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Starbucks, McDonald’s and Others Pause Operations in Russia


When McDonald’s opened its doors in Moscow’s Pushkin Square in 1990, it was welcomed by more than 30,000 Russians who happily waited hours in line, eager to spend a sizable chunk of their daily wages for a taste of America.Through burgers and fries, a food diplomacy was forged, one that flourished over the past three decades as corporations like McDonald’s and PepsiCo, private investment firms, and individuals plunged billions of dollars into building factories and restaurants to bring food, culture and good-old American capitalism to Russia. It was perestroika and glasnost sandwiched between two buns.“McDonald’s was more than the opening of a simple restaurant,” Marc Carena, a former managing director of McDonald’s Russia, told Voice of America in 2020 when the Golden Arches celebrated the 30th anniversary of its first location in what was the Soviet Union. “It came to symbolize the entire opening of the U …

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