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McDonald’s presses pause on Russian operations, closes restaurants

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By Kenneth Hein | US Editor

March 8, 2022 | 3 min read

McDonald’s has announced that it will temporarily shutter its restaurants, as well as pause operations, in Russia. The burger giant is just the latest major corporation to suspend its business or close its doors in Russia as a result of the conflict in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis in Europe.

McDonald's

McDonald's has halted its Russian operations. / Adobe Stock

McDonald’s is shutting down in Russia, at least for the forseeable future. Chief executive Chris Kempczinski first informed McDonald’s employees and franchisees earlier today that it will close its restaurants temporarily as well as pause all operations.

“The conflict in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis in Europe has caused unspeakable suffering to innocent people. As a system, we join the world in condemning aggression and violence and praying for peace,” wrote Kempczinski in an e-mail to staff and franchisess. “Our number one priority from the start of this crisis has been – and will remain – our people.”

Amid the conflict, McDonald’s will continue to pay the salaries of its Ukrainian employees. It has also donated $5 million to its Employee Assistance Fund and is a supporter of International Red Cross relief efforts.

The chain, which has been in the Russia for more than 30 years, currently has 62,000 employees in 850 communities throughout the country. It has vowed to continue to pay the salaries of all McDonald’s employees in Russia throught the hiatus a well.

Additionally, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) will continue to operate in Russia alongside RMHC Ukraine in partnering with local hospitals and providing humanitarian aid.

Earlier today, Procter & Gamble announced it will cease advertising in Russia joining a flurry of companies including Nike, Apple, ad giant WPP and Accenture that have stopped doing business within Russia in protest of its invasion of Ukraine.

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