Various distilleries and beverage and spirit companies have joined with some countries to support Ukraine in unison after that country’s unprovoked invasion by Russia on February 24, 2022.
Specifically, Luxembourg-based Amber Beverage Group (ABG) has declared its support for Ukraine following the Russian invasion of the country.
ABG has donated financial resources to the charity project Stand With Ukraine as well as requesting that the governments of nearby Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia consider ‘streamlining legislation’, so that ABG and other companies can offer jobs to Ukrainian refugees by easing the process of obtaining work permits and supporting temporary residences.
Nordic drinks company Anora Group, which produces Koskenkorva vodka and OP Anderson aquavit, said it has ceased sales to Russia to show support for Ukraine as well as donated $55,900 to the Ukrainian Red Cross, a non-profit charity providing food, water, shelter and first aid.
Many states in the USA and some provinces in Canada, have removed all alcoholic products produced in Russia from their stores in support of Ukraine.
The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) said it had been ordered by the government to remove all products produced in Russia from its sales channels, including 679 LCBO stores across the province, lcbo.com and LCBO convenience outlets. The Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation also said that it would stop selling Russian-produced products in its stores.
In the USA, the states of New Hampshire, Ohio, Utah and Virginia have taken similar actions and several other states have followed suit.
In the UK, London-based bar ownership group, Nightcap, operator of London Cocktail Club, Adventure Bar Group (Tonight Josephine, Blame Gloria) and the recently acquired Barrio Bars, said it had removed all Russian-made alcohol from its venues in a show of support for Ukraine. Nightcap has created a cocktail made entirely from Ukrainian vodka – which will be available across all its bars – with all proceeds to go towards supporting Ukraine.
Arc Inspirations, operator of the Banyan and Manahatta bar brands across the UK, also joined in with their support of Ukraine by saying they would no longer pour Russian vodka at its venues. London-based bar, Pinch, has pledged to donate 15% of its profits to the Ukrainian armed forces. Pinch’s founders are Ukrainian and opened in December 2021, with a focus on Ukrainian-style food and drinks – including the venue’s signature drink, nalivka [a Ukrainian spirit infused with herbs, berries or roots].
Meanwhile, Ukrainian distillery Nemiroff has temporarily closed, and some employees have joined the Ukrainian army. The distillery is based in Nemyriv, in the Vinnytsia region of Ukraine, and is asking for financial donations to the Return Alive Foundation.
“Never, in my wildest dreams did I think it might happen,” says Yuriy Sorochynskiy, CEO of Nemiroff.
“This is a terrible story,” he laments. “What I see right now, regarding Russia, they are still living in the Soviet Union, still under the Russian propaganda, and they are not free. They are not able to say what they think. Nobody wants to go back to Soviet times in Ukraine. We would like to be with democratic countries, we would like to build our own country and be proud to be Ukrainians – and we are proud to be Ukrainians.”
“The last 30 years have shown us how to be free,” he adds. “Young people who were in free Ukraine, they are fighting for their freedom. They did not live in the Soviet period and would not like to be closed in its hands.
“This is the big, big, big difference between Ukraine and Russia. Our young generation, they are completely free. They like freedom, and we like freedom, and we are fighting for freedom.”
Details on how to donate to the foundation can be found via the following link: https://savelife.in.ua/en/.