Companies Closing in Russia: Will This Put Enough Pressure on Putin?


Christian Buonopane, Editor

In the wake of Putin and Russia’s invasion into the sovereign free nation of Ukraine, countless companies have taken steps to unofficially punish Russia and its government, so to speak. 


Retail companies such as TJX (Marshalls, Homegoods, and T.J. Maxx parent company) are both pausing sales by closing stores, as well as divesting from any investments they may hold in Russian retailers. Energy companies like Shell and ExxonMobil are ending gas and oil projects, as well as severing ties with Russian gas companies. Even credit/debit card companies like Visa, Citi, Mastercard, and American Express have ceased transactions, and stopped the cards from working outside of Russia. Restaurants like Starbucks and McDonald’s have announced mass closing, with McDonald’s closing its 850 stores. Even big tech has stepped in, with Apple and Microsoft pausing sales in the country, and Uber divesting its investment in Yandex, a Russian website offering rideshare services. 


Of course, this is all beneficial. The fact that companies are standing with Ukraine and Russian adversaries is promising: the more opposition to Russia, the harder it will be to take over Ukraine. 


This does beg the question, will it be enough? The fact that huge companies like Apple, McDonald’s, Exxon Mobil, and Visa are halting operations in Russia will no doubt place immense pressure on Putin. He will see his people begin to suffer more and more, and more Russians will be turned away from Putin and his evil regime. 


In a perfect world, Putin would cave to this pressure. He would see his citizens growing angrier by the day, and sentiments of revolution would begin to develop. It is in that moment, given that this pressure works, that Putin would take a step back. This would no doubt be a personal embarrassment to him, as it has become clear Putin hopes to go down in history along with other infamous Soviet leaders. 


As we know however, Putin is highly immoral and erratic. Even the prospect of his people suffering does not seem to hinder him at all. There is all a chance that his aura of ruthlessness, callousness, and viciousness is all a facade, and deep down, Putin knows that he is in trouble. He has recognized the unification of dozens of countries, as well as their respective governments and people, as well as international companies and organizations. 


In the end, we can only hope that the mounting pressure Putin and the Russian government is facing will cause them to cave, and withdraw from Ukraine, returning the sovereign nation to a state of peace.