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22 April 2021

How Ukrainian business prepares for war

Source: Новое Время. Бізнес

Over the past month, we have all seen an escalation of hostilities in the East of Ukraine, a provocative increase in the military rhetoric of the Russian media and an increasing confrontation through the diplomatic environment between a number of states and Russia. Unfortunately, the phrase “big war” can be heard more and more frequently.

Last week I participated in several meetings of the business community where the issue most discussed was whether the war would be declared, and if so, how serious it would be.

At the same time, several companies approached us with a question: how should businesses prepare for war, what policies and regulations need to be developed and implemented, how to ensure the evacuation of personnel, valuables and assets; and in general, what to do if the war spreads to the rest of Ukraine?

Based on the experience of our team and partners, I will try to answer the above. As one of the participants said, and I completely agreed, “you must decide for yourself in relation to this war – who are you? An emigrant or a participant playing a role in the war  – a volunteer, a soldier?” Are you ready to defend your country or are you a philistine? Being clear on your status will help, among other things, to gain psychological confidence.

After that, the further algorithm of actions can be built quite easily.

If you are an emigrant, the action plan is as follows:

  • either a duplicate or a new business is created abroad
  • housing is purchased
  • the family is sent to stay abroad long-term for assimilation
  • a financial reserve is created abroad, including cryptocurrency, precious metals and stones
  • an evacuation plan is elaborated. As a rule, evacuation by land, water or air may be considered, but bear in mind that in the event of a large-scale war, automobile and pedestrian border crossings may be closed by the neighboring states. Emigrants living in the coastal zone or in the Danube region already have ready-made solutions based on the use of boats or other sea transport
  • assets in the country are technically strengthened in order to prevent looting, persons responsible for control are appointed and contracts are signed with security firms to protect the assets
  • business management is switched to “remote” mode using IT-technologies
  • cash reserve fund is created for various emergency cases
  • the “Protector” plan ensuring the safe inheritance of business is launched

If you do not want to emigrate and are ready to fight for your country, the action plan may be as follows:

  • a programme (procedure, regulations) is being developed for your business in case of military actions
  • an Anti-Terrorist Passport for business is being developed and adopted
  • ideological mood among the staff is subject to research, since the events of 2014 showed that even in one labour collective, a half is ready to evacuate, while the other half decides to remain in the occupied territory
  • the team determines opinion leaders who are ready to support business processes in a crisis situation
  • internal communications in the event of hostilities are worked out, including the possibility of communication in the event of Internet breakdown or air suppression, top managers are provided with satellite communications
  • the issue is being resolved with the employees. You need to understand who you will dismiss, keep in business, as well as who can potentially be drafted and who can replace them. It is also necessary to fill or create a reserve of funds for the timely settlement with the labour collective in order to minimise conflict situations
  • spare sources of power supply are provided
  • a procedure for organising business in case of hostilities is adopted, including work with finances, documents, clients
  • the measures for additional protection of assets are adopted, since the customary measures in wartime are clearly not enough
  • a new map of business risks is developed, taking into account possible military actions, civil disorders, looting and an increase of criminal component
  • business owners decide to transfer a part of their profits to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine or another state structure involved in protecting the country
  • in the event that business owners or top management join the Armed Forces of Ukraine and go to war, it is necessary to draw up a will, provide for the procedure for transferring business management to other partners, a procedure for safe inheritance and probable substitutes for the vtop management

A philistine is a status that, in principle, does not require anything from you, except for purchase of medication, non-perishable food items and a search for a more or less reliable shelter. A philistine, as a rule, lives and works under any government or occupation authorities, sincerely believing that he nothing depends on them . Will the business of a philistine suffer under the occupation authorities? Most likely, yes, as we saw in the Crimea, “DPR/LPR”.

No one knows today how military actions may unfold in the nearest future, but we can assume three possible options:

  • “Big war”, when the whole country can be a military operations theater
  • a new local conflict with a new Ukrainian territory invaded
  • “Yugoslavian scenario”, when the troops of the “DPR/LPR” or the Russian Federation will not enter the territory of Ukraine, with the exception of the already occupied territories, but when, as a result of missile attacks not from the territory of the Russian Federation, vital infrastructure facilities, bridges, telecommunications centers, objects of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Navy and the government facilities will be destroyed

Whatever option of hostilities awaits Ukraine in the near future, it is already clear that the Ukrainian business should devote time, resources and attention to the high-quality and professional training for work in a larger-scale war.

Of course, we hope that the logic and reason will prevail, but being ready for war today is already an imperative of our times in Ukraine.

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