Nashville community shows support for Ukraine

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Whether through donations or rallies, residents of the midstate have also come together to stand with the people of Ukraine.

Some even show their support by not supporting Russian products.

Randy Rayburn, owner of the Midtown Cafe, has decided to remove Russian-made vodkas from his bar.

Authorities in Virginia, Ohio, Utah and New Hampshire have called on liquor stores to remove Russian-made or Russian-branded products from shelves.

Rayburn says he did the same in the 1980s when Russia invaded Afghanistan. Rayburn has removed the bottle of Stoli from its shelves.

The vodka is made in Latvia and the company’s headquarters are in Luxembourg. But Rayburn says the vodka is still distilled in Russia.

NewsChannel 5 has contacted the company and is awaiting a response to confirm whether the wheat used in the vodka is in fact made in Russia.

“What I’m asking is that all restaurants, bars, and hotels in Middle Tennessee and throughout the region all source Russian products. I don’t like Beluga caviar. I’ve always thought it’s was too expensive,” Rayburn said.

The Stoli brand released a statement on its website in support of Ukraine.

Stoli Vodka

Many customers from Aleksey’s Market on Thompson Lane showed up to offer their support.

Jane Kvaternyuk and her husband Yuriy, who operate the market, moved here from Ukraine.

“I’m just happy that everyone wants to support us,” Jane Kvaternyuk said.

But you can look at Jane’s face and see her concern.

“I can’t sleep at night. I’m always on the phone with my friends there in Ukraine,” she said.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this month, Jane can’t help but think of those she loves who live in Ukraine.

Customers put their money in their mouths by showing up to buy items such as sweets, jams, meats among others to keep this small business afloat.

“I want to support Alecksy’s market because they’re the little guy,” said client Craig Parrish. “I mean, it’s a small store and you know, they’re going to be hurt because it looks like we’re going to start stopping importing goods from Russia.”

All proceeds from buying paczki at Aleksey Market go to helping Ukrainians.

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