APN: Maccas Russia

Russia bids farewell to the golden arches

A new day has dawned for Russian fast food aficionados, with the reopening of former McDonald’s restaurants under new branding and ownership more than three decades after their arrival.

The relaunch is scheduled to begin on Russia Day, a patriotic holiday honoring the country’s independence, at the same flagship location in Moscow’s Pushkin Square where McDonald’s first opened in the country in January 1990.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, McDonald’s became the epitome of a thawing of Cold War tensions, and it was a vehicle for millions of Russians to sample American food and culture.

The brand’s exit is now a powerful symbol of how Russia and the West are once again turning their backs on each other.

McDonald’s last month said it is selling its restaurants in Russia to one of its local licensees, Alexander Govor. The deal marks one of the most high-profile business departures since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

McDonalds was the first American fast food restaurant to enter the Soviet Union.AP: Vicktor Yurchenko/File

McDonald’s iconic golden arches have been demolished at sites in Moscow and St Petersburg, where they will make way for a new logo featuring two chips and a hamburger patty set against a green background. The reopening will initially span 15 locations in Moscow and the surrounding region.

The name of the new chain remains a closely guarded secret. A change in the name of the McDonald’s app to My Burger on Friday caused some online excitement, but the chain’s press team said it was only temporary.

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