Russia-Ukraine War: Latest News – The Wall Street Journal

Subway sign outside one of the fast-food chain’s Moscow restaurants several years ago.Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Subway is under scrutiny after announcing earlier this week that its roughly 450 independently owned franchises in Russia would continue operating in the country.

The multinational fast-food franchise said it doesn’t have direct control of the independently owned and operated Subway franchises in Russia, and has “limited insight into their day-to-day operations.”

Subway said it doesn’t have corporate operations in Russia.

“While we do not control or manage the operations of independent franchisees in Russia, we will redirect any profits from operations in Russia to humanitarian efforts supporting Ukrainians who have been affected by the war,” Subway said in a statement on Wednesday.

The company’s message is a departure from some U.S. restaurant chains, which have suspended Russian operations in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

McDonald’s Corp. earlier this month said it would temporarily close its 847 restaurants in Russia. Starbucks Corp. said that its shipments to Russia have suspended, and the licensee that runs 130 locations in the country would stop operating immediately.

More than 400 companies have announced they have withdrawn from Russia, according to a list compiled by the Yale School of Management.

Some people took to social media to denounce Subway’s statement, calling for boycotts of stores as a sign of protest. #BoycottSubway was trending on Twitter on Friday.

Subway isn’t the only company to announce continued operations in Russia.

Koch Industries Inc. said Wednesday that it would remain in the country, even amid growing calls for companies to leave. The conglomerate said in a statement that its subsidiary, Guardian Industries, would continue running two glass manufacturing plants in the country.

Some 25 companies, including Subway, are continuing operations in Russia, according to Yale.

Ratings company S&P Global Inc. is dismissing employees as it winds down its operations in Russia amid the country’s war with Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The New York-based company, which operates in Russia as well as in neighboring Belarus, is offering severance packages to those employees, the two people said. S&P earlier this month said it decided to suspend commercial operations in Russia.

Some Russian workers have been given the option to move to another country, one of the people–an employee––said, depending on their skillset and position. Others, however, didn’t get that choice and were let go, the person said.

Employees in Belarus are being offered relocation to another country, the second person said.

“As a consequence of our decision to suspend commercial operations in Russia, we are offering compensation packages to our affected people,” a spokesman said. “Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of our team members and we remain committed to supporting them during this transition.”

The spokesman declined to comment on any relocation offers.

Rep. Madison Cawthorn last month, at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla.Brian Cahn/Zuma Press

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) rebuked Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R., N.C.) for calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whose country is under attack by Russia, a “thug.”

“Madison is wrong,” Mr. McCarthy said at a press conference. “If there’s any thug in this world, it’s Putin.”

A spokesman for Mr. Cawthorn didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Cawthorn’s remarks, at an event in North Carolina, were first aired by WRAL News. In the video, he said: “Remember that Zelensky is a thug. Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt and it is incredibly evil and it has been pushing woke ideologies.”

Asked if he supported Mr. Cawthorn’s re-election, Mr. McCarthy said yes. Mr. McCarthy headlined a fundraiser for Mr. Cawthorn in early February at the Conservative Partnership Institute.

Mr. Cawthorn is one of a handful of House Republicans who have drawn attention for their comments related to Russia’s invasion, amid broader bipartisan unity on backing Ukraine and continuing to send weapons and other aid.

Some have also expressed skepticism about the U.S. getting more deeply involved in a foreign war.

When the House voted Thursday to end normal trade ties with Russia, eight Republicans voted against the legislation. The “no” votes were Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Chip Roy of Texas.

Emergency workers on Friday rescued a man from under rubble at a public administration building damaged by Russian shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine.sergey bobok/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Workers in Kharkiv cleared rubble on Friday at the Kharkiv Regional Institute of Public Administration, the site of the shelling.sergey bobok/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
A KelTec employee stamped 9mm rifles similar to the ones being sent to Ukrainian defense forces.Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

A Long Island official said he has found a way to make the first legally authorized shipment of donated firearms from the U.S. to Ukrainians defending themselves against an invasion by Russia.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said he received 60 donated guns during a two-week campaign to gather weapons for Ukrainian citizens who were thrust into the conflict after Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion.

“I’m very excited. I feel like the people of Nassau County are doing their part in helping the Ukrainian people defend themselves,” Mr. Blakeman, a Republican, said in an interview.

Shipping firearms requires special permits that the county didn’t possess, which forced Mr. Blakeman to find a workaround. He partnered with KelTec, a Florida arms manufacturer that has an export license and a pre-existing sales relationship in Ukraine.

Adrian Kellgren, director of industrial production for KelTec, said the company received federal approval to reassign a planned shipment of 400 rifles for a private customer in Odessa to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. The weapons gathered in Nassau County will be added to that shipment.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense declined to comment. In a March 9 Facebook post, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said the government was working with international partners to secure defense assistance and asked Ukrainian citizens to not post about the sources of any weapons they receive.

For now, the donation from Nassau County is a one-off, but Mr. Kellgren said he hoped it could be a trailblazer for a wider effort to collect and export arms donated by Americans.

“You can’t simply take your AR-15, drop it in the mail and write ‘Ukraine’ on it,” Mr. Kellgren said.

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Last Updated: Mar 18, 2022 at 6:13 pm ET

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