For a month, the Ukrainian people have been resisting the brutal and cruel attacks of the Russian regime and its military.
So far, over ten million Ukrainians have left the country, leaving their lives behind with nothing more than a backpack.
The other 35 million Ukrainians have stayed to protect their country and sovereignty. They are heroes and an example for the entire world. They are the ones who are winning this war.
To those 30+ million people, the democratic world has to help with everything we can.
This is why many people, myself included, advocate for more significant sanctions against the Russian regime and its business, political and military elite. They are the ones responsible for destroying the lives of millions of people. They have to pay a comparable price.
It is immoral that while millions of Ukrainian refugees struggle to eat, there are Russian oligarchs with mansions in Miami and yachts in France.
It is immoral that while Ukrainian children lost their homes, we have the children of the Russian elite living like kings in the West, eating in the best restaurants, studying at the best universities, wearing Gucci and Versace.
This is why the private sector has to step up, and this is exactly what they have been doing. Though some have inexplicably not yet done so the Private Sector is stepping up for Ukraine.
Many companies jumped to help the Ukrainian people by raising funds for both refugees and people on the ground.
This is the case of MobileCoin, the cryptocurrency.
My friend Andreas Jurgens, CEO of the Freedom Today Network, and I have been in touch with MobileCoin to coordinate humanitarian aid for Ukrainians through the non-profit organization Ukrainian Students For Freedom. This is attempt to help Ukrainian students created by alumni of Students For Liberty, a body I proudly am involved with.
Thanks to MobilCoin, Ukrainian Students For Freedom have been able to purchase protective equipment, humanitarian aid like food, and other necessities for the people defending their nation.
Beyond this specific case, there are numerous examples of private companies that stepped up to help the Ukranian people. For instance, the German company Grammarly has also donated millions of dollars to the Ukrainian cause.
Moreover, there are also companies that have stopped doing business with Russian companies; and not as a result of any sanction, but by principle.
This is the case of the oil company Shell, who ended its joint ventures with the Russian oil company Gazprom. Shell sold its stake in projects, like the Sakhalin-II liquefied natural gas facility.
“We are shocked by the loss of life in Ukraine, which we deplore, resulting from a senseless act of military aggression which threatens European security,” Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said.
This is also the case of the Formula 1 team, Hass, who had the Russian company Uralkali as its main sponsor.
A day after the invasion, Hass Team Principal Guenther Steiner decided to take down Uralkali’s logo and close ties with the company. Days later, the team also decided to drop its Russian driver, Nikita Mazepin.
“Haas F1 Team has elected to terminate, with immediate effect, the title partnership of Uralkali, and the driver contract of Nikita Mazepin,” the team said in a statement. “As with the rest of the Formula One community, the team is shocked and saddened by the invasion of Ukraine and wishes for a swift and peaceful end to the conflict.”
Formula 1 also decided to cancel its Grand Prix in Sochi, Russia, scheduled for September 2022. A similar decision has been made by other sports as well.
Overall, these examples show that even without formal sanctions, the private sector is separating itself from Russia and its businesses.
While there is a lot more that can be done, I hope these actions set an example for the future.
The private sector has an important role to play if we want to live in a more democratic and free world.
Doing business with regimes like the Russian and Venezuelan is simply immoral and incompatible with a democratic future.
This article is also published on LIBERTATIO SUSTACK page here