Following the footsteps of several major brands, McDonald’s announced on Tuesday, that it would be temporarily shutting down about 850 stores placed across Russia, as a symbol of solidarity towards Ukraine, which is currently under siege.
McDonald’s President and CEO Chris Kempckinski, who made the announcement, sing those stores, for now, is the right thing to do. He said the burger giant will continue paying its 62,000 employees in Russia “who have poured their heart and soul into our McDonald’s brand. Our values mean we cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine.”
Kempczinski added that it’s impossible to know when the company will be able to reopen its stores. “The situation is extraordinarily challenging for a global brand like ours, and there are many considerations,” Kempczinski wrote in a letter to employees. As it stands, McDonald’s has also temporarily closed 108 restaurants in Ukraine and continues to pay those employees.
Furthermore, McDonald’s said Tuesday it has donated more than $5 million to its employee assistance fund and to relief efforts. It has also parked a Ronald McDonald House Charities mobile medical care unit at the Polish border with Ukraine; another mobile care unit is en route to the border in Latvia, the company said.