'Pobeda' candy producer considers name change after war support allegations

The candy producer “Pobeda” has been excluded from certain supply chains in Latvia and is ready to change its name after the news circulating in the media in March about the company's possible assistance to Russian soldiers in Ukraine, the Ventspils City Council told Latvian Radio on May 23.

As reported earlier by LSM, the Russian confectionery company "Pobeda" has been producing chocolates, truffles, waffles and other types of sweets for more than six years in Ventspils, via a Latvian subsidiary. In February of this year, "Pobeda" received thanks from an organization called the "Battle Brotherhood" for the fact that since the beginning of the Ukrainian war, the company has sent at least 15 tonnes of its products to Russian soldiers.

The case was immediately addressed by the State Security Service (VDD), which started an examination of the possible involvement of the company in the provision of aid. The company denied providing aid to the Russian army on the following day.

The VDD checks are still being carried out, and the service is abstaining from further comment at this time.

Latvian Radio tried to contact the company's owners, but the office said board member Andrej Muravyov was on a mission and would be prepared to comment next week.

The company's chief executive, Olga Muravyov, had been contacted a few days ago by Ventspils Mayor Jānis Vītols, who stated that she had denied the company's support for the Russian army.

“She hasn't received any awards for supporting the army. [..] She believes it is an absolutely false message and that it does not correspond to the truth, but this company has already encountered problems in Latvia because the message has been made public and I understand that they are excluded from individual supply chains,” Vītoliņš said.

Vītoliņš said that Pobeda is a company registered in Latvia and the company's owners are not subject to sanctions. Latvian Radio also confirmed this with the Ministry of Justice.

Vītoliņš said that the information out in the public had a negative impact on the company, so they are willing to change their name.

“Owners are well aware that such a name as the company currently has, so to say, is not particularly good, because it is not what we in Latvia and the Western world are expecting. There will be no Russian “pobeda” [victory], of course, and we support something quite different,” Vītoliņš said.

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