McDonalds opened its first restaurant in Russia in Moscow in 1990—a grimly amusing sign of American progress as the Soviet Union teetered on the precipice of history. Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine 32 years later, it's shutting up shop.
"This is a complicated issue that's without precedent and with profound consequences," said McDonald's chief executive Chris Kempczinski in a message to staff and suppliers.
"Some might argue that providing access to food and continuing to employ tens of thousands of ordinary citizens, is surely the right thing to do," he added.
"But it is impossible to ignore the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine. And it is impossible to imagine the Golden Arches representing the same hope and promise that led us to enter the Russian market 32 years ago."
Note that the old saw about two countries with Mcdonald's never warring was hogwash the day Thomas Friedman wrote it, because of the U.S. invasion of Panama years earlier. Russia vs. Ukraine is only the latest in a growing list.