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Virgin’s Richard Branson urges companies to abandon Russia

Richard Branson has criticized companies still operating in Russia, accusing them of supporting Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

The Virgin founder told Sky News that “too many companies continue to profit from doing business with or in Russia, while fueling Putin’s war machine.”

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The comments come weeks after Sky News analysis revealed that British carmakers appear to be trying to circumvent sanctions by sell hundreds of millions of books‘ of luxury vehicles to Russia indirectly via the former Soviet states.

These allegations have been categorically denied by Rolls Royce and Bentley.

Mr Richard joined other business leaders early in the invasion to sign an open letter declaring that they would only consider resuming business operations Russia when hostile operations ceased.

He also renewed pressure on European governments to greenlight additional support for Ukraine, saying: “Additional financial and military aid for Ukraine’s courageous struggle should be approved quickly.”

“For European leaders, the stakes could not be higher,” he added. “European nations must come together now and forge a common security architecture strong enough to stand on its own two feet and defend against the real threat they face.”

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Indian fighters trapped in Russian war

He told Sky News that the private sector would be key to Ukraine’s future, adding that “business will be at the heart of Ukraine’s reconstruction efforts.”

“Ukraine needs collective and sustained commitment across all sectors to help rebuild its devastated infrastructure and cities, and get its economy back on its feet.”

Branson made the comments in his capacity as ambassador for UNITED24, a charity personally established by President Zelensky to support the reconstruction of Ukraine.

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Minecraft Character

The charity has introduced Sir Richard as a playable character in popular video game Minecraft, as part of its latest fundraising campaign to rebuild a school in Ukraine.

French game developers created a game in Minecraft, known as Minesalt, in which they recreated the famous salt mines of Soledar, a town in Donetsk Oblast.

Although the business mogul sold his video game division, Virgin Interactive Entertainment (VIE), in the late ’90s, he said he “can’t wait to explore Minesalt with my grandchildren and surprise them when I appear in the game.

When asked if Branson, whose VIE published Resident Evil, Street Fighter and Doom II, would consider re-entering the gaming market, he replied: “We are always looking at ways that Virgin can be a disruptor in the market , so never say never.”

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