Nashville community shows support for Ukraine

Posted at 5:45 PM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 19:29:17-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Whether it's through donations or rallies, people in the mid-state have also been coming together to stand with the people of Ukraine.

Some are even showing support by not supporting Russian products.

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

Officials 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 thing in the 1980s when Russia invaded Afghanistan. Rayburn removed the bottle of Stoli from his shelves.

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

NewsChannel 5 reached out to the company and is waiting on a response to confirm if the wheat used in the vodka is in fact made in Russia.

"What I'm asking is for all restaurants, bars and hotels in the Middle Tennessee area and throughout to pull all Russian products. I don't like Beluga caviar. I've always thought it's overpriced," said Rayburn.

The Stoli brand did issue a statement on its website standing in support with Ukraine.

Screen Shot 2022-02-28 at 5.28.32 PM.png

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

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

"I'm just happy that everybody wants to support us," said Jane Kvaternyuk.

But you can look in Jane's face and see her worry.

"I cannot sleep at night. I'm always on my phone with my friends over there in Ukraine," she said.

Since Russia invaded the country of Ukraine earlier this month, Jane can't help but think about the ones she loves who call Ukraine home.

Customers have put their money where their mouth is by showing up buying items such as candy, jams, meat among other things to keep this small business afloat.

"I want to support Alecksy’s Market because they're the little guy," said customer Craig Parrish. "I mean, it is a small store and you know, they're going to be hurt because it sounds like we're going to start to stop importing goods from Russia."

All proceeds from a paczki purchase at Aleksey’s Market go back to helping those in Ukraine.