Russia Plans McDonald's Alternative, Turning the Golden Arches Sideways

Russia has suggested opening its own fast food restaurant chain in place of McDonald's with a logo that looks strangely similar to the fast food giant's.

The speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, last week reflected on McDonald's decision to join other Western companies that had halted operations in Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

"McDonald's announced that they are closing. Well, good, close down," Volodin told the lawmakers, according to a report in the British newspaper the Express.

"Tomorrow there won't be McDonald's, but Uncle Vanya's."

On Wednesday, the executive director of Bellingcat, a Netherlands-based investigative journalism group, Christo Grozev, posted an image of Russia's proposed "Uncle Vanya's" restaurant logo on his Twitter page.

He captioned the tweet: "The Russian fast-food chain that Russian Parliament's speaker has proposed replace McDonald's has filed for this trademark. Not kidding."

The logo features the same color scheme as the McDonald's logo with the arches in yellow on a red background. The only difference is the famous "M" has been turned on its side and now has a yellow line connecting the two points, resembling the letter "B", which equates to a "V" in English.

One person in the comment section criticized the logo and noted that a faint vertical line can be seen where the arches join the additional line.

Newsweek has contacted McDonald's for comment.

McDonald's announced on March 8 it would temporarily close all its restaurants in Russia but would continue to pay its 62,000 employees there.

"At this juncture, it's impossible to predict when we might be able to reopen our restaurants in Russia," McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski said in a statement.

Responding to reports that Russia had drawn up plans to seize the assets of Western companies leaving the country, the Biden administration said last week that any attempt to seize assets from American companies would result in "more economic pain" for Russia.

Following McDonald's decision to close its stores, videos began appearing on social media that showed long lines at its restaurants in Russia.

Newsweek previously reported on a video that went viral across Reddit, Twitter and TikTok that showed hundreds of cars queuing for customers to make their last orders before the stores closed.

There were similar lines on foot too with Irish journalist Jason Corcoran tweeting a picture of a long line forming outside the McDonald's in Moscow's Pushkin Square.

A man also decided to stock up on McDonald's goods, after the chain's announcement, and the picture of his overflowing fridge went viral last week.

A Reddit user, noahstemann, highlighted his friend's dedication not to be affected by McDonald's shutting its doors.

Noah told Newsweek: "I myself counted 61 burgers in there and there's more stuffed behind. He just really likes McDonald's and wanted to stock up."

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

Seating area of the first McDonald's to be opened in the Soviet Union in 1990, in Moscow on August 21, 2014. Russia proposes nationalizing McDonald’s, turning signs sideways. Alexander Nemenov/Getty Images/ Christo Grozev

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