Russian vodka being removed from shelves in U.S. and Canada
Some liquor stores and bars in the U.S. and Canada are taking Russian vodka off their shelves in protest of President Vladimir Putin's military invasion of Ukraine.
The latest: On Sunday, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, which is one of the largest buyers of wines and spirits in the U.S., ordered the removal of Russian spirits from state-run liquor stores.
The big picture: Pennsylvania is not alone.
- The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, said Sunday it's removing seven "Russian-sourced vodka brands" from its shelves, following a call by Gov. Glenn Youngkin for state agencies to review ties to Russia.
- Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) issued an executive order on Saturday evening requiring the state's alcoholic beverage control department to "remove all Russian-produced and Russian-branded products from its shelves immediately," per a statement from the governor's office.
- Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) on Saturday ordered the state's Department of Commerce to halt the purchase and sale of all vodka made by Russian Standard, which he said was "the only overseas, Russian-owned distillery with vodka sold in Ohio."
Meanwhile, Ontario, Canada's most populous province, directed its liquor control board to withdraw all Russian products, Reuters reports, and liquor stores in the provinces of Manitoba and Newfoundland also said they were removing Russian spirits.
Zoom in: Jamie Stratton, partner and wine director of Jacob Liquor Exchange in Wichita, told KSNW Friday that he had removed more than 100 bottles of Russian vodka and expanded its section of Ukrainian vodka.
- "I think the whole world knows by now that Russia’s at war with Ukraine for no apparent reason," Stratton said. "I guess this is our sanction."
- Magic Mountain, a ski resort in Vermont, tweeted a video clip of a bartender pouring Stoli down the drain and saying: "Sorry, we don't sell Russian products here."
- A bar in Grand Rapids, Michigan, also removed bottles of Stolichnaya and Smirnoff from shelves, M Live reports. "It’s a protest against the aggression," said the bar's owner, Bob Quay. "I just made the decision on the spot. It’s something little we can do."
Between the lines: Some establishments appear to be making a statement of support for Ukraine as well as raising funds for humanitarian efforts.
- Evel Pie, a bar in Las Vegas, announced it's boycotting Russian-made vodka. It's now selling shots of Ukrainian liquor, with 100% of the proceeds to benefit humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine.
- "Our focus first and foremost is helping the Ukrainian people," managing partner Branden Powers told the Las Vegas Sun.
Go deeper: The latest on the Russia-Ukraine crisis
Editor's note: This article has been updated with the orders by the governors of Utah and Ohio and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's announcement.