Video of Long Car Queue Outside McDonald's Drive-Thru in Moscow Goes Viral

A video claiming to show a long queue of cars outside a McDonald's in Moscow after the fast food chain announced it would be closing restaurants across Russia has gone viral online.

In the footage, which has been shared across Reddit, Twitter and TikTok, hundreds of cars can be seen queuing to order from the drive-thru window of a branch of the Golden Arches said to be in the Russian capital.

According to one Twitter user, posting the video under the handle raging545, "the line of cars stretched almost a half mile."

In the video, which can be seen here, dozens of cars can be seen queuing outside a restaurant featuring the familiar glowing "M" associated with the McDonald's brand.

The camera then pans out to show even more cars further off behind, queuing around a roundabout and off into the distance, with many evidently desperate to get their hands on one final meal from the fast food chain.

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

The surge in demand was sparked by McDonald's announcement that it would be shuttering its 850 restaurants across Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine.

In a press release originally emailed to McDonald's employees and franchisees, CEO Chris Kempczinski said the company "cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine" and needed to take action.

"The conflict in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis in Europe has caused unspeakable suffering to innocent people," he wrote. "We join the world in condemning aggression and violence and praying for peace."

McDonald's has pledged to continue paying the salaries of "all McDonald's employees in Russia." The chain has also closed all of its restaurants in Ukraine and has pledged similar financial support for those workers impacted there.

Kempczinski said that it was "impossible to predict" when they may be able to reopen restaurants in Russia. The McDonald's CEO said the company's focus is now on providing help to the "large number of refugees who have been displaced by this conflict."

The closure of the fast food chain's restaurants across Russia was viewed as a symbolic moment by many on social media.

One Reddit user, posting as Anon12109, wrote under the video of the Moscow drive-thru queue that the opening of the first McDonald's in Russia was a "huge deal" to her husband, who grew up in the era of the Soviet Union.

"It symbolized the end of the Soviet era and Western influence being allowed into Russia," she said. "In many people's minds, McDonald's symbolizes a sort of hope of freedom and a better life. That's why this is such a big deal and why people are all lining up to get McDonald's while they still can."

Those sentiments were echoed by BBC journalist Steve Rosenberg on Twitter, who wrote: "In 1990 I was in the queue when McDonald's opened its 1st restaurant in Moscow: when iron curtains were crumbling & Russia was embracing the West.

"Today McDonald's announced it is temporarily closing its 850 restaurants in Russia. Hugely symbolic."

McDonald's announcement came on the same day Coca-Cola and Starbucks joined the growing list of companies to suspend business relationships or operations in Russia over the Ukraine invasion.

A McDonald's restaurant in Moscow, Russia.
A McDonald's restaurant in Moscow pictured on August 21, 2014. The fast food chain has announced it is shuttering 850 restaurants across Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine. ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images