The owners of some Russian-themed establishments in the United States believe they are being targeted following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Businesses said they received threatening phone calls – and at least one was vandalized.
Here is what is happening in the country:
Washington D.C.: Police are investigating whether hatred or prejudice was behind the vandalism at the Russia House restaurant and lounge in DC, DC Metropolitan Police said.
According to an incident report, the owner of Russia House told police that parts of the restaurant, including five windows and a door, were vandalized between February 25 and 27. goods.”
CNN contacted the Russia House restaurant and lounge but did not receive a response. The restaurant is temporarily closed, according to its Facebook page.
New York: The owners of Russian restaurant Samovar in midtown Manhattan said they have received harassing phone calls and people have knocked down their sign since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Vlada Von Shats – who is from Russia, while her husband is from Ukraine – said she received a phone call telling her to die, and another calling her “we Nazis and fascists”.
“Calling us Nazis when we are of Jewish descent is just ridiculous,” she said. “We oppose this war and we are not for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin.”
She said she did not report any of the incidents to the police.
San Diego: The owners of Russian restaurant Pushkin in San Diego received threats following the invasion, according to CNN affiliate KFMB.
A caller said they were going to blow up the restaurant “as a reward for what Russia is doing to Ukraine,” owner Ike Gazaryan told KFMB. Another caller said, “You killed my uncle and all my family, you filthy Russians,” KFMB reported.
Gazaryan is from Armenia and most of his staff are from Ukraine. Despite the threats, the owner has no intention of changing the name of his business.
“It’s the restaurant that’s been here and the Russians in the United States support Ukraine and support the people,” Gazaryan said in an interview with KFMB.
CNN contacted Russian restaurant Pushkin but did not receive a response. San Diego police told CNN they are not actively involved in any investigation at this address.