Bolt exits Belarus and pledges €5m fare levy to support Ukraine

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Ride-hailing operator Bolt has pledged to donate at least €5 million to support Ukraine by donating 5% of every fare collected in the next two weeks.

The operator is also pulling out of Belarus and removing any Russian products from its Bolt and Bolt Market operations.

Bolt is based in Estonia, the Baltic state that could be in the firing line for further Russian aggression. Bolt founder Markus Villig (pictured) said: “The people of Eastern Europe know the value of freedom all too well. We cannot settle for empty social media posts, but need real actions.”

“To support the Ukrainian people we have three announcements: We’re donating 5% of every Bolt order in Europe over the next two weeks to support Ukraine. This will amount to over €5m and we’re transferring the first €1m today.

“We will remove all products produced in Russia or associated with Russian companies from Bolt Market. And we will close down all operations in Belarus due to their enablement of the Russian invasion.”

He continued: “This war was started by an oppressive regime, not the millions of people in Russia and Belarus also suffering from it. Encourage them to speak up against this mindless war. We stand against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We stand with our 112 employees in Ukraine. We stand against darkness.”

Villig spoke about how his experiences growing up in Estonia have shaped his decisions. “Coming from Estonia we know the value of freedom all too well. Our parents and grandparents were waiting for the occupation to end for 48 long years. Europe cannot make the same mistake again,” he said.