Boycotting Anything Russian

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Stolichnaya vodka plans to rebrand their product to sound less Russian. This comes on the tail of restaurants, businesses, and bars refusing to sell any product with Russian branding, regardless of the origin. Stolichnaya, which will now be referred to as Stoli, is manufactured primarily in Latvia.

Yuri Shefler, one of the dreaded Russian oligarchs, purchased the Stoli brand in 1997 for $285,000 from a Russian state-owned company. However, Russia’s Supreme Court declared that the sale was illegal. Shefler, a Russian Jew, was prohibited from selling his vodka in Russia. He was accused of misappropriation, Putin deemed him a threat, and Shefler was exiled from Russia in 2000.

Less than 1% of vodka consumed in the US is made in Russia. I am not sure why people believe that boycotting Russian vodka will cause the slightest dent in Russia’s GDP. Putin does not care if you pour vodka down the drain, boycott Russian sports, or decorate buildings in blue and yellow. Instead of coming off as an anti-Putin act of defiance, there seems to be some direct anti-Russian sentiments coming out of these misguided acts.