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World News

Which vodka brands are from Russia? Which stores banned Russian vodka brands?

Amid Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, law makers, bars, liquor stores and drinkers across the US are boycotting Russian vodka brands.

Amid Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, law makers, bars, liquor stores and drinkers across the US are boycotting Russian vodka brands.
PATRICK DOYLEREUTERS

A boycott of Russian vodka brands. That's one, small, response to Russia's unprovoked, deadly invasion of Ukraine. And it's being implemented in bars and liquor stores across the United States, with owners and managers taking the step, along with drinkers who are deciding to choose a different tipple.

New Hampshire boycotts Russian vodka

Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire took a further step Saturday, signing an executive order mandating the state's liquor stores to take Russian made and Russian branded vodkas off their shelves.

In New Hampshire liquor and wine are sold through state-run stores, making the boycott easier to put into place.

Across the US other law makers are pushing for similar measures.

In Ohio, too, the state gives licenses to private stores to sell liquor - there Gov. Mike DeWine said the state would stop the sale of Russian Standard Vodka.

In states where private companies control their own decisions on which liquor to sell or not it will be down to individual stores and chains. There have been multiple reports of bar owners pouring Russian vodka away in protest.

Main Russian vodka brands

Some of the main brands that could be hit by the boycott include Russian Standard and Russian Standard Gold, along with Siberian brand Husky Vodka and the traditional Polugar Classic Rye Vodka. Ustianochka and Beluga Noble Russian Vodka are other Russian produced vodka brands in line to be hit.

Stoli protest over boycott

One brand in the US that's upset at being linked with Russia is Stolichnaya vodka. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union the ownership of the brand has been disputed between a Russian state-owned company and SPI Group, a private company.

The Stolichnaya sold in the US is made by the latter company, which distills it in Lativa (though it does use alcohol from a distillery in Russia).

Damian McKinney, Stoli Group global CEO said about Stoli's origins: "With regard to us being Russian. We are absolutely NOT a Russian company, we are a global organization with a significant portfolio of spirits and wine brands from around the world."

On their website the Stoli Group has now placed a large banner in support of Ukraine.

Stoli Group website in support of Ukraine
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Stoli Group website in support of Ukraine

Smirnoff, while originally a Russian brand, is now owned by Diageo, a global drinks giant.

What people are buying instead of Russian vodka

Khor vodka, made at Ukraine's Khortytsa Distillery, is one of the options for people looking to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people.