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Employees of U.S. companies celebrate Thanksgiving in Kyiv hours after Russian missile barrage hits Ukraine

MarketWatch logo MarketWatch 11/18/2022 James Rogers
© AP
THE MARGIN

Employees from a number of U.S. companies gathered for a Thanksgiving dinner in Kyiv just hours after Russia launched a barrage of 100 missiles at Ukraine.

U.S. Ambassador Bridget Brink gave the keynote address at the event held by the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine in downtown Kyiv Tuesday. The dinner was attended by 200 representatives of U.S. and multinational companies, including IBM Corp. Coca-Cola Co. Cisco Systems Inc. Visa Inc. Oracle Corp. and PepsiCo Inc. according to the chamber of commerce.

“On the evening of Russia’s biggest missile attack since it started the war on Feb 24, I was proud to gather with @ChamberUkraine members to demonstrate support in the fight to help Ukraine prevail,” Brink tweeted Wednesday.

Now read: Ukraine war will end in 2023, say members of Kyiv-based American Chamber of Commerce

“This event sends a robust message — the business community in Ukraine is resilient, brave and united. Ukraine is open for business, and the private sector is ready to lead its postwar reconstruction,” said Andy Hunder, president of the chamber.

One of the highest-profile members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine is McDonald’s Corp. The fast-food chain paused its operations in Ukraine following the Russian invasion of the country but announced a phased reopening of some of its restaurants in August.

Hunder has urged U.S. companies to invest in Ukraine, which he said will need “massive” reconstruction.

Also read: As Ukraine marks Independence, U.S. companies are up and running in the country, says Kyiv-based American Chamber of Commerce

The Kyiv School of Economics reports that the total cost to Ukraine’s economy from the damage and destruction of residential and nonresidential buildings and infrastructure now stands at $113.5 billion.

In a recent survey of the business climate carried out by the chamber, 92% of respondents said that Ukraine will win the war. Some 77% of the chamber’s members believe the war will end in 2023, and 12% believe it will end in 2024.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine is an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The local organization was founded in 1992, a year after the country gained independence.

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