According to British intelligence, despite Moscow’s promises to scale back its military activity near Kyiv this week, Russian forces are still holding their positions and shelling the Ukrainian capital.
In a speech on Thursday, the head of the United Kingdom’s intelligence and security service stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin “massively miscalculated” the situation in Ukraine and that the Russian leader’s aides were scared to tell him the truth about what was going on on the ground.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials announced on Thursday that Russia had agreed to open a humanitarian corridor in Mariupol, which has been largely damaged by Russian shelling and is experiencing a terrible humanitarian crisis.
In its “cyberwar” against Russia, Anonymous, the “hacktivist” organization, has a new target. This time, it’s Western businesses still operating in the country.
“We urge any firms that continue to function in Russia by paying taxes to the Kremlin’s criminal regime: Pull out of Russia!” tweeted from the @YourAnonTV account on March 21.
Companies had 48 hours to comply after receiving the tweet. A photo with the logos of more than 40 companies, including well-known brands like Burger King, Subway, and General Mills, was also included in the threat. On March 24, the second list of target companies was released, including Emirates Airlines, Leroy Merlin, a French gardening retailer, and Young Living, an essential oil company.
However, some of the companies mentioned in the article refuted Anonymous’ claims.
Bridgestone and Dunkin’ Donuts, for example, said they had already publicly announced that they were pulling business from Russia before being targeted by Anonymous. Halliburton, Baker Hughes, and Schlumberger, three of the targeted oil field service businesses, had previously made pronouncements. Others immediately followed suit, including Calfrac Well Services, a Canadian oilfield service company, and Geberit Group, a sanitary product manufacturer.
Even so, for franchises, a quick exit may be difficult. Burger King, Subway, and Reebok’s parent company, Authentic Brands Group, have all stated that they are in this position.
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