Did 1000+ Big Companies Break Their Promise to Stop Doing Business in Russia?

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On July 11, the Facebook page of “Imedi TV” published a post, claiming that more than a thousand of the world’s largest companies have broken their promise and continue their business activities in Russia. The post indicates that the information is based on CNN.

The same information was published on the website of Imedi TV and online media ongo.ge. In addition, the Facebook profile “Salome Megrelishvili” shared two posts on the mentioned topic in the Facebook group “Tbilisi-Georgia Forever.”

imedi da kompaniebi Did 1000+ Big Companies Break Their Promise to Stop Doing Business in Russia?

imedi da kompaniebi1 Did 1000+ Big Companies Break Their Promise to Stop Doing Business in Russia?

Update: Other media outlets, including Alia, for.ge, Tiflis News, and SpaceNews have also reported on the companies doing business in Russia on July 11, citing CNN.

The information disseminated by “TV Imedi” based on the CNN article, as if more than a thousand of the world’s largest companies have broken their promise and continue their business activities in Russia, is partly false. In fact, the CNN article notes that more than 1,000 companies have fulfilled their pledges and left the Russian market, although some well-known corporations have broken their pledges and are still doing business in Russia.

In an article published on July 11, CNN reported that after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, more than 1,000 large companies pledged to leave Russia, some of which did not fulfill the promise. However, it is also noted that more than 1,000 have actually stopped doing business in Russia. The mentioned information is based on the database created by Yale University professor Jeff Sonnenfeld, which monitors about 1,600 companies.

Based on information from Yale University, various publications (1, 2, 3) have also named several specific companies, which initially made statements about leaving the Russian market but did not fulfill the promise. The names of Philip Morris, Heineken, Mondelez, and Nestlé are most often mentioned among them. The study of Yale itself mentions that only a very small number of companies have violated the promise, naming 17 specific companies.

Jeff Sonnenfeld started creating a list of suspended/continuing corporations in Russia within days of the start of the war, and the database grew rapidly. To obtain information, the research uses students in Russia, internal company informants, on-site experts, corporate documents, and media reports. The database evaluates companies with a 5-point system, where A means leaving the Russian market completely, and F means continuing the activity without restrictions. According to the research, more than 400 large companies continue to fully or partially do business in Russia, although it should be noted that a large part of them, especially in the F category, are represented by Chinese companies. It is also important to take into account the fact that some of the corporations included in the Yale database did not even promise to stop their activities in Russia.

imedi da kompaniebi2 Did 1000+ Big Companies Break Their Promise to Stop Doing Business in Russia?
Source: Bloomberg

The updated list is available here.

mrgvali diagrama Copy Did 1000+ Big Companies Break Their Promise to Stop Doing Business in Russia?

In addition to the information from Yale University and the CNN article, which “Imedi” and ongo.ge rely on, “Myth Detector” tracked down another database created by the Kyiv Institute of Economics. They investigate the cessation and/or continuation of the activities of companies in Russia after the start of the war. The list includes approximately 2,000 companies, although it includes smaller businesses as well as large corporations. According to the database, more than 1,000 companies in Russia have completely or partially ceased operations, and more than 1,000 are still operating. However, according to these data, there are only a few companies that announced the termination of business activities and did not fulfill the promise.

Fake Facebook account

Salome Megrelishvili, who posted about companies with business activities in Russia in the Facebook group Tbilisi-Georgia Forever, is a fake account that has been active since 2021 and steals photos of Diana Saani, another social media user. Diana Saani’s Instagram profile is currently closed, but part of the photos on her Facebook page are public, from which we learn that the photos used by Salome Megrelishvili were published on Diana Saani’s personal account in 2013, 2018 and 2019.

Photos published by the fake Facebook user:

imedi da kompaniebi3 Did 1000+ Big Companies Break Their Promise to Stop Doing Business in Russia?

The above and a number of other photos that helped us identify the person are available on Diana Saani’s Facebook account:

imedi da kompaniebi4 Did 1000+ Big Companies Break Their Promise to Stop Doing Business in Russia?

imedi da kompaniebi5 Did 1000+ Big Companies Break Their Promise to Stop Doing Business in Russia?


The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.

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Topic: Politics
Violation: Partly false
Country: Russia
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