Man Handcuffs Himself To McDonald's Hours Before They All Close In Russia

Mason Joseph Zimmer
Russian police work to undo handcuffs after man chains himself to Moscow McDonald's
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As the Russian invasion of Ukraine worsens, a growing number of multinational corporations are deciding to suspend all business operations in Russia.

About 300 companies had announced they were pulling out of the nation by March 9 and while Disney had already announced they were pausing film releases in Russia by then, they would officially join that list two days later.

But while the loss of each of those 300 companies will likely have their own impacts on the life of the average Russian citizen, it seems that the one people will miss the most is McDonald's.

Part of that has to do with how emblematic the fast food chain has historically been as a marker of post-Soviet Russia, but it's also clear from the way people frantically lined up for their last Big Macs that they'll also miss the food itself.

And that's especially true for one man who took a drastic, if futile measure to keep Russia's first McDonald's from closing.

On March 13, a man identified as Luka Safronov was filmed standing at the landmark McDonald's location in Pushkin Square, Moscow with his hand cuffed to its doors.

Russian police work to undo handcuffs after man chains himself to Moscow McDonald's
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According to Newsweek, the video was taken just hours before McDonald's officially closed all 850 stores in the nation after 32 years of service.

When this location first opened in 1990, the Soviet Union was months away from collapsing and most people living in Russia would have never eaten fast food before.

As a result, 30,000 people would end up braving the harsh winter weather to try it.

And it seems that Safronov had that history deeply in mind over the course of his one-man protest.

Russian police work to undo handcuffs after man chains himself to Moscow McDonald's
twitter | @0419R7264968959

As Newsweek reported, he was heard yelling "Closing down is an act of hostility against me and my fellow citizens!"

In the background, we can see that he made his decision to handcuff himself to the restaurant's doors while other diners were still inside. Although some appeared amused at his demonstration, it's nonetheless hardly surprising that police would want to uncouple Safronov from the restaurant.

And from the full video, we can see that they eventually succeeded and arrested Safronov.

man being arrested by Russian police in Moscow
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Although he spoke with fervor while he was chained to the door, Safronov seemed to go quietly once his cuffs were unlocked and officers started leading him away.

In a statement announcing the temporary closures of all Russian McDonald's stores, the company's CEO cited the Ukraine invasion as a direct influence on this decision.

In his words, "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."

He also assured all 62,000 Russian McDonald's employees that they would continue to receive their salaries while the closures remain in effect.

h/t: Newsweek

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