SAN DIEGO — With the bloodshed intensifying in Ukraine, a Russian restaurant here in Downtown San Diego is getting blowback, receiving threats and losing business.
The owners of Pushkin restaurant in San Diego received a distressing voicemail. The person is heard in the voicemail saying, "you killed my uncle and my whole family you disgusting Russians."
Ike Gazaryan has owned the Pushkin Russian Restaurant in the Gaslamp for the last seven years..
Because the restaurant's name has the word "Russian" in it, he says it’s recently been getting threatening phone calls. One caller was heard in a message saying, "I will never support Russia!"
With the war intensifying in Ukraine, Gazaryan says the calls have gotten progressively worse over the last few days.
"Some said they would come by and blow up the restaurant saying this is payback for what Russians are doing in Ukraine," said Gazaryan.
The bigger problem: Gazaryan is Armenian, not Russian.
The majority of his staff is actually from Ukraine. Something Gazaryan hopes people think about before they send any more threats.
"Pushkin Russian restaurant supports Ukrainian people their choice for their freedom their choice for their life and to be able to control their own country," said Gazaryan.
He's not only only offering help to his employees but Gazaryan also says his staff pooled together money to donate to Ukraine.
And the food he proudly serves, Gazaryan says is not dedicated to one location or Russia specifically.
"I basically took the best dishes from different regions and put them on one menu so saying I have a Russian menu would be a mistake," said Gazaryan.
Despite the threats, changing his restaurant name is off the table and Gazaryan says for good reason.
"I don’t wanna do that, because this is the restaurant that has been here and the Russians in the United States do support Ukraine and support the people," said Gazaryan.
WATCH RELATED: Russian/Ukrainian couple have different perspectives but are united in their hope for peace (Feb. 2022).