In addition to the furthering of sanctions from Western governments against Russia, we’ve seen many household names cut ties with Russia over the last week. John Lewis and Waitrose will stop selling Russian products, Microsoft will suspend new sales in Russia, Nike and Ikea are to close Russian stores as sanctions bite, BP announces its intentions to exit its holding in Rosneft (a state owned Russian oil explorer) and has already resigned its nominated directors from its board, Shell intends to exit joint ventures with Gazprom and related entities, the list is almost endless. Additionally, Sainsbury’s has renamed their savoury dish Chicken Kiev to Chicken Kyiv in solidarity with Ukraine, switching the Soviet-era name for the country’s capital, for the Ukrainian version.
We are seeing governments, populations, companies all coming together in support for Ukraine, united against the invasion of Ukraine in a way that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not have foreseen. Let’s not forget, this is very much a war driven by Putin, with much of the Russian population set against the invasion of the Ukraine. We are beginning to see the influence of Putin wane with the Russian public, with an unprecedented 4,300 Russians detained at anti-war protests in Moscow amongst other major Russian cities. Protestors were heard chanting “no to war” and “shame on you”, in addition to defacing a mural of Putin himself… protests of which have been unheard of under the Putin regime!