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UK retailers are cutting ties with Russia as Putin refuses to stop violent attacks on Ukraine

A swathe of British supermarkets have decided to cut ties with Russia in light of Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine invasion.

UK retailers have rallied to support Ukraine by removing from sale products made in Russia and halting exports to businesses in the region.

Sainsbury’s today announced it would remove from sale all products that are 100% sourced from Russia, including Russian Standard vodka and Karpayskiye black sunflower seeds. It is also renaming its ‘Chicken Kiev’ to ‘Chicken Kyiv’.

“We stand united with the people of Ukraine,” a Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said.

Morrisons and Co-op have also pulled Russian Standard – which is distilled and bottled in St Petersburg – from shelves.

The John Lewis Partnership has followed suit and removed all Russian-made products from its stores, which included one Russian vodka line in Waitrose and one line of pizza oven pellets in John Lewis.

“We’re working with our suppliers to review products that have components of Russian origin and will be seeking to mitigate further exposure to the region,” the company said.

Marks & Spencer has suspended all shipments to its 48 Russian stores, which are operated by Turkish conglomerate Fiba Group.

Aldi confirmed on Friday (4 March) it was withdrawing a vodka sourced in Russia - called Russian Vodka - from sale. 

Luxury retailer Fortnum & Mason, which does not stock any Russian products in its stores but sells through an export partner into a few retail stores in Moscow and St Petersburg, has also ceased its business in the country.

Likewise, Harrods has halted all deliveries to Russia for the time being.

Northern grocer Booths has also delisted all products produced in Russia from its range “in support of the people of Ukraine and eastern Europe”.

Meanwhile, Tesco has been using distribution centres in Budapest, Bratislava and Prague to provide relief supplies to Ukrainian refugees fleeing the country.

Online grocer Ocado has not yet announced the removal of any products from its range, but it has made a £150,000 donation to “help provide food, first aid, shelter, medicine, clothes, and other aid to those most in need”.

“Our thoughts go out to everyone affected,” the business said.