Coffee to go: Starbucks to exit Russia after nearly 15 years

Starbucks Corporation will leave Russia entirely, marking the most recent corporate departure from the country following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Starbucks announced in March that its licenced partner had agreed to immediately cease operations at all 130 stores in Russia. Starbucks informed its employees on Monday that its most recent decision will result in the end of its brand presence in the country, with the company paying nearly 2,000 workers for six months and offering assistance with job transitions.

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Kevin Johnson wrote to his colleagues in March, prior to his retirement as CEO, “We condemn the unprovoked, unjust, and horrifying attacks on Ukraine by Russia, and our hearts go out to all those affected.” The invasion and humanitarian repercussions of this war are devastating and have a ripple effect felt around the globe.

As a result of President Vladimir Putin’s invasion, a number of major corporations have halted or ceased operations in Russia. McDonald’s Corp. exited the country this month, selling its business to a former Siberian coal mine owner, bringing to a close an era that began in 1990, when tens of thousands gathered in Moscow’s Pushkin Square for the opening of its first restaurant. McDonald’s manager Chris Kempczinski cited “the humanitarian crisis caused by the war” in a note to employees.

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