McDonald's Still Open in Russia Despite Suspension, Video Shows

Multiple McDonald's restaurants remain open in Russia, despite the company officially shutting all locations throughout the country in response to President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

McDonald's Corporation announced on March 8 that it would temporarily close all 847 of its restaurants in Russia—nearly two weeks after the country's forces invaded Ukraine. Chris Kempczinski, chief executive of McDonald's, said the company "cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine."

McDonald's Russia also issued a statement on March 11 saying that it would temporarily suspend services in the country from March 14 "due to operational, technical and logistical difficulties."

However, the fast-food chain still appears to be operating in a number of locations, according to reports.

The press service of the company told state-run Russian news outlet RIA Novosti on Friday that some McDonald's restaurants operating in Moscow on a franchising basis continue to remain open.

"A number of McDonald's restaurants operating in Moscow on a franchising basis continue to provide services to visitors. In particular, restaurants have been opened at airports and at Leningradsky railway station, as well as MakExpress windows near Moscow metro stations," the company said.

Moscow24 also reported that branches in Moscow remain open. The outlet cited eyewitnesses as saying that employees could be seen unloading fresh burger buns in the city's Novokosino District.

A McDonald's employee told Moscow-based Russian-language news outlet Lenta.ru that a branch of the fast-food restaurant continues to operate at Moskovsky railway station in the Russian port city of Saint Petersburg.

The employee told the news outlet that customers were queuing outside the restaurant, and that the full menu was available.

Newsweek has been unable to independently verify the claims.

Elsewhere, in the Siberia province, McDonald's restaurants under Russian franchisee GiD Llc also remain in operation, the press service for the Russian company told TASS, Russia's largest and most prominent state-owned news agency.

McDonald's signed a deal with the company in 2015 to open fast-food restaurants in the region in the wake of the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia.

"McDonald's Enterprises in Siberia under the management of GID LLC continue their work. All employees work unchanged. We are open to our guests. All McDonald's in Siberia work normally. We don't create a new brand," the company's press service told TASS.

The company manages 25 McDonald's restaurants in Kemerovo, Novosibirsk, Tomsk regions, the Altai Republic, Altai and Krasnoyarsk Krai.

Newsweek has reached out to McDonald's for comment.

McDonald's was one of the first major restaurant chains to announce that it would suspend operations in Russia. Burger King, KFC, Starbucks, and Papa John's have also announced plans to pull out of the country.

Follow our live blog for updates on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

McDonald's Russia outlet
People sit on the terrace of a closed McDonald's restaurant, the first to be opened in the Soviet Union in 1990, in Moscow on August 21, 2014. Multiple McDonald’s restaurants remain open in Russia, despite the company officially shutting all locations throughout the country amid the Ukraine invasion. ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images