Americans Overwhelmingly Want Companies to Take Action Against Russia Over Ukraine Invasion

3 in 4 U.S. adults say they support brands cutting business ties with Russia after its invasion of neighboring Ukraine
February 28, 2022 at 3:40 pm UTC

An overwhelming majority of Americans want businesses to respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with action, such as donating money to aid Ukrainian people and refugees and cutting business ties with Russia, according to a new Morning Consult survey.

Americans Support Brands Taking Action Against Russia for Invasion of Ukraine

Respondents were asked if they support or oppose companies taking the following actions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:
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Survey conducted Feb. 26-27, 2022, among a representative sample of roughly 2,210 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

What the numbers say 

  • Seventy-five percent of Americans said they support companies’ cutting business ties with Russia and stopping sales of products and services in Russia. 
  • Providing financial assistance to Americans looking to return from Ukraine and to employees affected by the invasion were the actions most supported by U.S. consumers, with 78 percent of respondents saying they “strongly” or “somewhat” support brands taking these actions. Of the potential actions presented, millennials (75 percent) supported the former option the most, while Gen Z adults (76 percent) were most supportive of the latter.
  • All of the potential actions had broad support, regardless of political party. Clear majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents said they support companies taking such actions — a rare example of wide bipartisan support.

U.S. Consumers Split Between Businesses Cutting Russian Ties Temporarily or Permanently

Respondents were asked which of the following actions they think companies that conduct business with Russian entities, or have business interests in Russia, should take:
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“Don’t know/No opinion” responses not shown.
Survey conducted Feb. 26-27, 2022, among a representative sample of roughly 2,210 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points.

More on the numbers

  • For companies with business ties in Russia, taking no action isn’t a viable option, as only 4 percent of Americans said brands should keep doing business with Russia and do nothing in response to the invasion of Ukraine. 
  • Americans were split on how far companies should go in cutting their business ties with Russia: 37 percent said they should cut them permanently, while 36 percent said they should only halt them temporarily. 
  • Older generations (47 percent of baby boomers and 37 percent of Gen Xers) were more supportive of cutting ties permanently than younger generations (26 percent of Gen Z adults and 28 percent of millennials). Democrats (43 percent) were the political party most supportive of ending business relationships in Russia for good, compared to Republicans (36 percent) and independents (30 percent).

The impact 

As the Russia-Ukraine conflict dominates the news (86 percent of respondents said they’ve heard about the invasion), most Americans want companies to indicate which side they support through action, not just words. In fact, most believe a statement without action behind it is insufficient: Only 8 percent of Americans said companies should maintain their business ties in Russia but issue a statement condemning the invasion, according to the survey. 

Some brands haven’t waited to announce their plans. Airbnb Inc. Chief Executive Brian Chesky said on Monday that the company will offer free short-term housing for up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine, while Etsy Inc. said it would cancel all outstanding fees for sellers based in Ukraine, a move worth about $4 million. Last week, Dell Technologies Inc. suspended sales in Ukraine and Russia, and Delta Air Lines Inc. said it had suspended its relationship with Aeroflot-Russian Airlines PJSC, a deal that allowed customers to book seats on both airlines’ flights.

If more corporations choose to publicly support Ukraine as the conflict continues, it will likely only help boost their reputations among U.S. consumers.

Survey conducted Feb. 26-27, 2022, among a representative sample of 2,210 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

A headshot photograph of Wesley Case
Wesley Case
Research Editor

Wesley Case is a research editor on the Industry Intelligence team, focusing on coverage of entertainment, brands and sports. Prior to joining Morning Consult, he was an editor at The Athletic and a features reporter and critic at The Baltimore Sun. Wesley graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in English and a concentration in journalism.

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