Ukraine is getting tired of seeing that, after more than half a year of war, a significant number of multinationals continue to operate in Russia despite its military aggression.
For this reason, several initiatives are seeking to increase pressure on these companies (only a fifth of multinationals have abandoned the Russian market) so that they stop indirectly financing, through their taxes, the invasion of Ukraine.
In that sense, from Ukraine they ask the directors of these companies and consumers to act in accordance with the values they claim to have and to stop buying the products of these companies.
To make this ‘boycott’ easier for customers, a mobile application called Push to Leave (“push to leave”, in English). It can be downloaded from any country on the planet and is used so that, by scanning the barcode of a product, you can find out if its manufacturer is still operating in Russia.
Roman, one of the developers of the application, highlights in statements to EFE that “our main objective is to make these companies consider whether it is worth investing in the economy of the aggressor country.”
In that sense, Roman specifies that multinationals pay a significant amount of taxes, which is why they are financing the war against Ukraine in a significant way: “This is important because these large companies pay large sums in taxes to the Russian state, which are used to finance attacks against Ukraine.”
The companies that remain in Russia
Activists have given some names of the companies that are still present in the Russian market, such as the American Unilever or the French Auchan, a type of multinationals that paid taxes in Russia in 2022 on their profits worth 3.3 billion euros.
Specifically, according to data from the KSE Institute and its ‘Leave-Russia’ project, which has one of the largest databases on international companies in Russia, only 276 of 1,391 Western companies (19.8%) have left for good. entire Russia since the beginning of the invasion.
Furthermore, according to the institute, more than half of these companies (56%) say they will continue doing business in Russia. Some of these multinationals, such as PepsiCo, P&G or Mars, argue that they cannot leave because they provide essential products.
However, the human rights consultant for the coalition of civil society organizations ‘B4Ukraine’, Nina Prusac, emphasizes that with this decision they are “prioritizing profits” over “ethical and responsible commercial behavior.”
In fact, from the platform they highlight that cookies and shampoos can hardly be considered essential, and that with this they allowed American consumer goods companies to generate about 19.7 billion euros in profits in Russia in 2022.