NEW YORK — Hill+Knowlton Strategies has outlined its planned withdrawal from Moscow, after owner WPP announced it would be pulling out of all Russian agency operations in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The agency operates as PBN Hill+Knowlton Strategies in Russia, Kyiv and Kazakhstan, where it has around 75 employees across the three offices.

In 2007, WPP bought a 49.9% stake in PBN, which was one of the first agencies to establish a foothold in Russia 30 years ago. In 2012, WPP bought an additional 25.1% stake in PBN and merged it with the H+K Strategies brand.

In a letter to global employees, Global chairman and CEO AnnaMaria DeSalva said: “I want to give you my assurance that we are doing all we can to support our people on both sides of the border. Our team in Russia has been an integral part of our global network. I know that many of you are thinking of how are colleagues in Russia will manage through this sudden change. It’s important to understand that the process of discontinuing our operations will take place over the next few months.

“We are extending additional financial support to our Russian colleagues and we are committed to helping them find future employment opportunities, with clients or other local employers, but also hopefully within the global H+K network, if some would like to move abroad. We are extending a similar relocation opportunity to our colleagues in Ukraine.”

DeSalva said the agency’s leadership team “will remain in steady contact with Maria Kuzkina, our CEO in Moscow, as we work through this process and details. While it is too soon to provide more specifics, I wanted to share the direction we are heading in, as well as our commitment to support the team in Russia through this transition.”

With regards to the safety of the PBN H+K team in Kyiv, DeSalva said: “In Ukraine, all our employees are thankfully still accounted for. [Managing director] Yuriy Prykhodko and our entire team continue to show remarkable resolve and courage in the face of unfathomable circumstances… We have provided financial and practical support to our team in Ukraine, and we continue to look at new ways to assist them as they focus on the safety of their families.”

And DeSalva underlined that this was a “particularly difficult” time for H+K: “We are so international, and we work so closely, frequently and well with each other across our global network. I also recognize that in the region where Putin’s war is scorching the earth, connections run deep. Many Russian have family in Ukraine, many Ukrainian colleagues have friends and family in Russia, and some of our Polish team members are Ukrainian… The loss of life, dislocation, and ruptured relationships imposed by an unjust war is an extraordinary human crisis for all involved.”