Editor’s note: This story has been edited for clarity.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been inspiring Ukrainians to stand their ground to defend their country, as the world watches Russia’s invasion unfold.
In Bethesda, Maryland, Caddies on Cordell is changing its drink menu to support Ukraine.
“One of the more popular drinks that gets ordered here is a Moscow Mule, which is vodka and ginger beer mixed together,” owner Ronnie Heckman told WTOP. “We decided to take any positive attention away from Russia and change it to a Kyiv Mule.” Meanwhile, they’re also serving White and Black Ukrainians instead of White and Black Russians.
While it may seem insignificant compared to the heroism of Ukrainians in a war zone, Heckman is trying to do everything he can to help the war effort.
“Obviously, this individual act is not really going to make a major difference in what’s going on,” Heckman said, “but [we’ll do] whatever we can do to help and bring awareness to the negative things that are going on right now.”
Heckman takes it personally — his mother’s grandparents were from Ukraine.
“My mom’s side is Ukrainian,” Heckman said. “It definitely hits home a little bit. It just sucks. It’s a senseless act for no reason. We just want to do what we can to make sure that the people doing this realize that, and hopefully, we can stop it as soon as possible.”
On the other side of his family tree, his father’s parents were Russian Jews.
“It just reminds you of a bad past that we went through when you had people in the early to mid-1900s that did things that were some of the worst things in the world [like Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939 to start World War II],” Heckman said. “It makes you wonder how far this guy [Russian President Vladimir Putin] is willing to go.”
Heckman will donate at least 10% of drink sales to Ukrainian charities and a percentage of full restaurant sales this weekend with live music by The Pop Rocks and More More More.
“We’re going to have a couple days coming up with our full restaurant sales that we’ll be donating to the charity for the Ukrainian Children’s Emergency [Relief] Fund,” Heckman said. “We’ve also found another charity that we’re trying to verify that goes directly to the military and their families for the Ukrainian army and make sure that’s not a scam.”
He hopes Americans can unite against Putin’s aggression.
“These are the times we can all come together … and realize that there’s bigger things than your argument today over whatever political stance,” Heckman said. “Let’s just figure it out, man. We’re too good of a country. … We just shouldn’t have all this internal fighting. It’s not good for anyone and it’s not good for the world.”
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