Russian man's desperate act to save McDonald's store as sanctions bite

·News Editor
·3-min read

A Russian McDonald's fan has handcuffed himself to the door of a restaurant in Moscow in protest of the chain temporarily closing down their eateries across the nation.

Last week, McDonald’s Corp announced it will pause operations in all 850 of its Russian restaurants following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Luka Safronov-Zatravkin, a well-known pianist, handcuffed himself to the door of the restaurant in Pushkin Square, Moscow, on Sunday (local time) claiming the closures were taking away his freedom.

Surrounded by police, Mr Safronov-Zatravkin yelled; “they don’t have the right to close down!” and “closing down is an act of hostility against me and my fellow citizens!”, according to translations from several Russian-speaking journalists.

Luka Safronov-Zatravkin is surrounded by police officers outside a McDonald's store in Moscow.
Luka Safronov-Zatravkin handcuffed himself to the door in protest of McDonald's announcing a temporary closure of all stores in Russia.

Crowds gathered both inside and outside the restaurant and watched as police tried to cut the handcuffs to remove him.

A short time later the musician, who was wearing a hoodie with his own name written across the front, was led away by police.

Posting to Facebook after the incident, the musician said he was let off “lightly” with a fine.

McDonald's decision to close the stores is reportedly set to cost the fast-food giant US$50 million a month until they reopen.

McDonald’s protest slammed online by furious viewers

Mr Safronov-Zatravkin became the target of intense criticism online after his public display went viral.

“People are dying and you have the impudence to cry in front of McDonald’s?” one person wrote. “You are disgusting.”

“Boy... you are not as fat as you are stupid. You'll get really slim quite soon... More sanctions to come,” another said.

A furious resident of Ukraine described the heartache of the war in sharp contrast to Mr Safronov-Zatravkin’s McDonald’s protest.

“Luka… I watched your action at McDonald's today. Are you very hungry? Did you have a protest that is so unfair?

“We also have misunderstanding and our hearts are broken when our children die under rubble of houses, die of dehydration when cities are destroyed.

“ALL [of] UKRAINE WISHES YOU BON APPETIT and find your cherished hamburger and diet coke.”

Russians auction off McDonald’s items at hugely inflated prices

After McDonald’s announced the impending closure of stores around the country, opportunists took to Avito – a Russian auction site similar to eBay – to sell menu items for sharply marked up prices.

One meal, consisting of two burgers, a large drink, a small drink and a cherry pie was listed for 7500 Russian rubles, which is approximately $94 Australian dollars.

Other items listed included a single cherry pie for the equivalent of A$25, and a sachet of cheese sauce for A$12.55.

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