McDonald’s shutters all of its restaurants in Russia

McDonald’s shutters all of its restaurants in Russia
Image via Screengrab.

Fast-food giant McDonald’s is closing all 850 locations in Russia, the company announced on Tuesday.

“The conflict in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis in Europe has caused unspeakable suffering to innocent people,” Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski wrote in an email to all employees and franchise owners that was obtained by The Independent. “As a System, we join the world in condemning aggression and violence and praying for peace.”

Public pressure has been mounting on McDonald’s as well as scores of other multinational brands to pull out of Russia amid President Vladimir Putin’s dastardly invasion of Ukraine.

“In recent days, I have spoken with and heard from many in our System about our operations in Russia,” Kempczinski said.

Putin’s war in Ukraine is “extraordinarily challenging for a global brand like ours,” he continued, noting that “for 66 years, we have operated with the belief that communities are made better when there’s a McDonald’s nearby.”

Kempczinksi added that “our values mean we cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine.”

According to The Independent's reporting, all 62,000 McDonald’s workers in Russia will still be paid their salaries. The corporation’s charity organization, Ronald McDonald House Charities, will also remain in operation.

“Our number one priority from the start of this crisis has been – and will remain – our people,” Kempczinksi said.

A $5 million donation was made by the corporation to pay furloughed employees and to aid the Red Cross’s humanitarian relief efforts.

“The RMHC Poland Care Mobile is at the Polish-Ukrainian border to provide medical care and humanitarian aid for families and children, and another Care Mobile is on the way from RMHC Latvia,” wrote Kempczinski. “Additionally, RMHC Ukraine is deploying medical supplies and providing humanitarian aid throughout the country, and its programs are being repurposed for use by hospital personnel.”

Kempczinski said that McDonald’s will "continue to assess the situation and determine if any additional measures are required.” He emphasized, however, that there is no way to predict when Russian operations will resume.

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