Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Over 300 Companies Pull Out of Russia. Here’s the List

Four US corporations–McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Pepsi are the latest companies suspending operations in Russia after President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine triggering a humanitarian crisis as over two million refugees flee to neighboring countries.

McDonald’s announced that all of its 850 Russian restaurants would close, temporarily.

Starbucks said it would suspend all Russian business activity, including the shipment of its products.

Pepsi announced it will suspend Pepsi-Cola, 7UP and its Mirinda brands, and all of its advertising and promotional activities but will continue to sell baby formula, milk and baby food.

Why it matters

In recent days, Pepsi, Coke, Starbucks and McDonald’s faced backlash for their continued operation in Russia amid the war, prompting them to suspend business.

Twitter has been rife with hashtags like #BoycottPepsi and #BoycottCocaCola. Some businesses, however, continue to operate–Papa John’s, Nestle, and Marriot.

It is hoped that withdrawing operations will punish Putin and result in an end to its invasion of Ukraine.

The big picture

These companies have operated in Russia for many years. Pepsi has operated in Russia for more than 60 years.

McDonald’s opened its first location beyond the Iron Curtain in Moscow, just months before the Soviet Union collapsed.

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and his research team at the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute have compiled a list of nearly 300 corporations that have withdrawn from Russia. Some include American Airlines, Airbnb, Bentley, Boeing, Burberry, Carnival, Chanel, Dell, eBay, FedEx, H&M, JP Morgan, Nike, Nintendo, Tiktok, TJ Max, and UPS.

US Bans Russian Oil and Gas. What Will the Bahamas Do Next? Hike at Gas Pump is Imminent

As President Vladimir Putin continues to wage war on Ukraine, causing one of the world’s greatest humanitarian crises, President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian fuel, hoping to cripple the “main artery of Russia’s economy.”

“We’re banning all imports of Russian oil and gas energy. That means Russian oil will no longer be accepted in U.S. ports, and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine.”

While the US used an abrupt approach because its dependency on Russian fuel is less, the European Union is planning to cut its reliance on Russian gas by two-thirds this year and end it “well before 2030”.

What it means

The ban on Russian oil will automatically further spike gas prices, where consumers are already seeing a surge at the gas pump.

At the onset of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Paul Hepburn, a proprietor of three Esso Gas Stations warned that Bahamians can expect to pay $6 a gallon, while Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell estimated $8 a gallon.

The big story

Ten percent of the world’s fuel comes from Russia, so if dealers source fuel from other places, the demand will cause the price of fuel to increase.

“We think that a complete ban on Russian energy imports would cause the prices of Brent crude oil and European natural gas to surge to $160 [per barrel],” economists at Capital Economics said in a research report.

Russia is the EU’s top gas supplier.

What Biden says

The president said he made the decision in consultation with European allies but they may not be in a position to join the ban. He said the United States is working closely with them to develop a “long-term strategy” to reduce their dependence on Russian energy.

Putin Drives One Million People From Ukraine. Where Are They Going?

One million people have fled Ukraine as Putin intensifies the attack, according to the United Nations.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, said in a Twitter post, “In just seven days we have witnessed the exodus of one million refugees from Ukraine to neighbouring countries.

“For many millions more, inside Ukraine, it’s time for guns to fall silent so that life-saving humanitarian assistance can be provided.”

Earlier Wednesday, the United Nations estimated that nearly 874,000 people fled Ukraine. That number spiked by Wednesday evening.

UNHCR revealed that the majority fled to Poland while other segments of the population headed to Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia and beyond.

Nearly 43,000 have also moved to Russia, according to reports.

UN says more than half fleeing Ukraine are children, escaping with families walking long distances in cold weather.

Tania, who is from the city of Chernivtsi, located in western Ukraine near the border with Romania, escaped with her sister Sophia, 19, and daughter Mia, 2, just days after Russia launched the military offensive on 24 February.

“The decision was taken in just a few moments because the situation in Ukraine is very hard and you don’t know what it will be the next minute,” she told UNICEF.

Photo credit: Washington Post

The Bahamas Votes Against Vladimir Putin in UN Resolution

The Bahamas joined 141 countries on Wednesday, in condemning the war actions of Russia against Ukraine, demanding the withdrawal of Russian forces from the neighboring territory.

