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Moscow, 1990: When The Big Mac Came To Town

Amid tensions between Moscow and the West, Russia has announced the closure of four McDonald's restaurants in the capital for "technical reasons." When the fast-food chain first opened in Russia nearly 25 years ago, it was hailed as a sign of thawing Cold War relations and crowds of Muscovites flocked to taste their first Big Mac.

Huge crowds line up outside Moscow's first McDonald's on Pushkin Square when it opened on January 31, 1990.
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Huge crowds line up outside Moscow's first McDonald's on Pushkin Square when it opened on January 31, 1990.

Muscovites were undeterred by the high prices at the new restaurant. Back in 1990, a Big Mac cost 3.50 rubles, more than a monthly bus pass. (The average monthly salary at the time was 150 rubles)
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Muscovites were undeterred by the high prices at the new restaurant. Back in 1990, a Big Mac cost 3.50 rubles, more than a monthly bus pass. (The average monthly salary at the time was 150 rubles)

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It wasn't all plain sailing for McDonald's in its early days in Russia. Here, Russian animal rights activists protest outside an outlet in 1992, claiming that meat is unhealthy for their compatriots. 
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It wasn't all plain sailing for McDonald's in its early days in Russia. Here, Russian animal rights activists protest outside an outlet in 1992, claiming that meat is unhealthy for their compatriots. 

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