Russians selling McDonalds food online at hugely inflated prices after chain closes restaurants

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Russian people are selling McDonald’s food online at hugely inflated prices after the American chain announced it was to close its restaurants in the country in protest at the invasion of Ukraine.

McDonald's is shutting roughly 850 restaurants in Russia over the “needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine”. Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. Thousands of lives have been lost and millions have fled their homes.

In response to the announced closures, customers turned to Avito, a Russian auction site similar to eBay, in the hope of making money on the soon-to-be-unavailable food items.

One meal, consisting of two burgers, two drinks and a cherry pie was listed, with the seller asking for 7,500 Russian rubles, equivalent to £47 (as of 3pm on Wednesday).

The buyer would need to collect the meal, which was purchased fresh on 9 March, from an address in Moscow.

Other snacks for sale included a cherry pie, listed at 2,000 rubles (£12), and a sachet of cheese sauce listed at 1,000 rubles.

This meal had an asking price of 7,500 Russian rubles, equivalent to nearly £50 (Avito)
This meal had an asking price of 7,500 Russian rubles, equivalent to nearly £50 (Avito)

After reports of the inflated prices spread on social media, people began to make a joke of the situation, listing pots of McDonald’s ketchup for 1,000,000 rubles and one of the fast-food restaurant’s empty crumpled paper bags at 5,000 rubles.

Russians were selling McDonald’s food online (Avito)
Russians were selling McDonald’s food online (Avito)

Announcing the closure of all McDonald’s sites on Tuesday, the company’s president and CEO Chris Kempczinski said: "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.

“In Russia, we employ 62,000 people who have poured their heart and soul into our McDonald’s brand to serve their communities. We work with hundreds of local, Russian suppliers and partners who produce the food for our menu and support our brand. And we serve millions of Russian customers each day who count on McDonald’s.”

He added: “In the thirty-plus years that McDonald’s has operated in Russia, we’ve become an essential part of the 850 communities in which we operate.

“At the same time, our values mean we cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine.”

McDonald’s said it would continue to pay full salaries for all Ukrainian and Russian staff.

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