Revitalizing the Ukrainian “Dream”

Revitalizing the Ukrainian “Dream”

Richard Branson, “tie-loathing adventurer, philanthropist & troublemaker, who believes in turning ideas into reality,” as he presents himself on Twitter, has just visited Ukraine and seems to find a new challenge: facilitate Ukraine’s reconstruction.

Although on his Twitter and the Virgin site the British billionaire only shares his impressions of the visit, some information on its contents was leaked by the head of the Servant of the People faction in Ukrainian Parliament, David Arakhamia. On his Telegram channel, Arakhamia said that Ukraine is working on a project to build a new aircraft Mriya (“Dream”), and the discussions with Branson included this project and prospects of cooperation in space. Branson “expressed his willingness to help in whatever way he could,” according to the MP.

Branson arrived in Ukraine yesterday on an invitation from President Zelensky to meet with the President, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, and a group of Ukrainian business leaders. The main purpose of going to Kyiv for Branson was to “meet and listen to Ukrainians, to understand their fears and concerns, and also to learn what business, in partnership with civil society and governments, can do to support Ukraine most effectively.” His itinerary included visits to some of the sites of Russian attacks, notably the Hostomel airfield – “home to the famed Antonov AN-225 [“Mriya”], the world’s largest transport plane and the pride of Ukrainian aviation.” (The unique plane had been destroyed and burnt by Russians in the Battle of Hostomel.)

According to Branson, every effort matters when it comes to supporting Ukraine. “Every day, Ukrainians are fighting and dying for the entire free world. The least the rest of the world can do is to give our unwavering and unconditional support until the last Russian soldier leaves Ukrainian territory. Anything else would be defeat – not just defeat to Ukraine’s right to freely choose its own destiny, but also to the rule of law and the sovereignty of nations,” his story on the Virgin site reads. “I have nothing but admiration for Ukrainians’ resilience and spirit, knowing that many of them have lost loved ones, friends, and neighbors to this unprovoked Russian aggression.”

He also said that he needs some time to process the “flurry of impressions and insights” and promised to follow up in the next few days and share more.

“I remain hopeful that Ukraine and its wonderful people will prevail and win this war, taking control of their territory, their sovereignty, and their future path. But more than ever, all of us have to stand together and confront the threat Ukraine and the world face,” Branson concluded.

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