Russian vodka boycott begins after Ukraine invasion as drinkers look to hammer Putin

Ukraine: Phil Jones predicts war will end with Putin being ousted

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As Putin’s invasion entered its sixth day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Moscow of “war crimes”. He said there would “definitely be an international tribunal” over what he said was a “violation of all conventions”. Now, in an effort both to punish Putin and show support for Ukraine, bars and shops have started banishing Russian vodka brands from their stocks.

Popular Barcelona nightclub Luz de Gas has announced it has stopped serving Russian vodka “in solidarity with the Ukrainian people”.

A sign at the bar, quoted in the Madrid newspaper La Razón, reads: “Out of solidarity with the Ukrainian people, we will not sell Russian vodka in this establishment.”

The venue described its decision as a “humble contribution to the sanctions against Russia that are being deployed throughout Europe for the aggression against the sovereignty of Ukraine”.

Customers will now have to purchase alternative Swedish, French or Polish brands on offer.

A number of US states have also asked shops to stop importing Russian vodka brands and to put different bottles on their shelves.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox, quoted in CNN, said over the weekend all state-run liquor shops should “remove all Russian-made and Russian-branded products”.

He described Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as an “egregious violation of human rights”.

In New Hampshire, Governor Chris Sununu also called for the elimination of “Russian-made and Russian-branded liquor”.

READ MORE: Backlash against Putin’s war as school targeted in Europe

Many vodka brands believed to be produced in Russia are, however, produced elsewhere.

One brand that is actually Russian is Russian Standard vodka.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine singled out this brand in an announcement on Saturday, calling on his state’s liquor shops to “cease both the purchase and sale of all vodka made by Russian Standard, the only Russian-owned overseas distillery selling vodka in Ohio”.

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Photos from Pennsylvania show empty shelves in liquor shops where Russian-made vodka has been removed.

Reports have stressed these boycott are primarily symbolic and are likely to have little impact on Russia itself.

CNN highlighted that less than one percent of vodka consumed in the US is produced in Russia.

Most of this is actually made in the US.

But lacking the ability to take direct action against Russia, many have taken the view such symbolism matters.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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