Major British telecoms companies have united to make it free for their networks' users to call Ukraine and cover the roaming charges of any customers in the country.

Vodafone UK was the first major mobile network operator (MNO) to announce the move as chief executive Ahmed Essam Shelbaya said: "Effective immediately, Vodafone UK is crediting all calls to Ukraine and waiving any roaming charges for Vodafone UK customers currently in Ukraine…we stand in solidarity with all Ukrainian people at this worrying time."

The move comes as Russian troops push further into Ukraine, and local telecoms company Mediana has reportedly been taken offline. In Ukraine, fellow local telecoms company Triolan announced that it will temporarily be offering internet services in the country for free, after services in Kharkiv were disrupted.

Fellow telecoms giant Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) followed suit and waived roaming charges alongside introducing free calls to Ukraine provisionally until 6 March. A spokesperson for the company said: “As the situation continues to unfold, we recognise that connectivity will play a crucial role and we want to provide support to those who need it.”

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