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Rakuten and Tesla CEO provide aid to Ukraine amidst invasion from Russia

Rakuten and Tesla CEO provide aid to Ukraine amidst invasion from Russia

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Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani and entrepreneur and business magnate Elon Musk have stepped forward to provide aid to Ukraine as it continues its battle against the Russia's invasion, which started about a week ago. According to CNA, the Japanese billionaire donated JP1 million yen (SG$11.7k) to the government of Ukraine, which will go toward humanitarian activists to help those in Ukraine who are victims of the invasion. 

According to Japan Today, Hiroshi witnessed Ukraine's courageous resistance against this unprovoked attack from Russia, and decided on the donation after discussing it with his family. Rakuten Group has staff working in Ukraine for its free-call app service and has a business base in the Odessa region of southern Ukraine, Japan Today reported.

Meanwhile, Musk activated his company SpaceX's Starlink satellite broadband service in Ukraine following Ukrainian Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov's plea request on Twitter. According to Internet watchdog NetBlocks, Ukraine has seen a series of significant disruption to its Internet service since Russia launched military operations in the country. 

"While you try to colonise Mars - Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space - Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations," Fedorov tweeted to Musk. In less than half a day, Musk responded to the tweet saying that the Starlink service is active in Ukraine, with more terminals en route.  Starlink is a constellation of over 2,000 satellites that aims to provide satellite Internet access coverage to most of the Earth. According to CNA, SpaceX launched an additional 50 Starlink satellites last Friday, and many more are slated to be put into Earth's orbit.

At the same time, consumers and retailers in Canada and the US are boycotting Russian vodka to show their support for Ukraine. Some bars even went the extra mile by promoting Ukrainian brands as well. Additionally, in the US, Governor Chris Sununu of New Hampshire signed an executive order last Saturday mandating the state's liquor stores to remove Russian made and Russian branded spirits from its liquor and wine outlets. In Canada, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, one of the largest importers of alcohol in the world, has ceased the sales of Russian vodka and other alcoholic beverages from the country.

Separately, Meta and Alphabet prohibited ads from Russian state media. Meta said it is also demonetising the accounts of Russian state media and will continue to apply labels to additional Russian state media. As of 27 February, Meta has also restricted access to several accounts in Ukraine, including those belonging to some Russian state media organisations. It is also reviewing other government requests to restrict Russian state-controlled media. Meanwhile, Alphabet's Google banned RT, a Russian state-owned media outlet, and other channels from monetising their ads on the platform's websites, apps, and YouTube videos. Twitter has also jumped into action, blocking access to its services in Russia and pausing ads in Ukraine and Russia to ensure critical public safety information is elevated and ads don't detract from it. 

Related articles:
Facebook and YouTube block ad dollars from Russian state media
Chinese social media removes vulgar comments on Ukraine-Russia war
HBO star John Cena's ‘Peacemaker’ show plug amidst Russia-Ukraine conflict cops flak
Applebee's suspends ads on CNN after spot airs during Russian invasion reports

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