What the Moscow opening of McDonald's in 1990 meant for Russia as the Cold War thawed

Watch ITV's report on Moscow's first McDonald's in 1990 as the Cold War appeared to thaw

McDonald's has announced it is temporarily closing almost 1,000 stores in Russia due to the war in Ukraine in an ominous turn for a company whose first restaurant in Moscow was seen as a sign the Cold War had thawed.

The company was one of the first US fast food companies to open a store in Russia in January 1990.

ITV News archive shows the opening as thousands of Russians lined up on opening day before dawn to try hamburgers - many for the first time - at the first McDonald’s in Moscow.

By the end of the day, 30,000 meals had been rung up on 27 cash registers, an opening-day record for the company.

Many people were so excited at the time about western products arriving in Moscow they joined the queue without knowing what the queue was for.More than 27,000 people applied for waiter jobs and just 600 were hired. The prime requirement was that they smiled at the customers.

Listen to ITV News' latest analysis on the Ukraine crisis in our podcast:

But on Tuesday McDonald’s President and CEO Chris Kempczinski said: “Our values mean we cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine.”

He announced 850 stores would be closed without saying when they would reopen.

Mr Kempczinski added that McDonald's would continue to pay their wages, at considerable cost to the company. They made a similar move in Ukraine.

Many other big-name brands like Coca Cola, Mastercard and Starbucks have pulled out of Russia in recent days in response to the invasion of Ukraine.