When the bombs started falling in Ukraine, Marney Cheek, Jonathan Gimblett and David Zionts didn’t sleep much. They weren’t alone. On Feb. 24, the world watched with horror and disbelief when Russia invaded the sovereign state of Ukraine in what many saw as an illegal act. Like millions of people around the world, Cheek, Gimblett and Zionts were worried for people they knew, caught in the firing line of the Russian aggression.

“We were constantly worrying for the people we’ve worked with for years—people we’ve developed close relationships with—not knowing what was happening on the ground,” said Zionts, a Washington-based appellate litigator at Covington & Burling.