‘Shame on you!’ Furious protesters target Mike Ashley after he allowed his lingerie firm Agent Provocateur to continue sales in Russia despite its invasion of Ukraine
- Ukrainian women demonstrated at an outlet in London’s West End on Saturday
- They called on owner and retail tycoon Mike Ashley to stop trading with Russia
- Businesses in St Petersburg and Moscow are using the name Agent Provocateur
Retail tycoon Mike Ashley has been condemned for supplying Agent Provocateur lingerie to Russia despite the war.
Ukrainian women yesterday demonstrated outside an outlet of the pricy fashion shop in London’s West End.
Last month, the Mail exposed Paul Smith for keeping his shops open in Russia, which forced him into closing them. But Mr Ashley continues to allow the name Agent Provocateur to be used by Russian businesses.
Mr Ashley, who bought the company for around £30 million in 2017, is one of Britain’s most controversial businessmen.
In 2016 he was accused in Parliament of running Sports Direct like ‘a Victorian workhouse’. As the owner of Newcastle United, he was deeply unpopular with fans.
With Agent Provocateur set to enjoy a bonanza before Valentine’s Day, yesterday’s protesters held red cloth symbolising Ukrainian blood and chanted: ‘Stop trading with Russia’ and ‘Shame on you’. Passing shoppers stopped to clap, film and join in the chanting.
Ukranian protestors outside the Agent Provocateur lingerie store in Mayfair, London, called on owner and retail tycoon Mike Ashley to stop trading with Russia
Protestors targeted Mike Ashley, who bought Agent Provocateur for around £30million in 2017
Organiser Natalia Ravlyuk told the MoS: ‘The only thing I can say to Mike Ashley is to make the right choice, It is a choice between right and wrong. How many more Ukrainian lives need to be lost before he makes it? Does he value money more than human lives?’
Explaining why protesters had gathered outside the shop, Ms Ravlyuk added: ‘The only way for international businesses to remain humane and respected is to leave Russia and condemn its actions publicly.
‘I am sure international companies can find markets somewhere else. We need a united international voice which will say “no” to trade in Russia.
‘Russia should be isolated. If everyone says “no” to Russia, we have a greater chance to win this war. That way, everyone can live a life in peace.’
According to its website there is one business in St Petersburg and seven offices in Moscow, including at least three stores, using the name Agent Provocateur.
One of the protestors, Kateryna carrying an Agent Provocateur bag, said: ‘We are here today because even after one year of the full scale military invasion of Ukraine, and after all the support Britain has offered to Ukrainie there are still some brands doing business with Russia.
‘With St Valentine’s Day approaching we all know that the profits of companies like this rise.’
Agent Provocateur last night declined to comment.
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