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Liquor store owner protests Russian vodka, supports Ukraine

By Ariana Garza, Weekend Anchor/Crime & Courts Reporter, agarza@ktxs.com
Published On: Mar 14 2014 07:37:47 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

An Abilene liquor store owner is protesting the Russian invasion of Ukraine by taking Russian vodka off his shelves.

Johnny Johnson of Big Johnson Liquor & Beer said his son is serving overseas for the U.S. military and that is part of the reason Johnson strongly opposes Russia’s actions.

“I thought I'd do what I could do and [it] seems that we have plenty of Texas vodkas and other alternatives,” Johnson said. “I just decided to yank all the Russian vodka off the shelves and not make that an option anymore.”

Johnson said pulling the products of the shelves is the least he could do to make his opinion known to the community. He encourages other stores to do the same since, in his opinion, Russia’s actions seem similar to the German politics that led to WWII.

“If you listen to history, history repeats itself…if you let it,” Johnson said. “I'm not going to be able to do this all by myself. I'd be delighted for people to go on board with me but you know I'll do what I can do and let them make the decision.”

KTXS asked Johnson how his decision is affecting business.

“It's been fantastic really, I've gotten a lot of good feedback from customers, from people in general and the public just coming to work everyday,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he does not plan to keep the shelf that housed the Russian vodka empty for much longer.

“I'm going to replace it with some Ukrainian vodka,” Johnson said.

Big Johnson Liquor & Beer is located at 3351 Turner Plaza Drive near the Mall of Abilene.