Five countries including Russia opposed the UN resolution– Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea and Syria.

Thirty-five countries abstained from voting, including China, Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan, and South Africa.

Why it matters

The vote helps to isolate Russia. The resolution, though non binding, shows global unity.


What President Zelensky is saying

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the outcome of the vote, tweeting, “I’m grateful to everyone & every state that voted in favor. You have chosen the right side of history.”

The results “convincingly show that a global anti-Putin coalition has been formed and is functioning. The world is with us. The truth is on our side.”

Bahamian Basketball Player Leaves Russia as Putin Ramps Up Attack on Ukraine

As Russia steps up its relentless attacks on Ukraine, Bahamian professional Basketball player Jonquel Jones has fled the Putin-led country for Turkey.

28-year-old Jones took to social media today, announcing her flight’s arrival in Turkey.

“Just landed in Turkey,” she said.  “And all I want to do is cry.

“That situation was way more stressful than I realized.  Thank God for always watching over and protecting me.”

Leaving Russia was a quick change since last week Jones who plays for Connecticut Suns, suggested she felt safe in Russia though family and friends were urging her to leave.

“No changes on my end. If it wasn’t for family members messaging me and me following the news, I really wouldn’t be able to tell,” she said on Thursday.

But today she is thanking friends for ensuring her safety.

“To everyone that messaged me, checked on me, asked a friend about me while I was in Russia. I really want to say thank you. I felt for the love.”

The big problem

Despite sanctions and rebukes, Vladimir Putin has ramped up attacks on Ukraine, whose President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pleads for international assistance as talks resume for a peaceful end to the war tactics.

According to the United Nations, more than 800,000 refugees have fled Ukraine for safety as Russia invades the neighboring country.

Why it matters

Russians have protested President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, many assembling in Saint Petersburg, shouting, “No to war.”

Many sporting organizations are cutting ties with Russia as Motion Picture Association follows suit.

Bahamian Basketball Player Feels Safe in Russia

Bahamian-born professional basketball player Jonquel Jones says she feels safe in Russia though President Vladimir Putin launched an “unprovoked” attack on its neighbor Ukraine.

The 28-year-old WNBA player who plays for Connecticut Sun, took to social media to say, “No changes on my end. If it wasn’t for family members messaging me and me following the news, I really wouldn’t be able to tell.”

But concerned family members are urging her to leave the country.

Jones says her brother advised her to “may case come home and get out dem people yard.”

Other posters on Twitter joined the chorus pressing her to leave Russia as the war intensifies.

Bobbi tells her, “I am glad to hear you all are safe as can be in this situation.  I thought that things on the Russian end wouldn’t escalate immediately. Continue to be aware of all that is going on.”

Patti Talahongva advises, “Come home. Remember the WNBA is so important. We need all of our players safe.”

Another tells her, “Make haste.”

Last week, as tension grew between Russia and Ukraine, the Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged Bahamians to leave Ukraine.

Jones, though raised in the Bahamas,  has Bosnian citizenship.


Bahamas Gas Prices to Skyrocket as Russia-Ukraine War Intensifies

The Russian-Ukrainian conflict can cause gas prices to skyrocket, according to Paul Hepburn, a proprietor of three Esso Gas Stations, who warned consumers to expect gas prices to hit $6 per gallon.

“With this war starting, it’s only going up and up…there are talks about six dollars a gallon. That is real people.”

Hepburn suggests consumers keep their gas tanks full as they could feel the increase in fuel prices within the next month.

“It may not last long but we don’t know.  But it’s coming. Six dollars a gallon is coming.

“Ten percent of the fuel that the world uses come from Russia so you’ll have a reduction. And now we have to deal with the fuel, the rest from around the world, so it increases the demand,” Hepburn said.

The big story

Russia is recognized as the world’s second-largest oil producer and its attack on Ukraine caused turbulence in the financial markets.

Crude increased to $105 a barrel, the first since August 2014. This is after experts say there was a rise in more than 8% on the international markets.

Why it matters

The Bahamas is already dealing with rising inflation on grocery items. Bahamians must now cope with high fuel prices.

Photo credit: Indianexpress