APN: Maccas Russia

Russia says goodbye to golden arches

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

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

As the Soviet Union crumbled, McDonald’s came to embody a thaw in Cold War tensions, and it was a vehicle for millions of Russians to sample American food and culture.

The release of the brand is now a strong symbol of how Russia and the West are once again turning their backs on each other.

McDonald’s announced last month that it was selling its restaurants in Russia to one of its local licensees, Alexander Govor. The deal marks one of the most high-profile trade departures since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

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

McDonald’s iconic golden arches have been taken down at sites in Moscow and St Petersburg, where they will make way for a new logo featuring two fries and a burger patty on a green background. The reopening will initially cover 15 locations in Moscow and the surrounding region.

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

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