Pressure is growing on Western food and drink companies to pull out of Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine.

BBC News reports that the likes of McDonald's, KFC and Coca-Cola have been criticised on social media for failing to speak out about the attacks and continuing to operate in the country.

#BoycottMcDonalds and #BoycottCocaCola were trending on Twitter today (March 8) and over the weekend respectively.

Since then McDonald's announced it would be temporarily closing its restaurants in Russia, whilst still paying its staff.

The Leader: McDonald's has faced calls for people to boycott it (PA)McDonald's has faced calls for people to boycott it (PA)

Additionally, Coca-Cola also announced that they would be suspending their operations in Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine.

Dr Ian Peters, director of the Institute for Business Ethics, told BBC News: "This is not a time to sit on the fence.

"The world is likely to judge companies by what they do in such circumstances, and ethical judgement will be as important as complying with any government-led regulations and sanctions."

He said that most firms would have what they refer to as an "ethical compass" they use to make big decisions.

"We would advise firms in such circumstances always to look at the bigger picture and seek to do the right thing, putting the wider interest above short-term profit," he added.

List of Western companies continuing to operate in Russia

As of the time of writing these are the Western companies that have had calls for people to boycott them due to them continuing to operate in Russia:

  • KFC
  • Pizza Hut
  • Burger King
  • Pepsi
  • Uniqlo

What was the reaction to companies staying in Russia?

There was some negative reaction to a lack of response from some companies on if they would continue to operate in Russia or not.

The activist and author Amy Siskind tweeted: "@McDonalds and @pizzahut say they will continue to do business in Russia. Their immoral choice, and they should face boycotts at home! Drive past, and #BoycottMcDonalds #boycottpizzahut".

Another wrote: "Our silence gives consent. If @McDonalds & @CocaCola refuse to speak or act against Russia's illegal & unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, then we, as consumers, must make ourselves heard! We are all in this together... where do you stand?"

One user wrote: "You should boycott them anyway because their food is crap, but for them to still be trading with Russia is reprehensible."