#BoycottNestle: Anonymous calls for Nestle blackout after it refuses to cease Russia operations

The hacktivist organization took to Twitter on Friday to call for the boycott as almost 400 companies announced plans to suspend operations in Russia


                            #BoycottNestle: Anonymous calls for Nestle blackout after it refuses to cease Russia operations
Hacktivist group anonymous has called for a boycott of Nestle products as it continues business in Russia (Twitter, Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Anonymous has called for a complete boycott of Nestle products after the Swiss food conglomerate continued to provide essential products to Russia despite mounting pressure from peers to cut ties.

The hacktivist organization took to Twitter on Friday, March 18, to call for the boycott as almost 400 companies announced plans to halt business and operations in Russia. According to a Morning Consult poll from earlier this month, nearly 75 percent of the American population supports the boycott. It's worth noting that Nestle has stopped advertisements, capital investments, as well as shipping non-essential items to Russia. However, it has continued to provide essentials like baby food to the nation, Bloomberg reported.

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Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal revealed on Thursday, March 17, that he spoke with Nestle CEO Mark Schneider "about the side effect of staying in [the] Russian market." Shmyhal wrote, "Unfortunately, he shows no understanding. Paying taxes to the budget of a terrorist country means killing defenseless children & mothers. Hope that Nestle will change its mind soon." 

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This sparked a wave of criticism from Twitterati, with many calling for boycotts and accusing Nestle of singlehandedly helping fund the war in Ukraine. Hacktivist group Anonymous was one of those urging the public not to buy the company's products. "Nestle remains in #Russia, paying taxes to the Russian government, giving Putin money to kill civilians and children in #Ukraine," Anonymous tweeted. "Do not buy products belonging to nestle! #BoycottNestle," it added in a follow-up tweet.

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Several Ukrainian figures joined the chorus against companies continuing operations in Russia. Roman Hryshchuk, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, tweeted on Thursday that "Putin is a war criminal, Russia is a terrorist state," and "Doing business in Russia means paying taxes in Russia." He added that "paying taxes in Russia means financing terror and war crimes in Ukraine," and that "companies like Nestle are financing the war." Meanwhile, Oleksandra Matviichuk, the head of the Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine, posted, "The world's largest food producer Nestle refuses to leave the Russian market. Bloody money for #Nestle."

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Some degraded Nestle by depicting the company as the "sponsor" of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. "Nestlé continues paying taxes to the budget of a terrorist state, financing indiscriminate attacks on Ukrainian civilians," Stratcom Centre UA, a strategic communications company under the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, wrote.

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In a statement on March 2, Nestle CEO Mark Schnieder addressed the ongoing crisis and pledged to match employee donations to the International Federation of Red Cross Societies (IFRC) up to $1 million. Furthermore, the conglomerate has also provided food and essential supplies to Ukraine.

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"As a food company and employer, we recognize that we also have a responsibility toward our more than 7,000 employees in Russia — most of whom are locals," the statement said. "We will continue to do our utmost to ensure a reliable supply of safe and essential food products for the local people."

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