A Fast-Food Symbol of America Falls in Moscow
The Pushkin Square restaurant — a symbol of the thawing of the Cold War when it became the first McDonald’s in the Soviet Union, in 1990 — was one of four in Moscow that the Russian government ordered closed on Wednesday. The official reason given by Rospotrebnadzor, the country’s consumer protection agency, was “numerous violations of the sanitary code.”
Ms. Parmanova and other would-be customers did not buy it for a minute, insisting that the bitter conflict between Russia and the West over Ukraine was to blame.
“It’s political,” she said. “If they really cared about people’s health, they wouldn’t have allowed it to open in the first place. It’s only because of a conflict between the presidents that it has been shut down.”
Maybe President Vladimir V. Putin doesn’t like hamburgers? “Putin doesn’t like Obama,” Ms. Parmanova shot back.