We have all been consumed for the past week by the news and images coming out of Ukraine, as Russia continues its attack on the nation and its people. Heartbreak, anger, frustration, and despair are among the emotions we’ve felt from afar, but there is another emotion that speaks to our hope for what’s to come: awe.
We stand in awe of the strength of the Ukrainian people. We stand in awe of the citizens who have volunteered to bolster an outgunned military. We stand in awe of a leader who could have fled to safety but has instead taken to the streets of Kyiv in a gesture of solidarity with the people he serves, and proclaimed, “I am here.”
We are in awe, but we are not surprised. Because the strength of character we now see on the world’s stage is a direct reflection of the strength of character we have long seen in our many Ukrainian Astound Commerce teammates. We have long seen your integrity, your intelligence, your devotion to what you believe in. We have long known your fierce hearts.
Being a company founded by three Ukrainians who emigrated to the United States as teenagers, the Ukrainian spirit is profoundly embedded in Astound’s DNA, and it is embodied in our Ukrainian teammates. I want to call out in particular our Ukraine Business Continuity Planning Leadership team for their incredible strength and forbearance during this time of crisis. This team has been working around the clock on relocation efforts to first move Ukraine-based employees to the relative safety of Western Ukraine, and they are now assisting in their temporary relocation outside the country. These individuals are the very definition of courage, as they work to ensure the safety of their teammates.
As we stand in awe of how all Ukrainians are meeting this moment, we are not alone. Our clients and partners are equally humbled, and we have received an outpouring of well wishes from so many. We thank them as well for these expressions of solidarity, and in the coming days we’ll be sharing information on the most impactful ways we can all make a difference.
In the meantime, we again express our gratitude and our unwavering support for our Ukrainian teammates and the Ukrainian people. We are with you. Slava Ukraini!
Michael Kahn (MK), Global CEO