“War is never the answer,” Nik Storonsky, founder and CEO of Revolut, says in a new blog post. Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia last week, there has been a growing call to boycott Russian products and services, stop distribution of Russia’s state-owned media, and even calls for Russian leaders to speak up.
While Russia has been attacking Ukraine for nearly a week, Storonsky has shared his views on the invasion in a deeply personal letter. Revolut is the most valuable fintech startup in the UK and was valued at $33B (approx €27.92B) during the Series E round in July last year.
Nik Storonsky’s anti-war letter calls invasion “abhorrent”
Since the start of the invasion, the global eyes were on Revolut, a UK-based fintech leader with Russian and Ukrainian co-founders. Vlad Yatsenko, the Ukrainian co-founder of Revolut, did not mince words when he called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “monster and a liar” on Twitter. Now, his Russia-born co-founder has joined to condemn Putin’s barbaric act.
Storonsky had been quiet while Yatsenko expressed his views on the ongoing situation. In a personal letter, Storonsky says he did not immediately comment on the situation out of concern for the safety and wellbeing of Revolut staff in both Ukraine and Russia. He thanks all the Revoluters who “have worked tirelessly” on the safety and wellbeing of its people in Ukraine.
Storonsky is in a unique position as a Russia-born British citizen who emigrated to the UK when he was 20 years old. In the letter, he speaks about his father, who is of Ukrainian descent, and “how the notion of war between Russia and Ukraine was unthinkable.”
“Ukrainians and Russians are kin,” Storonsky says, while adding that loss of innocent lives is always wrong. He further expresses his solidarity for Vladyslav by noting how they still feel like “two brothers with a purpose and a big vision.”
On the Russian invasion, Storonsky says he continued to believe that a diplomatic solution would be reached and looked at the violence with “complete disbelief and sadness.”
“This war is wrong and totally abhorrent. I am horrified and appalled at its impact, and I add my voice to those around the world calling for an immediate end to the fighting, and a commitment to diplomatic solutions. Not one more person should die in this needless conflict,” he adds.
While Storonsky has finally spoken, he makes a valuable point in his open letter on Revolut blog. He says opinions are of little consequence and actions matter more right now. He then notes how Revolut made it possible for millions of its customers to donate instantly to the Red Cross Ukraine appeal.
Storonsky says Revolut customers donated more than £1 million within 24 hours and has now added 17 more European countries to the list and has waived the associated transfer fees for sending money to banks in Ukraine.
He adds that Revolut can do more and in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, Storonsky has announced that Revolut will match every donation made to the Red Cross Ukraine appeal. Revolut is planning to match donations made in pounds or euro or złoty or franc between today and the next 7 days or up to £1.5m.
“I hope that our commitment will help the victims of this war. I sincerely hope that a diplomatic solution can be found quickly, allowing peace to be restored to the region,” Storonsky concludes.