Bars, distilleries pull Russian vodka after attacks on Ukraine


A northern Wichita liquor store has removed Russian vodka from its shelves and posted “We do not support Russia” after the country invaded Ukraine this week. The store is one of several liquor stores and bars across the country that have removed Russian spirits.

Jamie Stratton

Alcohol shops and bars in North America are removing Russian vodka from the shelves – and in some cases pouring it down the drain – in protest of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The fact that the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky called “Fr. declaration of war against the whole of Europe, ”Russia began invasion of Ukraine on three fronts early on Thursday, February 24, “bombed cities, towns and villages” as forces advanced to the capital of Kiev.

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed his military forces protect citizens in eastern Ukraine, who want to rejoin Russia, reports BBC News. Zelensky and President Joe Biden dismissed the statements.

“President Putin has chosen deliberate war it will bring catastrophic loss of life and human suffering, ”Biden said in a statement on sanctions against Russia, CNN reports.

In protest of Russia’s aggression against the former Soviet republic, some liquor stores and bars are imposing their own sanctions.

“I think the whole world already knows that Russia is at war with Ukraine for no apparent reason“- said KIRO 7 Jamie Stratton, partner and director of the Jacob Liquor Exchange in Wichita, Kansas. “I guess that’s our sanction.”

Jacob Liquor Exchange has removed from its shelves all vodkas that come from Russia or have ties to Russia, and in the future the store plans to allocate space for Ukrainian vodka, according to the publication.

“When a customer requests these items, it is clear that we are here to sell. That’s what we’re doing, ”Stratton told KSNW. “But I’m not going put on the shelf.

The Vermont ski resort, which seemed to have similar ideas, went the other way – pouring vodka down the drain.

“Sorry, @Stoli fans,” the Magic Mountain Ski Area tweeted. “Not anymore.”

In the video attached to the tweet, you can hear someone behind the scenes asking for a ceiling and soda. The bartender answers: “We do not serve Russian products here” before pouring a bottle of vodka “Capital” in the sewer of the bar.

The owner of another bar in Grand Rapids, Michigan, pulled out bottles Metropolitan and Witness off the shelves, reports M Live. Bob Quay, owner of Bob’s Bar, said he would also remove from storage about 10 bottles of Russian vodka and would look for new ones to take their place.

“This is a protest against aggression,” Quay told the newspaper. “I just made a decision on the spot. That’s not much we can do. “

Quay added that as soon as the street gets warmer, he can hold a bottle-throwing ceremony in the parking lot, M Live reports.

And protests are happening not only in American Canadian distilleries in the provinces of Manitoba and Newfoundland, which have said they will remove Russian spirits, and the province of Ontario has sent its Council for the control of alcoholic beverages. withdraw all Russian products, This was reported by Reuters.

Because of this, only in Ontario, Russian products will be removed from 679 liquor stores, according to Reuters.

“The people of Ontario will always oppose tyranny and oppression“- Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfall said on Friday, according to the Toronto Star. “To this end, I order the LCBO to remove all products made in Russia from store shelves.”

Some brands are backing down – Stoli Group has approached Stratton, the director of an alcohol store in Kansas, to ask him to continue to support their products rather than boycott them.

“As for the fact that we are Russians. We are absolutely NOT a Russian company, ”Damian McKinney, Stoli Group’s global CEO, said in a letter to Stratton, KSNW reports. “We are a global organization with a significant portfolio of spirits and wine brands from around the world, with Stoli European Global Headquarters located in Luxembourg. Stoli Premium and Elit are produced and bottled in Riga, Latvia ”.

But the association with Russia does not seem to be disappearing.

Bill McCormick, owner of Pine Tavern in Bend, Oregon, poured all of his bar’s Russian vodka. In a video posted on the bar’s Facebook page, you can see McCormick double fist two bottles Capital burners and pour them into the parking lot.

The choice will cost him several hundred dollars, but it is worth it, according to KPTV.

“Russia is behaving as if it were 1939, and is going to Europe with all the power it has in Ukraine. I am very concerned that it is metastasizing to other countries, ”he told the newspaper, adding that he plans to support Oregon-produced vodka from now on.

Vandana Ravikumar is a real-time McClachy reporter. She grew up in northern Nevada and studied journalism and political science at the University of Arizona. She previously reported for USA Today, The Dallas Morning News and Arizona PBS.

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