Copycats of McDonald's and Other Fast-Food Chains Are Popping Up Here
Since the war in Ukraine began, Western companies have been pulling out of business in Russia.
Now, copycats of McDonald's and other fast-food chains that have since closed are popping up throughout Russia—and the bootleg restaurants are all being approved by the Russian government.
This week, according to Insider, Russia's trademark regulator fielded a trademark application for a McDonald's imitator brand called "Uncle Vanya." The logo for the brand includes McDonald's famous golden arches, but rotated 90 degrees and formed into the Russian letter "В," which sounds like the English "V" for "Vanya."
The Russian government indicated earlier this month that it would allow individuals to use patents and trademarks, including brand names, from so-called "unfriendly countries" without permission.
Bootleg versions of Western brands have been operating for several years in breakaway regions of Ukraine.
Crimea, for instance, has been occupied by Russian forces since 2014. That's where several Starducks locations operate (a knock-off of Starbucks) that sell coffee, tea, and cocoas.
Fried chicken fans can go to Crimean Fried Chicken, or CFC, which sells buckets of chicken in addition to burgers, barbecue, and chicken sandwiches. It uses the motto "I'm good here!" on its website and in its six restaurants around the Crimean city of Sevastopol.
This may continue to be the case in Russia as the war goes on in Ukraine.