UPDATE: Ricoh Japan and Ricoh Europe have now also suspended shipments heading to Russia following the unethical invasion of Ukraine.
In a post published on the Ricoh News section of the website, Ricoh Europe said, "The violence and speed with which the humanitarian crisis is unfolding across Ukraine and the surrounding area is deeply distressing. Our thoughts are with every person impacted by this deeply shattering conflict"
Like several other major brands, Ricoh has not only suspended shipments of all its devices to Russia but the Ricoh Group and Ricoh Europe have also made a donation to the Red Cross to help relief efforts.
Apple was one of the first major corporations to stop the sale of its products and services, including Apple Pay, and since then lots of massive companies including Canon and Adobe have followed suit.
But why impose these sanctions when they affect innocent Russian citizens, many of whom don’t want the war? The hope is that if enough companies stop operations, the economic and societal impact on Russia will be so immense Putin will be pressured to stop the invasion of Ukraine.
Already Russian citizens are feeling the effects of these sanctions, some more severely than others. Following the suspension of Apple Pay and Google Pay, people have been seen queuing for hours at ATMs and cashpoints to withdraw their money. Everyday life is becoming increasingly harder, and many have even fled the country to escape international isolation.
Now Sony, Peak Design and Fujifilm are pulling their operations from Russia. Nikon has also issued a press release stating that it has suspended shipments heading for Russia and will continue donating to humanitarian organizations. Despite having no factories in Russia, Panasonic has suspended all business transactions due to the economic and logistical challenges it faced.
Similarly, Sony hasn’t got any factories in Russia but had banned the sale of its products across all streams including audio, visual and imaging systems. It has also said it will donate a total of $2 million to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency and the international NGO and Save the Children. Sony has also said it will match any donations made by employees for humanitarian aid in Ukraine.
Fujifilm also announced that not only would it be withdrawing sales from Russia, it would also donate $2 million to humanitarian efforts. A further $1 million will be given to UNHCR and UNICEF and its medical sector is donating $1 million of equipment including portable x-ray systems and ultrasound devices.
The CEO of Peak Design informed its customers that the company would be implementing three initiatives to support Ukraine. Firstly it's stopping all sales in Russia; secondly, any bags returned in Europe will be donated to refugees arriving in Poland; and third, photojournalists in need of equipment will have free access to Peak Design kit, though getting it to them may be a logistical issue.
It’s expected more brands will jump on the sanction bandwagon, too, making “normal” life in Russia even harder. None of these brands want to make it more difficult for Russian citizens, but there is little else they can do other than ban the sale of products in hope that these measures will pressure Putin to withdraw.