The Washington Post

Burger King invades Crimea to supplant exiting McDonald’s

People outside a closed McDonald’s restaurant in the Crimean city Simferopol on April 4. McDonald’s has suspended work at its restaurants in Crimea for “manufacturing reasons.” (Reuters)
A man and a little girl look at a closed McDonald's in the Crimean capital Simferopol on April 4, 2014. US fast food giant McDonald's said today it was temporarily shutting its three stores in Crimea following the Ukrainian peninsula's annexation by Russia. AFP PHOTO/ YURIY LASHOVYURIY LASHOV/AFP/Getty Images
A man and a little girl, locked out of the Golden Arches. (AFP Photo)


In this terrain of political realism and Machiavellian statecraft, no opportunity that falls through the cracks of war shall go missed. Vladimir Putin and his Russian oligarchs know this.

And so does Burger King.

On Friday of last week, McDonald’s became the second international company to pull out of Crimea after citing “manufacturing reasons independent of McDonald’s.”

Now, less than a week later, Burger King has announced it will soon invade Crimea to fill the burger void. “We are planning to open in Crimea, but I cannot say when exactly it will happen or how many outlets the company will have,” Burger King Russia CEO Dmitry Medovy told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

In Russia, Burger King and McDonalds vie for supremacy. McDonald’s has been in the country since 1990.

According to the Moscow Times, Burger King has been in the country only since 2010, when its first spot opened in a Moscow shopping mall. In the last few years, it has surged to the No. 2 spot behind McDonald’s. Today, Burger King has 200 shops in Russia.

McDonald’s denies that politics precipitated its withdrawal, but the Moscow Times says it “hinted” at “logistical difficulties” associated with sanctions against Russia over its takeover of Crimea last month.

“Like many other multi-national companies, McDonald’s is currently evaluating potential business and regulatory implications which may result from the evolving situation in Crimea,” the company said in a statement, according to Reuters news agency. “Due to the suspension of necessary financial and banking services, we have no option but to close our three restaurants in Crimea.”

Its employees were told to look for jobs at its other restaurants in Ukraine. But only on the condition they were willing to accept the same position and salary.

Just because your territory was absorbed into another country doesn’t mean you deserve a raise.


Terrence McCoy covers poverty, inequality and social justice. He also writes about solutions to social problems.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments

Sign up for email updates from the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

You have signed up for the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

Thank you for signing up
You'll receive e-mail when new stories are published in this series.
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Making family dinnertime happen
How to make Sean Brock's 'Heritage' cornbread
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Play Videos
Drawing as an act of defiance
In search of the Delmarva fox squirrel
The most interesting woman you've never heard of
Play Videos
This man's job is binge-watching for Netflix
The Post taste tests Pizza Hut's new hot dog pizza
5 tips for using your thermostat
Play Videos
Philadelphia's real signature sandwich
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Next Story
Nick Kirkpatrick · April 10, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.