Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. American companies scrambled to react. On March 8, McDonald's announced all stores in Russia and Ukraine would be "temporarily" closed. The announcement included language such as, "At the same time, our values mean we cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine. " and " We will also closely monitor the humanitarian situation."
Vladimir Putin expected the Ukrainian takeover to take a few days. McDonald's management was probably thinking in weeks or months.
Twelve days ago, this looked like a military matter, but it's now evident that Putin intends to exterminate as many Ukrainian people as possible. Few of us were around for World War Two, but the images coming out of Eastern Europe certainly look like the documentaries and movies we've viewed all our lives.
On March 8, Putin wasn't being called a war criminal; today, he is. Twelve days ago, Putin wasn't being compared to Adolf Hitler; today, he is. The civilized world has turned against him. That escalated quickly.
If the Putin government survives the year, Russia will be an impossible place to do business. Prominent symbols of Americana like McDonald's will be vilified by the government and permanently driven out of the country. If Putin loses his grip on power, there's no way to tell who will be in charge, and there's a chance of a Russian civil war.
Once all McDonald's stores in Russia are closed, they won't be reopening.
Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera recently said, "In three weeks Putin destroyed modern Russia."
It would be impossible for McDonald's to resume operations in a nation as it reverts to the dark ages.