Multiple Business Chains Retreat From Russia As War Intensifies

Jonah Rauch, Writer

What seemed like just another Twitter tirade at first glance, was actually part of a mass exodus of companies retreating from Russia due to the attack on Ukraine. The multi-million dollar corporation, McDonald’s, backed out of Russia for a temporary period of time in order to attempt to stop the Ukraine invasion. However, the employees of all Russian McDonald’s locations will still receive pay during the temporary shutdown in Russia.

The hashtag on Twitter, #boycottMcDonald’s appeared in early March, explaining that McDonald’s was supporting the invasion of Ukraine by continuing to do business in Russia. From an outside perspective this could have been taken as just another Twitter fiasco, but the hashtag would soon catch the attention of McDonald’s CEO, Chris Kempczinski, and a week after the hashtag appeared on Twitter, Kempczinski announced that McDonald’s would be shutting down operations in Russia for a temporary amount of time, until the war with Ukraine was resolved.

Kempczinski explained that the Russian invasion has caused suffering for millions of people in Ukraine, and said that he supports the idea of “condemning aggression and violence and praying for peace.” Though this would not be the only company to withdraw business from Russia. Coca Cola, Pepsi, and many other American brands would follow shortly after.

Russia’s economy has collapsed after Western countries levied severe economic sanctions, including banning Russian oil and natural gas imports to the U.S. Many other Western corporations have withdrawn their busines

Two and a half story Vladimir Putin poster that was posted to the Twitter thread

s from the country in response to the invasion. Russia is roughly 282.1 billion US dollars in debt from all the damage done to Ukraine. Russia has also lost access to banks, preventing thousands of Russian civilians from using their credit cards, and debit cards. Shell has also announced roughly a month ago that they have withdrawn business from Russia as well, announcing that they were going to stop purchasing Russian crude oil on the spot market in response to the Ukraine invasion.

A few other corporations that have exited Russia to support Ukraine are Microsoft, Netflix and Google. According to an article in The Hill, many of the major websites that are popular in the US and other areas of the world are beginning to suspend their business and operations in Russia. The Russian version of YouTube is still available in Russia, but is rumored to go soon.  A couple of the apps that are still hanging on in Russia, are Telegram, which is a message-exchanging site, and Whatsapp. There are still some companies in the US that still do business with Russia, such as Koch Industries, and Krispy Kreme, but there are over 500 companies that have suspended business in Russia in order to support the citizens in Ukraine.

It does not seem likely that Telegram will withdraw from Russia as well, but seeing as how many people did not expect McDonald’s to withdraw from Russia initially,  anything is possible. For now though, there are many ways  to help support Ukraine, and the well being of the many Ukrainians that are in unimaginable danger at this time.