At Least 5 States Pull Russian Vodka From Shelves
Plus, McDonald's and KFC scramble to figure out what's next for Russia locations
Jose Andres is in Poland at the Ukraine border to help feed people fleeing the war, mobilizing World Central Kitchen almost immediately after Russia started invading Ukraine. Set to host a number of events at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami Beach, Andres cut short his duties to fly to Europe. In an Instagram post, he described families with small children crossing the border to Poland in freezing temperatures to escape the fighting.
In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) has removed all Russian-produced products from its sales channels, including 679 stores, online sales, and other outlets. In a statement issued February 25, the LCBO said that it would accept the return of all Russian-produced products previously purchased by retailers, stating it “stands with Ukraine, its people, and the Ukrainian Canadian community here in Ontario.”
Some U.S. states are making similar decisions — such as Utah, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New Hampshire — while an increasing number of restaurants are nixing Russian vodka ahead of statewide product pulls.
And down in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott asked retailers in the state to “take all Russian products off their shelves.”
Whether vodka (and other) bans work is up for debate.
In “What the Russian invasion can mean for global hunger,” Vox reports it will lead to an increase in the price of wheat and corn in particular; “The FAO Food Price Index is now the highest it has been since 2011.”
Meanwhile, when Russia and China solidified economic ties before the invasion, China agreed to lift wheat import restrictions on Russia, with some world leaders protesting last week’s announcement, which translates to China’s support of Russia and in effect mitigating international sanctions.
Over in Russia, McDonald's and Yum! Brands' KFC — are figuring out how to navigate their Russian locations. “It's unclear if Russia will move to shutter these U.S. born fast-food spots as the West deploys sanctions to penalize the country for its invasion of Ukraine,” reports Yahoo! Finance. “But, executives in the industry are moving quickly to tamp down any concerns among investors of potential lost business.”
The New York Times reports lines around the block at places like Veselka in the East Village, the iconic restaurant opened decades ago by a Soviet refugee. The website offers ways to support Ukraine, from rallies and volunteer opportunities to where you can give money.
And over in D.C., Russia House, the Dupont Circle restaurant, was vandalized.