McDonald's, Starbucks, Pepsi and Coca-Cola to pause operations in Russia amid Ukraine war

McDonalds has said it is temporarily closing all of its 850 restaurants in Russia. Credit: AP

McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Starbucks have said they're suspending operations in Russia.

Their moves come after a huge backlash from consumers concerned with the war in Ukraine. Numerous other companies across all aspects of the modern economy are facing calls to leave the country, with many announcing they will each day.

McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Pepsi - among the first western companies to operate in Russia towards the end of the Soviet Union - and Starbucks all announced their withdrawal from Russia on Tuesday.


McDonald's said it is temporarily closing all of its 850 restaurants in Russia in response to Russia's invasion.

The fast food giant's president and CEO Chris Kempckinski said it "cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine".

McDonald's said it will continue paying its 62,000 employees in Russia "who have poured their heart and soul into our McDonald's brand".

But in an open letter to employees, Mr Kempckinski said closing those stores for now is the right thing to do. The decision comes after the company faced a huge backlash, and people started to boycott the fast food chain.

Mr Kempczinski said it’s impossible to know when the company will be able to reopen its stores. McDonald’s has also temporarily closed 108 restaurants in Ukraine and continues to pay those employees. The company could take a big financial hit because of the closures, Russia accounts for 8% of its global revenues.


Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in an open letter to the brand's partners that it would suspend all business activity in Russia, in light of the "horrific attacks on Ukraine". He added that the shipment of all Starbucks products to Russia will also be paused.

The hot drinks brand "will provide support to the nearly 2,000 partners in Russia who depend on Starbucks for their livelihood", Mr Johnson said."Through this dynamic situation, we will continue to make decisions that are true to our mission and values and communicate with transparency".


In a brief, three-line statement, the fizzy drinks company said it would also halt operations in Russia.

"Our hearts are with the people who are enduring unconscionable effects from these tragic events in Ukraine," the statement said.

"We will continue to monitor and assess the situation as circumstances evolve."


"Given the horrific events occurring in Ukraine we are announcing the suspension of the sale of Pepsi-Cola, and our global beverage brands in Russia, including 7Up and Mirinda," Pepsi CEO Ramon Laguarta said.

However, Mr Laguarta added that Pepsi had a "responsibility" to continue selling some of its other products in Russia, namely essentials like milk, baby formula and baby food.

"By continuing to operate, we will also continue to support the livelihoods of our 20,000 Russian associates and the 40,000 Russian agricultural workers in our supply chain as they face significant challenges and uncertainty ahead," Mr Laguarta said.

Pepsi, McDonald's and Coca Cola were among the first western companies to begin operating in Russia towards the end of the Soviet Union.