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Ukraine finds support from business community as multinationals weigh in

  • Airbnb announced it will house 100,000 Ukrainian refugees for free.
  • Ryanair is flying medical aid to Poland for Ukraine & Wizz Air offered 100,000 free seats to Ukrainian refugees.
  • Uber is offering free rides to Ukranians escaping & offering employment to Ukranians in neighbouring countries

While the list of companies exiting operations in Russia grows by the day, so too does the list of companies throwing their support behind Ukraine.

Airbnb kick-started the flood of support to Ukraine by offering temporary housing for up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, to be funded by Airbnb. The short-term accommodation company’s spokesperson, Christopher Nulty, said they’ve reached out to governments in Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania to offer support for housing fleeing Ukrainians heading to those countries.

Some Airbnb users also took it upon themselves from around the world to book ‘virtual’ stays in Ukrainian Airbnb rentals without any intention of ever staying in the booking, just to support the invaded country.

South Korean tech giant Samsung, the leading smartphone seller in Russia with a 30% market share, has not only suspended shipments of products to Russia, but also announced it will donate US$6m, including US$1m in consumer electronics, to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

Elon Musk has also joined the effort, donating Starlink satellite internet terminals from SpaceX, while more than a dozen telecommunications providers including Vodafone, Orange, and AT&T have announced the provision of free international calls to Ukraine.

Ryanair has suspended all flights to and from Ukraine and instead has begun flying medical supplies from the UK and Ireland to Polish airports for delivery to Ukraine. Wizz Air has also offered 100,000 free seats to Ukrainian citizens looking to flee the country on short haul flights to neighbouring countries.

Uber announced unlimited free rides from the Ukraine-Polish border to cities of Lublin in central Ukraine and Rzeszów in the southeast to aid refugees. Uber is also working with Ukrainian refugees to help them become Uber drivers in neighbouring cities. US users of the Uber app can also give the International Rescue Committee direct donations, which Uber says it will match, up to the sum of US$1m.

Other companies have made direct donations for aid organisations including IKEA donating US$22m, US$16m from Lego, US$10m from Binance and US$5m from Amazon.

While Ukraine may be small in comparison to Russia, the support behind the Russian-invaded country is piling in from all around the world as companies exit Russia in favour of supporting Ukraine through the war.

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