Don’t lovin’ it! Exasperated Russians are being served moldy hamburgers at their replacement McDonald’s restaurants, after the chain left the country due to the invasion of Ukraine.

Images circulating on the internet show sandwiches all dressed up, mold and critter paws included, reports the British media Daily Mail.

Yet when it replaced McDonald’s, Vkousno i totchka promised that the experience would be « the same, but different. »

McDonald’s restaurants across Russia have been caught serving moldy burgers to exasperated customers after the chain left the country due to the invasion of Ukraine.

McDonald’s Corporation withdrew completely from Russia earlier this year, selling all the restaurants it owned to a local licensee in May. 50 restaurants in and around Moscow reopened in June under the new name Vkusno & Tochka, or “Tasty and that’s it”.

But customers have complained of mold on their hamburger buns at several establishments, according to Ksenia Sobchak, a television celebrity and the most senior politician in Russia’s opposition.

Vkusno & Tochka sells moldy hamburgers,” Ms. Sobchak posted on her Telegram channel, adding: It seems that they don’t really meet McDonald’s standards, at least in terms of product quality control. Today, at least three cases have been recorded of hamburgers with moldy buns being sold to customers…. Two of them were for my subscribers.’

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When he took over the McDonald’s outlets, Vkusno & Tochka promised « the same thing but better. » Some customers, however, have doubts.

One said: « I don’t think it’s good when you find mold. » Photos show the sinister mold and Sobchak told management: « Find a solution, guys, you don’t need to poison people. »

The new Russian chain also complains about a lack of meat in cheeseburgers and cheese sauces whose use-by date has passed. Some consumers posted images of “bug legs” in their food.

Consumers also protested that the fries were « sad » compared to real fries from McDonald’s, which had been present in Russia – then the USSR – since 1990. New packaging replaced the old ones, and the arches of gold have disappeared.

Vkusno & Tochka CEO Oleg Paroev said all 850 former McDonald’s restaurants would be open by September under the new name.

Russia’s first McDonald’s opened in the heart of Moscow more than three decades ago, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was a strong symbol of the easing of Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union.

McDonald’s was the first American fast food restaurant to open in the Soviet Union, which ultimately collapsed in 1991.

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McDonald’s decision to leave the country comes as other US food and drink giants, including Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Starbucks, have suspended or closed operations in Russia due to Western sanctions.

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