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You're reading: Melnyk, confident billionaire with Ukrainian roots, takes on Putin
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Last month, he launched United with Ukraine, a grassroots organization dedicated to stopping Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine and its illegal occupation of the Crimean peninsula.

A primary component of the campaign, according to the 55-year-old Toronto native with Ukrainian roots, is an international boycott of the prestigious tournament’s sponsors. On June 5, it expanded its list of targets from the beer sponsor, Anheuser-Busch InBev, to Visa, Kia and Sony.

Anheuser-Busch InBev spokesperson Karen Couck told the Kyiv Post that “we are aware of the campaign and have reached out to the organizers. Decisions as to the location of the FIFA World Cup are made by the FIFA Governing Body without any sponsor consultation. We would be happy to facilitate a contact with FIFA, because we believe direct dialogue can be most effective in addressing concerns.”

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