COLUMBUS, Ohio — The vast majority of the response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine has taken place on the international level, with the United States and European Union among several entities leveling heavy sanctions against President Vladimir Putin and his government.
While not much can be done at the state level, Ohio's governor on Saturday took a significant and symbolic step that affirmed the state's support for Ukraine and its people.
Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered the Ohio Department of Commerce to cease both the purchase and sale of Russian Standard vodka. The distillery is the only Russian-owned entity that sells vodka in the state, but all of Ohio's 487 liquor agencies have been asked to remove its brands -- Russian Standard and Green Mark vodka -- from their shelves "immediately."
Earlier this week, DeWine joined both of Ohio's U.S. senators and its entire congressional delegation in condemning Russia's "unacceptable" attack, adding that "all freedom-loving people should stand against this unprovoked invasion." He also noted how Ohio is home to roughly 80,000 people of Ukrainian descent.
Additionally, the governor has declared Sunday a statewide Day of Prayer for Ukrainians both overseas and in Ohio. The blue and yellow Ukrainian flag will also fly at both the Statehouse and Governor's Residence.