Ukraine publishes list of 50 global brands that are continuing to operate in Russia

Ukraine on Thursday released a list of 50 global brands that have continued to operate in Russia despite mounting pressure to take a stand against Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the east European country.

Ukraine’s ministry of foreign affairs called on relevant businesses, governments and consumers around the world to boycott these brands for allegedly aiding the Russian government.

“Every Ruble paid in taxes to Russia turns into deaths and tears of Ukrainian children,” the ministry said on Twitter.

American burger joint Burger King, Italian luxury goods company Salvatore Ferragamo, Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson, and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics were among the list of global brands operating in Russia till 9 March, the ministry said.

Although the list initially mentioned the world’s biggest packaged foods group Nestle, on Wednesday, it joined cigarette company Philip Morris International and Sony to scale down production in Russia.

Caterpillar, the US-based engineering giant, has also announced that it was leaving Russia as operations in the country “have become increasingly challenging, including supply chain disruptions and sanctions”.

Many businesses are facing difficulty working in Russia due to international sanctions imposed on Moscow after the Ukraine invasion and a hit to the supply chain. The growing anti-Russian sentiment and calls to boycott the country have also led to corporations take steps to decrease business in Russia.

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Earlier this week, dozens of corporations, including McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Hermes, Chanel and Prada ceased trading in Russia. McDonald’s said shutting down 847 stores across the country would cost it $50m (£38m) a month.

Netflix has suspended its operations in Russia, while Spotify has closed its office in the country indefinitely. Spotify has also restricted the discoverability of shows owned and operated by Russian state-affiliated media.

Reacting sharply to the mass exodus, Andrei Turchak, secretary of the ruling United Russia party’s general council, warned that Moscow might nationalise idled foreign assets.

“United Russia proposes nationalising production plants of the companies that announce their exit and the closure of production in Russia during the special operation in Ukraine,” the secretary wrote in a statement.

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As Russia’s unprovoked invasion entered the third week on Thursday, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky called the bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol an act of “genocide”. Sergei Orlov, the deputy mayor of Mariupol, said that at least three people, including a six-year-old child, were killed in the attack.

British prime minister Boris Johnson announced that his government will impose tough new sanctions against Russia. “We will tighten these to impose the maximum economic cost on Russia and are stepping up our military support to Ukraine,” he tweeted.

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