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Mercenaries, Vans, a Church Text: Visa’s Rush to Get Its Workers Out of Ukraine

  • CEO Al Kelly was at Mass when Zelenskiy wanted to talk
  • ‘I’ve learned more about war than I ever knew before’: Kelly
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Ukraine War Special Report: Biggest Refugee Crisis Since WWII

Visa Inc. Chief Executive Officer Al Kelly was in church on Feb. 27 when he got a text that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wanted to talk.

Kelly rarely takes his phone to Mass, but made an exception just three days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. His company had been working frantically to evacuate employees from the Kyiv area. The payments giant had loaded up Sprinter vans with supplies and stationed them within a half mile of the Ukrainian border in Romania, Poland and Hungary, ready to receive workers and their families as they fled their homes.