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Brands pull out of Russia, but will they step up for Ukraine?

Companies — including WPP and now IPG as well as retailers and fast food giants — are pulling out of Russia (plus the UK bans all exports of luxury goods to the country and the EU expected to follow suit) with various impacts on their bottom lines. If they want to show true purpose, they could also step up and help the Ukrainians where they can, as Irish telco Eir and Elon Musk’s Starlink are doing.

Eir has a team on the ground handing out free SIM cards to refugees arriving at the airport. A statement says: “To our Ukrainian friends arriving in Ireland, Welcome,” and offers free calls, texts and data, before finishing, “We will be there every day for as long as necessary.”

Elon Musk has been countering Russian attempts to shut down communications in Ukraine with the delivery of terminals to the country that allow free access to his communications satellite via the Starlink app — now the most downloaded app in the country.

Musk has even taken on the Russians directly. He challenged Putin to “single combat” via Twitter on Monday and in response, Dmitry Rogozin, director general of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, called Musk a “weakling” and a “little devil” in Russian.

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