Russian Tea Time restaurant in Chicago getting threats amid Ukrainian invasion

CHICAGO (CBS)– President Joe Biden announced a ban on us imports of Russian oil, and American companies like McDonalds and Starbucks are halting operations in Russia to take a stand. 

Some efforts to show support for Ukraine have put American businesses with any branding associated with Russia in a difficult place.

Russian Tea Time in The Loop, located at 77 E. Adams St., reported a rise of threatening comments and reviews, one saying "death to Russia."

"We started receiving a lot of aggressive almost threatening messages online as well as phone calls," Vadim Muchnik, Russian Tea Time owner, said.

The restaurant is showing support for Ukraine outside their window. They've been swift with their messaging online and even some of the people who work here have family hiding in bomb shelters in Ukraine.

Muchnik founded The Loop restaurant with his mother in 1993.He was born in Uzbekistan and she was born in Ukraine. They serve a blend Eastern European food. 

And some of the staff bearing the brunt of the heat today are the ones already bearing the brunt of the crisis.

"We really feel pain, we have a waitress whose mother is hiding in bomb shelter in Kiyiv, she hasn't talked to her for days," Muchnik said.

In the days following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, the rush to dump Russian products is leaving select American businesses in the dust.

American businesses around the country with no ties to Russia outside name and the food…  are seeing the same

With tensions at a boiling point, Russian Tea Time says while misguided hate is brewing, it's overshadowed by support.

"For every one or two negative reviews there are two or three positive reviews so I think they're drowning the voices of negativity," Muchnik said.

Marissa Parra