After backlash from around the world several companies that were still operating in Russia have now made the decision to halt their services amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.
A statement released by McDonalds expressed that with the ongoing crisis it was against the company’s values to continue services but that over 62,000 Russian employees will still be paid.
“McDonald’s has decided to temporarily close all our restaurants in Russia and pause all operations in the market,” said McDonalds CEO Chris Kempczinski.
“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,”
“This include salary continuation for all McDonald’s employees in Russia.”
Mr Kempczinski continued to say that the Ronald McDonald House Charity will continue to operate in Russia to help children in need while the foundation will also provide humanitarian efforts and hospital assistance in Ukraine. Coca-Cola and Pepsi made similar announcements.
On Wednesday Coca-Cola said that “our hearts are with the people who are enduring unconscionable effects from these tragic events in Ukraine”, while adding that they are “suspending its business in Russia”. Pepsi has suspended all capital investments, ads, and promotional activity in Russia however PepsiCo will continue to sell baby formula and food as well as several dairy products.
These businesses join over 200 other companies that have ceased operations and services in Russia. Yale researchers have released a list of foreign owned businesses that are still operating in Russia with Nestle, Whirlpool, Mars, Hilton and Ferragamo among the corporations.
Although these brands have not yet ceased operations, many of them have come out in support of Ukraine with Nestle CEO Mark Schneider having stated that he “stand[s] with the international community in calling for peace”. Nestle has stated that they will donate up to $1million CHF in support of the Ukrainian people.
Many people online have weighed in on the announcements with one user @neko_girl92 saying “Hard to express how symbolic the closing of McDonalds is. There was no greater symbol of the opening of the USSR than McDonald’s in Pushkin Square. Russians lined up around the block. There was no end to the possibility of the new world if you could get a Big Mac in Moscow”. While user @unayukumari said “USA government… shutting down McDonalds and Coca-Cola in Russia thinking that this way they will feel pressured”.