McDonald’s restaurants reopened across Moscow on Sunday, minus the the name and American ownership but packing the same menu that drew big crowds to 850 restaurants across Russia.
“I’m excited to introduce our new name, Vkusno & tochka,” general director of the fast food chain Oleg Paroev told reporters hours before the first store reopened in Moscow’s Puskhin Square. The name translates to “Tasty and That’s It” or “Tasty, Period.”
McDonald’s suspended operations at all 850 of its restaurants in Russia on March 14, less than three weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine. Two months later McDonald’s announced it was withdrawing from Russia, 32 years after opening its first location in Pushkin Square. McDonald’s–sold the business to Russian businessman Alexander Govor.
The chain kept the previous workers and menu but changed the names. Fifteen restaurants reopened in Moscow and about 200 will be open by month’s end, Govor said.
“This is a historic place – the flagship of McDonald’s,” Govor told reporters. “I’m sure it will be the flagship for us.”
► Almost 300 Ukrainian children have died and 508 have been injured by Russian missiles and mortars targeting cities, Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office says. Most victims among children are from the Donetsk region of the Donbas.
►A Ukrainian counteroffensive pushed Russians out of parts of the southern Kherson region they took early in the war, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Moscow has installed local authorities in Kherson and other occupied coastal areas, offering residents Russian passports and introducing a Russian school curriculum.
►Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe said Beijing continues to support peace talks between Russia and Ukraine and hopes the U.S. and its NATO allies have discussions with Russia “to create the conditions for an early cease-fire.”
Ukrainian forces are defying expectations by preventing Russian troops from overrunning eastern Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly address.
“Do you remember how Russia hoped to capture the entire Donbas in early May? It is already the 108th day of the war, it is already June. Donbas is holding on,” Zelenskyy said.
Ukrainian and Russian authorities said Sievierodonetsk, an eastern city with a prewar population of 100,000, remained contested. The city and neighboring Lysychansk are the last major areas of the Donbas’ Luhansk province not under the control of the pro-Russia rebels.
Zelenskyy urged the world to hold Russia accountable for the deaths and destruction it has brought to his country. And he estimated that about 32,000 Russians have died.
“For what? What did it give you, Russia?” Zelenskyy said. “No one can say now how long this burning of souls by Russia will last. But we must do everything to make the occupiers regret that they have done all this.”