Cafes opening in Kharkiv, but most large Ukrainian businesses remain shuttered

by | Jul 21, 2022 | Top Stories

Enlarge this image

Despite Russian missiles hitting Kharkiv on nearly a daily basis, 5 of the 18 branches of Bricks Coffee and Desserts in the city have reopened. The head of the coffee shop chain says sales are still far below pre-war levels.

Jason Beaubien/NPR

hide caption

toggle caption

Jason Beaubien/NPR

KHARKIV, Ukraine – In the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, Yaroslav Radchenko is slowly reopening a chain of coffee shops he owns called Bricks Coffee and Desserts. Like just about everybody else here, Radchenko shut down when the Russians invaded in February. He fled to the relative safety of Dnipro, southwest of Kharkiv. Now he’s back, and five of his 18 Kharkiv cafes are serving espresso again. But Radchenko says he faces numerous challenges, including staff shortages. “Part of our staff live in the areas under constant shelling or missile attacks,” he says. “Or they have small children — so they can’t come back.” Some of the Bricks baristas have left the country entirely. Others are now in the military.

Big industries and small businesses alike are hurting It’s not just the little guys who are hurting; if anything, they may be doing better than the country’s largest businesses. The country’s maritime ports on the Azov and Black Seas have been shut down. The major industrial port of Mariupol is not only in ruins but is now in the hands of the Russians. All the airports are closed. Almost all freight now moves in and out of the country by rail or trucks through Poland, leading to massive backups on both sides of the border. In the east and around the capital Kyiv, roads and bridges have been destroyed.

For major industrial companies in the east of the country, “The whole logistics system has been basically destroyed and it takes time to rebuild,” says Dmytro Symovonyk, Managing Director of Citadel Capital Ukraine in Lviv.

A shop selling car parts in a neighborhood on the northeastern side of Kharkiv was bombed during the initial Russian invasion in March. Many businesses were destroyed in the city or remain shut down.

Jason Beaubien/NPR

hide caption

toggle caption

Jason Beaubien/NPR

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

Share This