McDonald's, Is That You? Russia Proposes New Copycat Chain Called Uncle Vanya's

·3-min read
People walk in front of the McDonald's flagship restaurant at Pushkinskaya Square, the first one of the chain opened in the USSR in 1990, in central Moscow on March 13, 2022, McDonald's last day in Russia. (Photo: - via Getty Images)
People walk in front of the McDonald's flagship restaurant at Pushkinskaya Square, the first one of the chain opened in the USSR in 1990, in central Moscow on March 13, 2022, McDonald's last day in Russia. (Photo: - via Getty Images)

McDonald’s may have left Russia but it seems the golden arches didn’t as a new fast-food chain called Uncle Vanya’s could take its place, complete with almost an identical logo.

Earlier this month, McDonald’s closed all 847 of its restaurants in Russia over the “needless human suffering” in Ukraine, caused by Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion.

The famous American chain first arrived in the final months of the Soviet Union in January 31, 1990, and became a symbol of American capitalism. The day it opened, more than 30,000 people queued for a taste of fast food.

When it announced its temporary closure on March 8, it had more than 62,000 employees in Russia and 850 restaurants and was seen as a pivotal moment separating Putin from the West.

However, just days later it appears that the Russian parliament could now be consider replacing McDonald’s with a chain called Uncle Vanya’s.

Its logo even has the same golden arches, just turned on its side so it looks like the letter B, which stands for the letter V (for Vanya) in Cyrillic script.

An application to patent the logo was filed after a politician – Russia’s state duma chairman Vyacheslav Volodin – said the country should have its own version of McDonald’s.

It’s not yet known if the brand will evolve into a restaurant, but here’s how people reacted on Twitter:

According to other reports, this is not the first trademark application which tried to lift McDonald’s world-famous logo, nor the first time a Russian company has tried to create a replica.

And it might not just be McDonald’s facing Russian imitations soon.

Since the war started, companies have rallied behind Ukraine by suspending their operations in Russia.

This includes all kinds of household names including Starbucks, Ikea, Unilever, H&M, Netflix and Heineken – and there are already copycat chains set up to replace several of them.

For instance, Crimean Fried Chicken (CFC) sells fried chicken buckets, and Starducks, sells coffee, while in the city of Kirov, a judge reportedly said Russians could make their own copies of Peppa Pig.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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