When Russia recently shut down the famous McDonald’s in Pushkin Square—famous because of its symbolic importance as the first McDonald’s opened in the country—we noted that there might be a glimmer of hope for the MacDonald’s peace theory after all. That theory states that countries with McDonald’s branches won’t go to war with each other; we speculated that perhaps if they do then go to war, one of them will close up their restaurants. Since then, officials have stepped up closures of the fast food chain, as the WSJ reports:
By Friday a total of 12 McDonald’s restaurants had been shut down by Rospotrebnadzor, Russia’s state consumer regulator, over alleged sanitary violations—up from eight on Thursday—and an unprecedented 100 outlets were being inspected, up from several last week, the company said in a statement Friday. […]The closure of some of those restaurants, including Russia’s first iconic McDonald’s restaurant that opened in Pushkin Square in 1990, was upheld by Russian courtsWednesday.
This is clearly part of Putin’s overall plan to “deWesternize” his country, setting it apart from Western influences and culture. In the past, he’s done this by getting cozy with the Orthodox church, closing adoption agencies to U.S. parents, and stigmatizing homosexuality. Now he’s attacking one the biggest symbols of “evil Western globalization”: the golden arches. The symbolism is clear: at least publicly, Russia once again wants nothing to do with the West.