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One CEO’s Perspective on Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

One CEO’s Perspective on Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

The world continues to watch in horror the daily images of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine, a sovereign nation with a democratically elected president. The images of Ukrainian people fleeing for safety or taking arms to defend their country are at once heart-rending and inspiring. While we are witnessing one country’s assault on another country’s independence, we are in a larger sense witnessing an assault on democracy itself.

The reaction from the United States and its allies has been swift and far-reaching. The United States, the European Union, and other nations have imposed wide-ranging sanctions that prohibit the sale of certain products and services to Russia and have placed financial restrictions on Russian banks and the international SWIFT system, making it more difficult to get paid on export transactions with Russia. A widening range of business activities with Russian entities and individuals have been declared off-limits by OFAC, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. The Russian ruble has lost much of its value since the incursion began in late February. UPS, FedEx, and several major steamship linesMap of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. have halted shipments to Russia, most insurers are no longer insuring shipments bound for Russia, and an increasing number of Western corporations have ceased business activities there. The United States last week cut off purchases of Russian oil and natural gas, and U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration announced on Friday that the United States, along with the G7 nations and the European Union, are lobbying to strip Russia of its “most favored nation” status within the World Trade Organization, which gives Russia equal access to all WTO members’ markets and guarantees equal tariffs.

As a global exporter, Dorian Drake has felt the impact, too.

While Russia is not a major export market for us, we have enjoyed long and friendly relationships with a wide range of Russian importers. One, a foodservice equipment distributor in Moscow, is trying to find a way to pay us for orders we supplied them earlier this year. For another, an automotive products importer in Eastern Russia, we have a series of orders built and ready to ship at the factory but no clear path for doing so. Our Hardware/Lawn and Garden Group has ceased pursuit of several orders we were negotiating with Russian distributors when the invasion began. For reasons both practical and moral, we will be taking no new orders from Russia for the foreseeable future.

We have been communicating with our Russian customers, and most understand. Several have been outspoken about their objections to the war and their inability as ordinary citizens to freely express their displeasure. From the scenes of anti-war rallies that we’ve seen inside Russia, we know they are not alone. We can only hope that dissent within Russia will apply the added pressure needed for Russia to withdraw from Ukraine.

As costly and tragic as this war is, it may produce some positive outcomes. For one, it already has strengthened the United States’ commitment to NATO and to its European Union allies. Support for Ukrainians in defense of their borders and their way of life also seems to be an issue upon which all Americans, in a country badly divided, can agree. The best possible outcome, of course, would be for Ukraine to repel Russia’s invasion and establish finally its sovereignty as a free and independent nation.

After 9/11, Le Monde, France’s leading daily newspaper, famously wrote, “We are all Americans.” Today we say, “We are all Ukrainians.”

Ed Dorian Jr.
White Plains, NY
March 2022

5 thoughts on “One CEO’s Perspective on Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

  1. Imam Santosa

    Dear Mr Ed Dorian,

    I’ve read your thought on this “horror” scene according to your perspective.
    But in the end I think your humanity still need to learn more in order to be able to embrace the truth in common logic.
    If you are the second legacy of Great H. Dorian and could recall your memories well, news about Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Palestine should have in newspaper and television during your teenage and growing up as a Keepers in Dorian’s throne.
    They are and always a sovereign nation, too.
    When do you think we should campaign:
    We are Iraq
    We are Palestine
    We are Syria
    We are Afghanistan
    We agree we are not talking about religion and race on this. Just humanity as it has the words HUMAN.
    Hope to see your thought on this again in your bulletin news.
    Best regards, Imam Santosa.

    1. Ed Dorian Jr.

      Dear Imam,

      Thank you for thoughtful and no doubt heart-felt comments. Nothing written in our post was meant to suggest that U.S. foreign policy is immune to criticism. The U.S. is guilty of its share of missteps and missed opportunities, particularly in the Middle East. The central point of our post was to convey our solidarity with the Ukrainian people. On this point, I believe Ed Dorian Sr. would have agreed.

      Best regards,

  2. Rashid Bahar

    Very well said. However, I still think the world can do more in terms of a military intervention. It is like letting a school yard bully get away with beating up someone and no one jumping in because of fear. I realize that Russia has nuclear weapons, but we need to do something. I am sure the world can get together and find some way to jump in with military might to defend the Ukrainians. I am afraid if we do not, it will set a bad precedent for other countries around the world e.g. if you have a nuclear weapons, you can get away with murder.

    1. Imam Santosa

      Dear Rashad,

      So it is safe and ok to breach to your neighbors house with your excuse and prejudice that your neighbor you thought has the weapon mass destruction ? But in the end you found nothing and just walk by and said sorry??
      If you’re ok with that I’d be glad if you to be my neighbor and search your house 🙂
      Let make some point here Rashad.
      We agree that sovereignty of a nation is absolute right. But please don’t have double standard on who should have the privilege for this war. Every country should live in peace and not make their neighbors in fear.

  3. Ed Dorian Jr.

    Dear Rashid,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this troubling topic. The many nations supporting Ukraine face a difficult dilemma: How best to support Ukraine without igniting World War III. There is no easy answer.

    Best regards,