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• McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and the parent KFC and Pizza Hut are temporarily ceasing operations in Russia

Avellon Williams 

RUSSIA- As a result of the war in Ukraine, KFC and Plano-based Pizza Hut’s parent company announced Tuesday that it would suspend all investments and development in Russia. This is the first time a U.S. food chain has acted in this way. 

Yum Brands later upped the ante, announcing it will suspend all KFC restaurants and all Pizza Hut locations in Russia in partnership with its master franchisee.


Following Yum Brands’ announcement, several other large U.S. companies, including Starbucks and McDonald’s, took similar actions. 

Burger King is temporarily closing all 850 of its locations in Russia and pausing operations. As a result of its presence in Russia, the company faced mounting pressure in recent days to break its silence on the war raging in Ukraine.

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski /Courtesy/

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski wrote to employees and franchisees stating that “the situation is extraordinarily challenging” and “there are many considerations” to be made for a global brand such as theirs, but the call was made to close all locations for the time being because they “cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine.”

Kempczinski’s letter said despite the closures, McDonald’s will continue to pay all 62,000 employees in Russia. The company will continue to assess the situation and determine if additional measures need to be taken, he said.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson /Courtesy/

A letter from Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson also announced that the company will suspend all business activity in Russia. The letter said they will “immediately pause store operations and will provide support to the nearly 2,000 partners in Russia who depend on Starbucks for their livelihood.”

As part of the pushback against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have also suspended their sales in Russia. PepsiCo will continue to sell “daily essentials” such as baby formulas, baby food, and dairy products.

PepsiCo CEO, Ramon Laguarta /Courtesy/

Ramon Laguarta, CEO of PepsiCo, told employees in a letter, “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.”

“We will also be suspending capital investments and all advertising and promotional activities in Russia.”

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Avellon Williams