Revolut CEO Storonsky condemns war and pledges support for Ukraine

Revolut’s Russian CEO Nikolay Storonsky has published a letter condemning the war in Ukraine.

It is the first time that Storonsky — a billionaire entrepreneur born in Russia, who holds British citizenship, and whose father is Ukrainian — has clarified his stance on the conflict.

“I would like to make clear, publicly, what I’ve felt privately from day one: war is never the answer,” he wrote in an open letter published late on March 1. He also called the war “wrong and totally abhorrent,” and called for an immediate end to the fighting.

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Storonsky’s Ukrainian co-founder Vlad Yatsenko, who is Revolut’s CTO, had already publicly condemned the actions of Russian president Vladimir Putin after he ordered his forces to invade Ukraine on February 24.

Revolut itself had also taken action by helping customers donate to relief efforts in Ukraine through its app, while waiving fees for transfers to Ukraine.

In his letter, Storonsky said that Revolut users had donated more than £1 million to Red Cross Ukraine’s appeal within 24 hours — and pledged that the startup would match every pound, euro, złoty or franc donated over the next 7 days, up to £1.5 million.

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Staff in Russia

Some of Revolut’s more than 2,150 staff are based in Russia and Ukraine, and Storonsky said in his letter that he had to consider the wellbeing of those based in Russia before making any statement on the war.

“They have done nothing wrong; they have simply helped build Revolut, supporting their own families through their hard work, just like their colleagues in Ukraine (or London or New York or Sydney or Mumbai, or anywhere else in the world where our people are based). I was, and remain, mindful of them in all of my actions,” he said.

Since the war in Ukraine began, fintech remittance firms such as Wise, Zeps, TransferGo and Remitly have suspended their services in Russia. Revolut is yet to follow suit.

 


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