From Where We Are

Several companies stop business with Russia amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict

Disney, Shell and a few other companies are leaving Russia to show solidarity with Ukraine.

Picture of a canal in St. Petersburg.

Russia is losing billions after many international companies are refusing to do business with the country after its invasion of Ukraine last week.

Matthew Andrade has the story.

As the war between Russia and Ukraine rages on, several prominent companies have decided to pull their business from Russia. Some of these companies are Shell, General Motors and Warner Brothers — just to name a few. They say they are hoping to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine by stopping their involvement.

Perhaps the most notable of these companies is Disney which will not be releasing its upcoming Pixar film Turning Red in Russia.

USC Professor Miki Turner who specializes in entertainment and pop culture applauds companies like Disney for taking a stand.

MIKI TURNER: This is a time when theatrical releases particularly have been, you know, continually suffering because of the pandemic. So for them to make this kind of move, that will definitely impact them somewhat financially. I think it’s a very brave choice, and I think it’s the right decision.

Disney still left the door open to business with Russia by stating quote “we will make future decisions based on the evolving refugee crisis.”

A forgotten group in this conflict are the Russian people who are being punished for their government’s decision to invade Ukraine. With the entertainment industry mostly leaving the country, Turner says the mental health of Russians will take a toll.

TURNER: They’re suffering tremendously because people are losing their jobs, people are losing their livelihoods. So you suffer financially, you suffer mentally. And it’s, you know, right now we’re still in the midst of a pandemic. So I can’t imagine what those people are going through and what kind of, you know, impact beyond the financial impact is going to have on them.

FIFA suspended the Russian soccer team from competition, preventing the team from competing in the upcoming World Cup in Qatar. Beyond the financial impact the country will suffer from missing the tournament, Turner has empathy for the players who won’t be able to play because of their country’s actions.

TURNER: It’s really unfortunate that the young athletes particularly get caught up in this because, you know, it almost seems like they have no choice in the matter that the government is controlling their lives, controlling the amount of money they can make and telling them to do what they need to do to be number one.

As the war between Russia and Ukraine continues, even more companies could move their business out of Russia in the coming weeks.

For Annenberg Media, I’m Matthew Andrade.