An Important Message from Stig Ravdal on the War in Ukraine
I have been profoundly affected by the war in Ukraine. I along with so many in the global community am shocked at one nation’s unfettered aggression and malignance, while astounded at another’s unconquerable bravery and tenacity.
Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine poses an existential threat to the sovereign nation and its 44 million citizens. With the exception of a short list of rogue states like Iran, North Korea and China, the entire world appears united in condemnation of the illegal actions of Vladimir Putin. NATO and the EU continue efforts to create some sort of countermeasures that don’t leave the entire world in further peril. Just this week, Congress passed a bipartisan spending bill that includes $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine.
But something else is occurring that I have never seen before.
Industry, thought leaders, and global citizens have united like never before against the Russian invasion – and the fight against the oppressors and support for Ukrainians has taken some unique and innovative forms.
- Elon Musk’s SpaceX shipped Starlink terminals to Ukraine to ensure the country maintains internet access. Starlink is the only non-Russian communications system operating in many parts of Ukraine. Read more about Musk and his outspoken response to the Russian invasion.
- U.S., Canada, and European allies agreed to remove key Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank messaging system, which bars them from securely communicating with banks outside of Russia.
- The U.S. announced this week it will ban imports of Russian oil and natural gas.
- Russian airlines have been banned from North American and European airspace.
- McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and General Electric all announced this week they are suspending business in Russia.
- Airbnb, in conjunction with property owners, is providing free, short-term stays to Ukrainians who have fled the country, and have secured more than 12,000 accommodations. Furthermore, average citizens are booking stays at Ukrainian properties with no intentions to stay, but just to direct money to the hosts. To support this effort, Airbnb has waived its fees for Ukrainian rental properties.
- Social media has had a huge bearing on individual interest and awareness on global scale. In the 1990s during Desert Storm or even on 9/11, millions of mature viewers were glued to their TV sets. Today, hundreds-of-millions of notably young TikTok users are being exposed in almost real time to the impact of the Russian invasion. LinkedIn is abundant with posts from business leaders and corporations in support of Ukraine.
The situation in Ukraine is constantly evolving, but will continue to be extremely volatile and dangerous for any foreseeable future. While the danger and bloodshed are enormous, the unprecedented support from the global community is awe inspiring.
Ravdal Inc. stands with Ukraine. We salute President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the country’s courageous citizens and warriors. We are currently working on multifaceted efforts in support of the sovereign country and its people.
We have compiled a list of organizations on the ground helping Ukraine refugees and also those who remain in the country and have included links to their donation pages. Click here to view our downloadable PDF entitled “Aid to Ukraine: How You Can Help.”
Stig Ravdal is the President and CEO of Ravdal Inc.
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