Flight ban, alcohol boycotts pressure Russia to end attack

Russian flights won't be coming and going out of South Florida and many businesses have stopped selling Russia-made liquor to show solidarity with Ukraine and put pressure on Vladimir Putin to end the invasion.

MIAMI – The Russian flag was still flying outside Miami International Airport on Wednesday morning — even though Russian planes are not.

“I’m announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American air space to all Russian flights, further isolating Russia and adding additional squeeze on their economy,” President Joe Biden said in his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

The U.S. joins the European Union and Canada in banning Russian flights after the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava showed her support, tweeting: “Miami-Dade County stands firm in its support of President Biden’s decision to ban Russian aircrafts from U.S. airspace, including Miami International Airport. My administration is ready to work with the federal government to aide the Ukrainian people however we can.”

Some businesses are also taking action, like Total Wine, which pulled all of its Russia-made liquor from the shelves.

“There’s a lot of oligarchs in Russia who are losing a lot of money, and some of them are going to lose money because of the vodka ... and then they’ll put pressure on Putin,” said Mike Young, a Total Wine shopper in Fort Lauderdale.

Some bars and nightclubs are doing the same, including Shots in Wynwood.

Most shoppers Local 10 News spoke with say they support the boycott.

“When they’re holding nuclear bombs, it’s really hard to stop them right now,” said Gary Rudnicki. “It’s a very dangerous thing to do. But I think with the world coming together to do this, is what’s really gonna make it happen.”

Said Harry Shields, another boycott supporter: “I don’t think [Putin] planned on it his being this drastic of consequences.”

About the Author:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.