Japanese billionaire Hiroshi "Mickey" Mikitani on Sunday said he would donate $8.7 million to the government of Ukraine, calling Russia's invasion "a challenge to democracy".
The founder of e-commerce giant Rakuten said in a letter addressed to Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky that the donation of 1 billion yen ($8.7 million) will go toward "humanitarian activities to help people in Ukraine who are victims of the violence".
Mikitani said he visited Kyiv in 2019 and met with Zelensky.
Read more: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's unlikely journey from comedy to national hero
"My thoughts are with you and Ukraine people," Mikitani said in his letter.
"I believe that the trampling of a peaceful and democratic Ukraine by unjustified force is a challenge to democracy.
"I sincerely hope that Russia and Ukraine can resolve this issue peacefully and that Ukraine people can have peace again as soon as possible," he wrote.
Consulting with my family, we Mikitani family have decided to donate 1 billion yen to Ukraine.
Attached is my letter to President Zaranskyy. Our hearts are with you. pic.twitter.com/w4LAPs7nt7
— 三木谷浩史 Hiroshi (Mickey) Mikitani (@hmikitani) February 26, 2022
Russia's invasion has prompted broad financial sanctions from major democracies while individuals and organisations across the world have solicited donations to help Ukraine.
The Japanese government has also announced sanctions on Moscow including freezing assets and banning key exports such as semiconductors to organisations related to the Russian military.
Read more: First AI flight carrying 219 Indians evacuated from Ukraine lands in Mumbai
On Saturday, Elon Musk said his company SpaceX's Starlink satellite broadband service had been activated in Ukraine, after the country's Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov pleaded him to provide satellite-based communications to help resist Russia’s invasion.
"Starlink service is now active in Ukraine," Musk tweeted, adding "more terminals en route."
He was responding to a tweet by Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov.
"While you try to colonize Mars -- Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space -- Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations," Fedorov tweeted.
According to Musk, Starlink satellite links ensure smooth operation and reliable internet coverage. It also enables the satellites to operate without sending data back to a ground station. Instead, the data is beamed between the satellites using laser links, enabling faster transfer speeds.