RUSSIA has renamed its McDonald’s chain after a ballistic missile being used to blitz Ukraine in a pointed jibe after all restaurants were sold off.
The fast-food giant, which first opened in Russia 30 years ago as the Soviet Union crumbled, had 847 stores in the country until the US giant decided to pull the plug last month.
Now, a new dawn for the country’s fast-food lovers has emerged as former McDonald’s restaurants today reopen under a new branding and ownership after being bought up by Putin’s pal Alexander Govor.
The chain has been renamed “Vkusno i Tochka”, or “Tasty full stop”, in a chilling taunt over the war as it shares its name with the OTR-21 Tochka-U ballistic missile being used by Russian troops blasting Ukrainians.
McDonald’s iconic Golden Arches have been stripped from the sites being reopened in Moscow and St Peterburg.
The logo has been replaced by a fresh one made up of two fries and a “red dot” hamburger patty against a gree background.
Today, 15 branches will throw their doors open in Moscow and the surrounding region.
The relaunch has begun on Russia Day, a patriotic holiday celebrating the country’s independence, at the same flagship location in Moscow’s Pushkin Square where McDonald’s first opened in Russia in January 1990.
Oleg Paroyev, the director-general of the new group, said: “The new name is Vkusno i Tochka. Our goal is that our guests do not notice a difference either in quality or ambiance.”
He told a press conference in Moscow a further 50 restaurants are expected to open across Russia tomorrow, with around 200 ready for business by the end of June.
It’s understood some favourites such as the Big Mac burger and McFlurry ice cream will not be on the new menu.
McDonald’s opened its first branch in Moscow’s Pushkin Square in 1990, as 30,000 people queued up to have their first Big Mac.
However, because of low Russian wages, it was a luxury in the country at the time.
But the US giant ditched its branches in Russia last month as Putin’s war raged on – leaving Ukraine’s landscape littered with debris amid severe levels of bloodshed.
The company said: “The humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, and the precipitating unpredictable operating environment, have led McDonald’s to conclude that continued ownership of the business in Russia is no longer tenable.”
When McDonald’s announced it was closing its Russian restaurants in March, one devastated fan stocked up his fridge with 50 burgers.
Others tried to make some money by selling McDonald’s food on auction sites.
One advert for a “still warm” full meal consisting of a double Big Mac, a double royal, two large portions of chips, 18 McNuggets, and mozzarella dippers was on sale for £255.
Another distraught fan chained himself to a McDonald’s branch in protest in a bid to stop it from closing down.