News Culture

Red Bull Sorry for Unauthorized Drift Shoot After Ukraine Confiscated Its Cars

City officials and angry locals expressed their disgust on social media, and Red Bull has responded to the criticism.

Earlier this week, we told you the story about Red Bull’s unwelcomed drifting stunt in Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv. City officials denied Red Bull permission to film a drifting exposé at a UN World Heritage Site site, yet the energy drink company still went for it, resulting in a scathing reprimand by public figures and angry locals.

Now, Red Bull has spoken up on the matter and admitted its fault for shooting the video without proper permission.

via Kyiv City Prosecutor’s Office

“We did not follow all the necessary procedures,” wrote a Red Bull spokesperson in a statement to The Drive. “We deeply regret this oversight on our part. It was always our intention to clean the site so that we would leave it as we found it. This work was completed last week by the cleaning company we had contracted. We greatly value the warm relationship we have enjoyed for many years with the city of Kyiv and are grateful for the opportunity to continue to demonstrate this.”

Last Tuesday, Red Bull sent out two of its drivers, Conor Shanahan and Aleksandr Grinchuk, to Sofievskaya Square where they would be filmed for a commercial with Ukrainian rapper Alyona Alyona. However, Kyiv’s City Council denied the request citing the risk of man-made damage to the historic yellow brick outside of the Saint Sophia Cathedral.

Red Bull told The Drive that it immediately apologized to the city of Kyiv and its citizens on the day of the backlash.

Meanwhile, Grinchuk issued a statement on YouTube—which has since been made private—explaining that his involvement was purely contractual.

“I have a contract stipulating that I must take part in projects, one of which was a pair drift in the center of Kyiv with a guest colleague in the Red Bull shop from Ireland, European vice-champion Conor Shanahan,” said Grinchuk, according to a translated article from a Ukrainian news source. “The aim of the project is to promote the brand and shoot a beautiful video for the Days of the Flag and Independence of Ukraine.”

Following the filming, Red Bull had a cleaning crew remove the rubber deposits from the brick, as it had promised in the original letter requesting permission to use the square. A team of unaffiliated volunteers also visited the site the next day to finish cleaning it, according to a Facebook post.

City officials still say that the cars damaged 21,500 square feet, or 2,000 square meters, of historic yellow brick and estimate that the cost to repair the square would be $1,766.26 (47,092.14 Ukrainian Hryvnia). Red Bull was also issued a fine of $63.76 (1,700 Hryvnia) for disobeying the denial, according to local news. Both Grinchuk and Shanahan’s cars were impounded as evidence on the day of the event, though it’s not clear if the vehicles have been returned or if they are still being held at this time.

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