Cluey’s Corporate News Watch, Special Edition: Ukraine

By The Cluey Team

Below last updated on 3/10/22:

Over 300 companies have pulled out of Russia see the fully updated list maintained by the Yale School of Management here – below are just some of the list of corporations demonstrating opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:
  • Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube have blocked Russian state media from running ads
  • Netflix refuses to stream Russian channels in Russia, defying a Russian regulation
  • Disney, Sony, & Warner Bros. pull all theatrical releases in Russia
  • FedEx and UPS suspended shipments to and from Russia
  • British oil giant BP said it is ‘exiting’ its $14B stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft
  • Shell announced it would divest from $3B of ventures with Gazprom, a Russian-state owned gas company
  • Delta Air Lines cut their partnership with Aeroflot, the Russian national airline.
  • Airbnb announced it will provide free housing for 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine
  • Etsy is cancelling all balances owed by sellers in Ukraine (~$4m) to alleviate financial hardships
  • Verizon is waving residential and mobile call fees to and from Ukraine through March 10th
  • Elon Musk’s SpaceX has promised to help keep Ukraine online through its starlink terminals.
  • Chipmakers Intel and AMD have stopped sending supplies to Russia
  • Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, NORGES Bank (the largest in the world) is cutting all its investments in Russia.
  • DHL suspended transport of inbound shipments into Russia.
  • Apple halted sales of iPhones and other products in Russia.
  • Boeing suspended parts and maintenance support for Russian airlines as well as its operations in Moscow.
  • PepsiCo and Coca-Cola suspended soda sales in Russia.
  • McDonald’s paused all operations in Russia – the company will continue paying salaries to 62,000 people it employs there.
  • Starbucks has paused operations at its 130 stores in Russia.
  • Unilever, which owns brands like Dove and Sunsilk, suspended imports and exports.
  • Ikea suspended imports and exports though it will continue to operate its major chain of shopping centers, Mega, in Russia to ensure that customers have access to essentials.
  • TJX, the owner of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, promised to divest its equity ownership in Familia, an off-price retailer with more than 400 stores in Russia.
  • H&M, which had about 170 stores in Russia, paused sales, as did Nike, with about 116 stores.
  • Adidas is suspending sales in Russia, cutting 1 percent from its expected revenue growth this year. The company has about 500 stores in Russia and the former Soviet states.
  • American ExpressMastercard and Visa cards issued by Russian banks will not work in other countries, and cards issued elsewhere will not work for purchases in Russia.

Source: Forbes, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, The New York Times

States pushing for the boycott of “Russian” vodka is partly symbolic:

Elected officials in multiple states have called on retailers to remove Russian-made/branded products from shelves, re: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These moves are partly symbolic, as Russian-produced vodka accounts for less than 1% of vodka sales in the U.S.Breakdown of notable brands, where they’re made, and the corporate parent ties:

  • Stoli -Parent ownership split globally between SPI Group (headquartered in Luxembourg and produced in Latvia, privately owned by Russian-born businessman Yuri Shefler) andFKP Sojuzplodoimport (Russian state-owned company) – SPI sells Stoli in the US, while FKP sells Stoli in Russia.
  • Russian Standard Vodka – owned and operated by Russian company,Roust
  • Smirnoff – owned by British multi-National company Diageo and produced (for sale in the U.S) in Illinois.
  • Taaka – owned and operated by American company, Sazerac

Sources: CNN, Cluey

Reactions in the World of Sports: FIFA, UEFA, NHL, IOC
  • FIFA & EUFA released a joint statement barring Russia’s national soccer team from competing in the World Cup qualifying playoff next month.
  • The National Hockey League announced it is suspending all relationships with Russian business partners and will not consider Russia for hosting future competitions. Additionally, they have paused all Russian-language sites.
  • The IOC is requesting sports bodies ban athletes from Russia and Belarus, and they have stripped Putin of his Olympic Order Award.
  • World Taekwondo strips Putin of his honorary black belt, and has banned the Russian flag and anthem at events.
  • International Judo Federation suspends Putin’s status as honorary president and ambassador.

Sources: Forbes, ESPN

Fiona Hill, Former Senior Director for Europe & Russia at the U.S. National Security Council calls on companies to suspend all business activity with Russia, citing “ESG.”

“This is the epitome of ‘ESG’ that companies are saying is their priority right now — upholding standards of good Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance. Just like people didn’t want their money invested in South Africa during apartheid, do you really want to have your money invested in Russia during Russia’s brutal invasion and subjugation and carving up of Ukraine?”

Source: Fiona Hill, Interviewed by Politico

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