As reported widely in the media, on Friday Mikhail wrote to all LetterOne staff expressing his deep sadness at the war in Ukraine and his desire for the bloodshed to stop. This is a copy of the note.
I wanted to write to you after what has been an incredibly difficult few days. I know, like me, many of you are directly affected by this conflict and all are watching with deep concern.
I was born in Western Ukraine and lived there until I was 17. My parents are Ukrainian citizens and live in Lviv, my favourite city. But I have also spent much of my life as a citizen of Russia, building and growing businesses. I am deeply attached to Ukrainian and Russian peoples and see the current conflict as a tragedy for them both.
I do not make political statements, I am a businessman with responsibilities to my many thousands of employees in Russia and Ukraine. I am convinced however that war can never be the answer. This crisis will cost lives and damage two nations who have been brothers for hundreds of years. While a solution seems frighteningly far off, I can only join those whose fervent desire is for the bloodshed to end. I’m sure my partners share my view.
We do also want to thank you all for your hard work. I know that all the noise makes our professional lives more difficult and I really appreciate your calm, supportive approach throughout this truly sad time.