McDonald’s Replacement Opens in Russia And the Big Mac is Gone

Russian woman tries the food at the replacement for McDonalds in Russia
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Many companies stopped operations in Russia, in protest of that country’s war against Ukraine. McDonalds was one such business, pausing its operations in March when Putin initially invaded Ukraine. In May, McDonalds sold all 800 of its restaurants to a Russian businessman.

When McDonalds decided to stop operations in Russia after 32 years in business there, it said, “The humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, and the precipitating unpredictable operating environment, have led McDonald’s to conclude that continued ownership of the business in Russia is no longer tenable, nor is it consistent with McDonald’s values.”

When McDonalds went into Russia 32 years ago, in 1990, it was seen as a sort of bridge to the west. The move by McDonalds to sell, which is being called “de-arching,” is a sort of burning of that bridge.

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The Russian businessman who purchased the McDonalds restaurants for an undisclosed sum is Alexander Govor, reported Business Insider. “The chain is now called Vkusno & tochka, which translates as either ‘Delicious. Full Stop’, according to the AFP news agency, or ‘Tasty and that’s it’,” reported Reuters.

Gone from Vkusno & tochka is the Big Mac, but Russians can still get “chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers and sundaes, with similar packaging to McDonald’s, at slightly lower prices,” reported Business Insider.

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Some of us remember when McDonalds opened in Russia. It was a big deal for the Big Mac, as it represented an end to the Cold War. But things have gotten very chilly again, and now McDonalds again represents our relations with Russia. Do you think there will ever be other McDonalds in Russia?

Stacey Warner

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