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Liquor Stores Dumping Vodka in Protest of Russian Aggression

Until Putin stops making military moves against Ukraine, some liquor stores are refusing to stock any Stoli.

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Try Ketel One instead. Photo via

By Bryan Le

03/14/14

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Think globally and act locally. That's what some U.S. liquor stores are doing by dumping Stolichnaya and other Russian vodkas until Vladimir Putin stops trying to annex Crimea and threatening to make moves against Ukraine.

Bob Gilbertson, proprietor of Bob's Wine in Tennessee, has liquidated his stock of Russian vodkas at cost and posted an anti-Russian sign on the front of his store: "Due to the recent Russian aggression, Bob's will NO LONGER sell Russian vodka."

The Bob's Wine Facebook page has been flooded with support from individuals. Even the PR Secretariat of Euromaidan, a Ukraine-based protest movement, has tweeted its own thanks to Bob's Wine.

"The Russian aggression against the Ukraine just went against my grain," said Gilbertson. "They're trying to push us and pushing us all to the brink."

One liquor store in Abilene, TX took their protest one step further by pouring its three cases of Russian vodka onto the sidewalk.

"I just didn't agree with the aggression Russia took on Ukraine," said Johnny Johnson of Big Johnson Liquor & Beer. "With my son in the military, something like this hits a little close to home and as a parent, you start to worry."

With his son in the Air Force and deployed near Russia in Bahrain, Johnson hopes his efforts can at least stop a few more dollars from being used to fund potential enemies. Though he already paid Stolichnaya for the bottles and is pouring out his own money on the sidewalk with each bottle, he's happy to pay the price to send a message.

"I'd rather not take the money," said Johnson. "There's plenty of Texas vodka, so there's no reason why we should give the money back to Russia."

While Stolichnaya is owned and bottled by a Latvian company, it is still sourced and distilled in Russia.

Similar calls to ban Stolichnaya and other Russian vodka products have come from LGBT rights advocates, including House star Hugh Laurie, to protest Putin's stance on gay rights.

Watch Johnny Johnson pour some out for our military stationed near Russia:

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