Today Russia shelled their own war prisoner camp in the town of Olenivka. They took the Ukrainian soldiers of Azov battallion to a separate building a few days ago. And then shot at that particular barrack. 53 war prisoners are reported dead. 75 are reported wounded. Then the Russians issued a statement claiming that the attack came from Ukraine.
This is beyond cynical. This is a war crime. One of many committed by Russia. A heinous war crime in defiance of international law and basic human decency.
What does this have to do with me quitting my job?
I loved working as a comms director for a steel and mining company, part of a global publicly traded corporation, the largest foreign investor in Ukraine. I managed a fantastic team. I was privileged to report to two amazing executives. I was given professional challenges any communication pro dreams of: an opportunity to change perceptions, improve the reputation, and shape new narratives.
When the war started, the corporation did everything right. It made tough decisions but did all it could to protect our people and help Ukraine. It pulled out of Russia and eliminated all Russian commodities from its supply chain, to a positive reaction of stakeholders.
And then we saw it in the news. The corporation resumed sales in Russia. This global company saw it fit to sell steel to a country that builds tanks and missile launchers to kill Ukrainians. This public company chose to deal with a country that has zero respect for laws and rules. This major employer chose to do business with people who want to exterminate the Ukrainians.
When my team member sent me the link to that news item, there was an alert siren sounding in Kryvyi Rih where the company is based in Ukraine. My colleagues there can hear the explosions at night. The fighting is a mere 50 km from there. 2000 employees are serving in the Ukrainian army. 14 of them were killed in action.
To me, that was a red line I could not cross. My values cannot coexist with a job where I have to justify to the public why the company chose to do business with a terrorist state.
So I quit. The decision came easy.
I was accused of making an emotional decision. Yes, it was emotional. How could it be otherwise? I’m living in a country at war. No amount of money can compensate for being complicit, no matter how insignificantly, in killing innocents.
Today Russia shot cluster munitions at a bus stop in the city of Mykolayiv. 5 people died, at least 7 more were wounded. None of them were soldiers. They were just waiting for a bus.
Do you understand now why I quit my job?
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