Unilever has refused to withdraw from Russia, continues to pay tax there and now says it will allow staff to be sent to Ukraine to fight if called up to the Russian army. The maker of Dove soap and Cornettos says it condemns the war but continues to operate in Russia because getting out is “not straightforward”. That may be so but practical difficulties have not prevented more than 1,300 other multinational companies quitting Russia or making plans to, according to the Yale School of Management. The Yale number is contested by a Swiss study that says only 9 per cent of western companies have fully divested from Russia, but it’s clear that where BP, McDonald’s and IKEA saw an immediate imperative to get out once Russia invaded Ukraine, Unilever, for all its claims to “purpose”, didn’t. It has defended its initial decision to continue selling consumer goods across Russia on the basis that pulling out would hurt its 3,000 staff there and lead to the expropriation of its assets. Now it tells B4Ukraine, a campaign group, it will let staff go to fight if called up because “we always comply with the laws of the countries we operate in”. Jen Psaki, the former White House press secretary, says Unilever needs to worry more about what side it will be on “when the history books are written”. What she said.