry and ask the dead.”
          – Ernest Hemingway, American author

Leadership Quotes

“I'm concerned about the escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine. The world is reeling from the global COVID-19 pandemic and war in Europe would lead to tragic consequences for the region and have a devastating impact on not only civilian populations but on humanity as a whole. I believe peace is paramount and it is the cornerstone of Rotary International's global mission. War is not a good option for resolving disputes among nations and peoples. Join me in calling for de-escalation and robust diplomatic efforts to resolve this conflict through dialogue.”
          – John Hewko, Rotary International General Secretary and CEO, charter member of the Rotary Club of Kyiv, Ukraine – February 2022 Facebook post.


“Imagine how we can grow Rotary when we focus on the comfort and care of our Rotary family.”

  – Jennifer Jones, Rotary International President-Elect, Rotary Club of Windsor – Roseland, Ontario, Canada (First woman president since Rotary's founding 117 years ago!)


War and Peace















The armed conflict in Ukraine first erupted in early 2014 and quickly transitioned to a long stalemate, with regular shelling and skirmishes occurring along the front line that separates Russian and Ukrainian-controlled border regions in the east. Since Russia launched a full-scale military invasion into Ukraine on February 24, 2022, fighting has caused civilian casualties and over one million Ukrainians to flee to neighboring countries.

There are so many details intertwined with this conflict, too many to approach in this short program. A simple Google search will lead into rabbit holes to paths so divergent that an entire day of research would not even come close to the answer... why? War and conflict have been part of our human destiny for so long that many of us cannot remember a time of pure peace.

The conflict in Ukraine rings close to home, touching members of our Rotary family. Of the 35,000 or so Rotary clubs worldwide, there are 46 Rotary Clubs in Ukraine and approximately 850 Rotarians (these are 2014 figures).

The first Rotary Clubs in the territory now known as Ukraine were registered before WWII: in Uzhgorod 1929; in Chernivtsi 1932; in Lviv 1935. With the advent of World War I, Rotary International made the decision to suspend Rotary club activities in the occupied territories. The first post-war Rotary Club was established in Kyiv in 1991. The Ukraine Rotary clubs traversed a convoluted trail of District shapes and sizes, rested in 2016 in District 2230, which included the Ukrainian and Belarusian clubs.

Closer to home, Rotary International's General Secretary and CEO, John Hewko, a 1992 charter member of the Rotary Club of Kyiv, Ukraine, Director Katerina Kotsali-Papadimitriou, and other European Rotary Senior Leadership are working closely with Rotary leaders in Ukraine to monitor and provide substantial humanitarian assistance in a coordinated, effective way.

On February 25, 2022 Rotary International released an Official Statement:

It is a tragic and sad time for the people of Ukraine and the world.
At Rotary, we are deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in Ukraine and the escalating loss of life and humanitarian hardship there. Continued military action against Ukraine will not only devastate the region but also risk spreading tragic consequences across Europe and the world.
As one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations, we have made peace the cornerstone of our global mission. We join the international community in calling for an immediate cease-fire, withdrawal of Russian forces, and a restoration of diplomatic efforts to resolve this conflict through dialogue.
In the past decade, Rotary clubs in Ukraine, Russia, and nearby countries have transcended national differences and have actively engaged in peace-building projects to promote goodwill and to marshal assistance for the victims of war and violence. Today, our thoughts are with our fellow Rotary members and others in Ukraine coping with these tragic events. Rotary International will do everything in its power to bring aid, support, and peace to the region.

Rotary Foundation Creates Channel for Direct Humanitarian Support in Ukraine Region

On March 3, In response to the deepening humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, The Rotary Foundation created an official channel for Rotary members around the world to contribute funds to support the relief efforts underway by Rotary districts and has designated its Disaster Response Fund as the main avenue for contributions.
To this end, The Rotary Foundation has approved:
  • Now through 30 June 2022, designated Rotary districts that border Ukraine and the Rotary district in Ukraine may apply for grants of up to $50,000 each from the Disaster Response Fund. These expedited disaster response grants can be used to provide relief to refugees or other victims of the crisis including items such as water, food, shelter, medicine, and clothing.
  • During this same period, other impacted Rotary districts that wish to offer support to refugees or other victims of the crisis in their district can apply for $25,000 grants from the Disaster Response Fund.
  • Now through 30 April 2022, Rotary districts can transfer unallocated District Designated Funds (DDF) to support the Disaster Response Fund, directly supporting these Ukraine-specific humanitarian grants.
  • Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund in support of Ukraine can be made here. All funds need to be received into the Disaster Response Fund by 30 April 2022 in order to qualify for use in support of the Ukrainian relief efforts.
  • Although the Disaster Response Fund will be the main avenue for Rotary Foundation support, Rotary and Rotaract clubs are also encouraged to create their own responses to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
In addition to support provided through the Disaster Response Fund, the Foundation is coordinating with partners and regional leaders, exploring effective solutions to the increased humanitarian needs.
  • We are in contact with the United Nations High Commission on Refugees – the USA to prepare for and respond to the needs of those being displaced in Ukraine and to neighboring countries.
  • ShelterBox, our project partner for disaster response, is in communication with Rotary members in Eastern Europe to explore how it may offer support with temporary transitional housing and other essential supplies.
  • The Rotary Action Group for Refugees, Forced Displacement, and Migration are also mobilizing its resources to assist in this crisis.
A million people have fled Ukraine and are in dire need of emergency aid. The United Nations estimates that number could grow to as many as 5 million people displaced. Rotary clubs in Europe and around the world have stepped up their relief work, some working on the ground to help displaced families.
We will continue to monitor the situation in Ukraine and neighboring countries. Visit My Rotary and follow Rotary on social media to stay updated on how clubs can get involved and what actions Rotary members have taken and the impact it has had for people in the region.
For all other questions and to obtain more information, please contact the Rotary Support Center at

Useful Links