There has been talk among some major cities, Hartford included, of instigating a boycott on Russian spirits. In starting a boycott, one must first decide whether or not the product being boycotted will hurt the body they are trying to make a statement against. This makes the question of the day, "Can not drinking Russian vodka hurt the Russian government?"
The Russian government has decided to impose fines on people who educate others about LGBT issues or promote such "propaganda". In keeping with this new national law, they are the ones stating that gay and lesbian Olympians who post "homosexual propaganda" can be arrested, even if the competitor posts it on their personal Facebook page.
Many people have decided, as a result of these new laws, to skip film festivals, cancel vacations, and avoid the Olympics in order to stand up for a belief that LGBT people are just like any other person and should be afforded the right to live their lives in a way that is healthy and free from threat.
As a result of this law, there were recently bars pouring out any Russian spirits that their bar had in stock into the streets. The show of support to the LGBT community is commendable, but will it work? Will avoiding drinking Russian spirits help prove a point to the Russian government?
The answer is a weak maybe. When thinking of Russia, it is easy to think of alcohol. It would be easy to think that if Hartford, and cities like it, avoid drinking Russian, we can prove a point. However, we must also look at the major exports of Russia in order to see where the boycott would be most effective. Is that going to be alcohol?
A simple search of the internet shows that Russia's major exports are in coal, oil, lumber and other such products. If one could find out exactly where these products were going and boycott those products and institutions, it may be more effective than an alcohol boycott.
When considering a boycott, it always must be decided where the boycott would be most effective. In this case, it is not clear that alcohol is the right choice.