First McDonald's in Russia opens in 1990

Video footage chronicles the mixed emotions as the first Russian McDonald's opened 22 years ago in the final days of the Soviet Union.

In a video uploaded by CBC, McDonald's became a part of the "culture revolution" as the first outlet opened to the public in Moscow on January 31, 1990.

According to the outlet, the citizens of Moscow began to line up in large crowds near Pushkin Square as early as 4am.

McDonald's Canada founder George Cohon used gigantic scissors to cut the ribbon on the enormous restaurant opening.

Once customers got inside, they lined up to get a taste of the American cuisine such as french fries, shakes and Big Macs.

One man speaking in Russian said he didn't like the food "at all "and that the food "isn't Russian."

Sign upto our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

"It's very beautiful, but I expected more, I think," another man said in English.

A woman, who was also speaking in Russian, admitted that she didn't know what she consumed, but it was "unusual and delicious."

"We're all hungry in this city we need more of these places. There's nothing in our stores or restaurants," the woman continued.

The restaurant, which was expected to be able to serve 15,000 meals a day, was not the only business to open under the McDonald's investment.

Outside of the city, CBC said $50m spent by the food giant went towards building a processing plant that was dedicated to producing 14,000 buns per hour. Three thousand tons of potatoes a day became fries, and 10,000 patties per hour were made and frozen.

However, the golden arch meals cost about half a day's wages which were steep for many citizens to try out.

"Seven or eight rubles for lunch. They're ripping us off," a man said.

Now, amid Russia's war against Ukraine, McDonald's has temporarily closed all 847 restaurants in the country.

"We understand the impact this will have on our Russian colleagues and partners, which is why we are prepared to support all three legs of the stool in Ukraine and Russia," said McDonald's president and CEO Chris Kempczinski in an open letter,

"Our values mean we cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine," he continued.

Kempczinski also noted that the company would continue to pay employees wages.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign,click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)