Let us have a closer look at how the Russian businesses have been responding to the Russia-Ukraine conflict amid sanctions imposed on Russia and its citizens by the Western allies. Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 and it is a human tragedy as the consequences are severe. Millions of people have been displaced. They are living under siege.
The war has entered into the fourth week and during the period several companies have announced either withdrawing or suspending their operations in the country. Some are proactively donating services and products in support of Ukraine like the cybersecurity services of Microsoft have prevented dozens of cyberattacks against media organizations and governments of the country.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced offering Wi-Fi satellite internet coverage in Ukraine and this became a gamechanger to keep the country connected with the world. Initially, Airbnb announced working with non-governmental organizations and hosts to provide refuge to Ukrainians.
British Land, a property company in the United Kingdom, announced evicting gas giant of Russia, Gazprom, from the London headquarters.
Russia is said to be self-sufficient in food and energy as it is rich in the two sectors. However, its significant population use Apple-made iPhones, drive German luxury cars and wear Swiss watches. It's about 66 million population use Facebook.
Just a handful of thecompanies has not announced to be withdrawing their products and services from Russia. One company to name here is Danone and its new CEO argued to be staying in the country. It is a food company and grabs 6 percent of revenue from Russia. He is disliking to punish its suppliers and customers. The chief said he has the responsibility of feeding the people.
Accenture is paying its 2,300 Russian staff with severance packages. Several other companies are doing the same and state to be paying the staff as long as cash is available in Russia.
Meanwhile, a survey based on over 100 CEOs reveals most of them are yet to make a decision on the response.
With continued business exodus, if a business house fails to take a stand may risk being complicit. The current business environment is different. An ethical issue now can turn into an economic issue.
Apart from all these, the Russian forces have been destroying cities in Ukraine with attacks from air and land. President Putin seems unstoppable even after the imposition of various sanctions by the Western allies. The import of Russian oil and gas has been banned and the Russian banks have been removed from the international SWIFT payment systems.