United States — The global coffeehouse brand Starbucks has announced its exit and cease of brand presence in Russia amidst the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. This means that all 130 branches in Russia will cease operation following the announcement.

Amidst the exit announcement, the company promised that it will still support its 2,000 green apron employees or ‘partners’ in the country; providing six months of remuneration and assistance to transition to a new opportunity outside the brand.

This news follows after Starbucks’ initial announcement of the suspension of all business activities last March 8, 2022. The invasion of Russian forces under Russian President Vladimir Putin began on February 24 this year, a grim chapter in the Russo-Ukrainian War that started almost a decade prior.

In a letter to Starbucks’ partners last March 8, Kevin R. Johnson, CEO of Starbucks, vehemently condemned the assault of Russian forces into the territories of Ukraine.

“We condemn the horrific attacks on Ukraine by Russia and our hearts go out to all those affected,” Johnson says.

After a week from the February 24 invasion, Starbucks immediately pledged its commitment to condemn Russia’s attacks against Ukraine.

The company donated royalties from their business operations in Russia to humanitarian relief efforts for Ukraine as well as utilising their EMEA business to create financial assistance and services. Additionally, The Starbucks Foundation contributed US$500k to World Central Kitchen and the Red Cross for relief efforts for Ukraine.

Starbucks is the latest brand to follow the exodus as a slew of brands exit Russia amidst its historic oppression of the sovereign country of Ukraine.