Press Club

County Board condemns Russia’s attack on sister city Ivano-Frankivsk

Chair Katie Cristol issuing a resolution condemning Russia’s attack on Ukraine (screenshot via Arlington County/YouTube)

The Arlington County Board has issued a resolution condemning Russia’s “unprovoked attack” on Arlington’s sister city Ivano-Frankivsk in southwestern Ukraine.

At last night’s special County Board meeting, Chair Katie Cristol announced a resolution declaring the county’s solidarity and support for the Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk. Last week, a missile hit the city’s airport amid Russia’s ongoing, bloody invasion of Ukraine.

“The Arlington County Board… stands in support and solidarity with the people of Ivano-Frankivsk and all of Ukraine in their defense of sovereignty and democracy,” reads the resolution, in part.

The resolution also defends Ukraine’s right to be independent and self-governing. It condemns the invasion and attacks on Ivano-Frankivsk, which has also made international headlines during the conflict due to the hundreds of Indian college students that are stranded there.

Ivano-Frankivsk is one of five Arlington sister cities. The designation became official in 2011 when, in March of that year, then-Board chair Chris Zimmerman was joined by the city’s mayor for a signing ceremony in Crystal City.

A number of Board members have visited the city of about 240,000 people, Cristol noted in her remarks.

The relationship also extended to first responders with Ivano-Frankivsk firefighters having become “friends and students” of their Arlington counterparts. There was also a student exchange program with Swanson Middle School.

“It has been a sister city in every sense of the word,” Cristol said.

In recent days, both D.C. and Alexandria have lit up government buildings and monuments in a show of solidarity with Ukraine. While Arlington has no current plans to do that, a county spokesperson tells ARLnow, the resolution shows the connection the county has with the eastern European country.

“We are keeping our sister city and all of the people of Ukraine in our thoughts and hearts at this time,” Cristol said. “And I know many members of our community are joining us in doing so.”

Full resolution is below.

SUPPORTING ARLINGTON COUNTY’S SISTER CITY IVANO-FRANKIVSK DURING THE RUSSIAN MILITARY INVASION OF AND ATTACK ON UKRAINE

Whereas, on March 4, 2011, the Arlington County Board voted to establish a partnership with the city of Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, the purpose of which is to foster friendship and promote mutual tolerance and understanding by establishing ties between the citizens and institutions of the two communities.

Whereas, our two communities through its Sister City partnership have welcomed opportunities to participate in mutual exchanges of people, culture, and ideas, including a student exchange program with Swanson Middle School.

Whereas, the Arlington County Board has welcomed several exchanges to share information and expertise with public safety responders in our Sister City and the Board has participated in formal meetings with government officials, while the Government of Ivano-Frankivsk has similarly participated and welcomed delegations of our own Government and staff.

Whereas, in the spirit of friendship, understanding, and mutual respect of our cultures and histories, we believe it is important to speak out against unjust actions and demonstrate our support for our friends and partners.

Whereas, we learned on February 24, 2022, a Russian missile struck the airport in Ivano-Frankivsk, Arlington’s sister city in Ukraine, only hours after leaders of the Russian Federation launched an invasion into the sovereign country.

Resolved, that the Arlington County Board –

Condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine and unprovoked attack on our Sister City, Ivano-Frankivsk.

Reaffirms our community’s unwavering belief in the principles of international law and in the right of sovereign nations like Ukraine to be respected and safe within their established borders, independent and self-governing, and free to follow their own values and build their own future.

Stands in support and solidarity with the people of Ivano-Frankivsk and all of Ukraine in their defense of sovereignty and democracy.

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