Many Russian business owners in America feel overwhelmed and threatened by vandalism and violent language directed towards their businesses. They report being called “nazis and fascists,” as well as property destruction and a decline in profits. Victoria Pardini, a Program Associate at the Kennan Institute in Washington D.C., says that many of the vandalized restaurants are operated by Russian and Ukrainian immigrants who have lived in the United States for many years and have no relation to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
This impression that immigrant business owners from Russia support the Ukrainian invasion has led people to punish businesses that are Russian in name only. Most of the businesses are facing backlash even though many of their employees are Ukrainians and stand against the war. In a further blow to profits, U.S. President Joe Biden banned vodka, diamonds and seafood imported from Russia. Supermarkets and bars have also been throwing out Russian products from their line and discontinuing Russian vodka. Even so, Russian businesses have spoken up about the conflict and shown their support for Ukraine by hosting fundraisers and working with organizations that are helping Ukrainians refugees.