It took the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario), an Ontario government enterprise and one of the world’s largest buyers and retailers of beverage alcohol, just one business day to pull a Romanian-made Stalinskaya Silver Vodka off its shelves after the backlash from the Ukrainian Canadian community.
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress as well as other community organizations and individuals wrote letters and complaints about the vodka to the LCBO on Saturday, June 19. In his letter, UCC’s CEO and Executive Director Ihor Michalchyshyn said that UCC is appalled that the LCBO decided to sell a vodka named after Joseph Stalin, a murderous Communist dictator, on whose orders the Holodomor Famine-Genocide in Ukraine was carried out. The letter continued, “During his deadly reign, Stalin ordered the execution of millions of innocent people, condemned to the Gulag millions more, invaded and dismembered sovereign states, and presided over a three-decade reign of terror against the captive nations of Europe and Central Asia. Stalin is rightly remembered as one of history’s most hideous tyrants. […] The fact that the LCBO would carry a product named after this murderer is a disgrace.”