A flurry of multinational corporations and U.S.-based Big Tech companies have rushed to declare their own economic war on Russia to punish President Vladimir Putin for his invasion of Ukraine — but some experts fear the offensive will actually embolden the Kremlin.

Since the Ukraine invasion began three weeks ago, a growing number of Western companies spanning various sectors — banking, retail, entertainment, Big Tech — have suspended or completely severed their presence in Russia.

While a spate of stringent international sanctions and the closing of airspace to Russian planes has made it difficult for many companies to carry out business as usual in Russia anyway, Atlanta-based marketing and branding expert David Johnson said many companies opted to withdraw from the region to avoid being seen as supportive or even merely neutral amid the military conflict that’s earned Putin global scorn.

Businesses that opt to cut operations in Russia are currently backed by a majority of Americans and risk losing business in the U.S. and other Western countries if they don’t take a stand. According to a recent Morning Consult survey, more than 75% of Americans support corporations severing Russian business relations.

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