Venues ditch Russian drinks in support for Ukraine

By Amelie Maurice-Jones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Hard to sit and do nothing: Operators show support for Ukraine through banning Russian products (Getty/ Siberian Photographer)
Hard to sit and do nothing: Operators show support for Ukraine through banning Russian products (Getty/ Siberian Photographer)

Related tags: Russia, Europe, Health and safety, Social responsibility, Ban

Operators across the UK have banned Russian-made products in a bid to show support for Ukraine, as Russian forces continue a devastating attack on the country.

Today (2 March) marks the seventh day of the Russian invasion, with NATIO chief Jens Stoltenberg stating yesterday that Russian president Vladimir Putin had “shattered peace” in Europe.

As well as imposing financial sanctions on Russia, the EU, US and Canada have banned Russian airlines from their space, with the UK banning ships from its ports, and UK operators are following suite in taking steps against Russia through the boycott of Russian products.

The Crown and Anchor Inn, Brighton, East Sussex, will no longer serve Russian-made produce, and staff shine the colours of the Ukrainian flag, yellow and blue, onto the building at night. 

In a statement released on social media, the pub said the killing of innocent citizens in Ukraine left them wanting to help in any way they could. 

Banning Russian products

The statement said: “The Crown and Anchor Inn has decided that in light of the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine that we will no longer sell any Russian made products. 

“While this is no reflection on the Russian people, unfortunately their government has decided to invade a fellow country for their own personal gain and the killing of innocent citizens has made us decide to fully remove all Russian made produce. 

“We have requested from our wholesale suppliers to do same in support of Ukraine.” 

These UK operators are following suit from major companies like Apple and Google, who have taken steps against Russia. The Copa Bar & Diner in Caernarfon, Wales, has also decided to stop selling all Russian produce.

In a statement released on Facebook last Sunday (27 February), it said: “We’ve looked at any produce we sell in case its produced in Russia. The obvious one was vodka and particularly Smirnoff. 

Showing support

“To show support for the people of Ukraine we have stopped selling Russian goods. 

“One item mistakenly thought to be Russian is Smirnoff. We can confirm that this is made by a British company Diageo, and manufactured in many countries but not Russia.” 

Nightcap Group and Arc Inspiration are among bar operators who have removed Russian-made alcohol products from their venues. Arc Inspirations commented on Twitter: “To show our support to the people of Ukraine we will no longer be pouring any Russian vodka in any of our bars.” 

Nightcap founder Sarah Willingham told SomersetLive ​the act was a “little thing” the business could do in response to the conflict. Nightcap runs 27 sites across its Adventure Bar Group, Barrio Bars and London Cocktail Club business. 

Hard to sit and do nothing

She said: “The devastation in Ukraine is heartbreaking, and I cannot start to comprehend what it must be like for the people of Ukraine. It’s hard to sit here in our warm safe homes and do nothing. 

“We have donated money, but from a business point of view we (the senior team and the staff) wanted to do something, anything, to show our support and so therefore we have removed all Russian vodka and alcohol from our bars across the whole of the Nightcap estate. It’s a little thing but the more little things we do, the bigger the impact will be.” 

"It’s hard to sit here in our warm safe homes and do nothing."

Operator JD Wetherspoon has also decided to stop selling Baltika Lager, which is brewed in Russia, and is returning all the bottles in its pubs to the supplier, Carlsberg.

Related topics: Spirits & Cocktails

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