Starbucks, Coca-Cola & Pepsi Join McDonald's in Suspending Sales in Russia amid War in Ukraine

The beverage giants each announced Tuesday their intentions to halt sales in Russia in response to the invasion in Ukraine

starbucks cup
Starbucks cup. Photo: Getty

Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Pepsi are all joining McDonald's in suspending sales in Russia, each company announced Tuesday.

The moves are in response to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, with a release on the Starbucks website stating, "we condemn the horrific attacks on Ukraine by Russia and our hearts go out to all those affected."

As a result, the company added, "we have decided to suspend all business activity in Russia, including shipment of all Starbucks products. Our licensed partner has agreed to immediately pause store operations and will provide support to the nearly 2,000 partners in Russia who depend on Starbucks for their livelihood."

An earlier statement from the brand stipulated that it will donate any royalties received from business operations in Russia "to humanitarian relief efforts for Ukraine," among other charitable actions.

Civilian Evacuations Continue In Irpin The Day After Deadly Shelling
Civilian Evacuations Continue In Irpin The Day After Deadly Shelling. Chris McGrath/Getty Images

PepsiCo, the company behind Pepsi, started its statement by referencing its 60-year history in Russia, writing, "Pepsi-Cola entered the market at the height of the Cold War and helped create common ground between the United States and the Soviet Union."

"However, given the horrific events occurring in Ukraine we are announcing the suspension of the sale of Pepsi-Cola, and our global beverage brands in Russia, including 7Up and Mirinda. We will also be suspending capital investments and all advertising and promotional activities in Russia."

The company did state that it will continue selling daily essentials like milk, baby formula, and baby food.

"By continuing to operate, we will also continue to support the livelihoods of our 20,000 Russian associates and the 40,000 Russian agricultural workers in our supply chain as they face significant challenges and uncertainty ahead," PepsiCo's statement added.

As its "first priority continues to be the safety and security of our fellow Ukrainian associates," the company is also suspending operations in Ukraine "to enable our associates to seek safety for themselves and their families."

PepsiCo also mentioned its humanitarian efforts in and around the region, donating food, milk and refrigerators to relief organizations, and increased production of foods and beverages in neighboring countries to meet the increased need. It is also donating a total of $4 million to the Red Cross in Poland, World Vision in Romania, the World Food Program, World Central Kitchen and Save the Children.

Coca-Cola's brief release said that the company is "suspending its business in Russia."

"Our hearts are with the people who are enduring unconscionable effects from these tragic events in Ukraine," it continued.

PEOPLE has reached out to Coca-Cola for further comment and is awaiting a response.

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The companies join McDonald's in their corporate moves condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier on Tuesday, the fast-food behemoth announced it was temporarily closing its locations across Russia.

In a letter sent to company employees Tuesday, CEO Chris Kempczinski announced that McDonald's would "temporarily close all our restaurants in Russia and pause all operations in the market."

Russia's attack on Ukraine continues after their forces launched a large-scale invasion on Feb. 24 — the first major land conflict in Europe in decades.

Details of the fighting change by the day, but hundreds of civilians have already been reported dead or wounded, including children. More than a million Ukrainians have also fled, the United Nations says.

"You don't know where to go, where to run, who you have to call. This is just panic," Liliya Marynchak, a 45-year-old teacher in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, told PEOPLE of the moment her city was bombed — one of the numerous accounts of bombardment by the Russians.

The invasion, ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has drawn condemnation around the world and increasingly severe economic sanctions against Russia.

With NATO forces massing in the region around Ukraine, various countries have also pledged aid or military support to the resistance. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for peace talks — so far unsuccessful — while urging his country to fight back.

Putin insists Ukraine has historic ties to Russia and he is acting in the best security interests of his country. Zelenskyy vowed not to bend.

"Nobody is going to break us, we're strong, we're Ukrainians," he told the European Union in a speech in the early days of the fighting, adding, "Life will win over death. And light will win over darkness."

The Russian attack on Ukraine is an evolving story, with information changing quickly. Follow PEOPLE's complete coverage of the war here, including stories from citizens on the ground and ways to help.

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