Luka Safronov: McDonald's fan CHAINS himself to Russian outlet to stop it from closing down

The angry Russian McDonald's fan said closing down the outlet was an act of hostility against him and his fellow citizens


                            Luka Safronov: McDonald's fan CHAINS himself to Russian outlet to stop it from closing down
Luka Safronov handcuffed himself to the door of McDonald's and protested against the decision to halt operations (Reddit, Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Ever since McDonald's announced its decision to shut down all operations and outlets in Russia, fans have been going through a rollercoaster of emotions. Long queues were spotted outside the fast-food chain, videos showed cars lined up in a Moscow drive-thru and pictures showed customers lining the streets in the snow to have one last meal before McDonald's wrapped business due to the outrage over the Russia-Ukraine war.

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Luka Safronov, a Russian fan, chained himself to an outlet in Moscow on Sunday, March 13, in a desperate bid to stop it from closing down. The man was recorded staging his protest hours before the fast-food franchise was about to shut down. Footage shows him shouting, "Closing down is an act of hostility against me and my fellow citizens!"

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The 31-year-old, who is reportedly the son of Russian artist Nikas Safronov, handcuffed himself to the door of McDonald's and protested against the decision to halt operations. Customers can be seen walking past Safronov, while others laugh at his display of protest. Meanwhile, the police approached Safronov, uncuffed the handcuffs and dragged him away while a crowd filmed him. Financial Times journalist Max Seddon tweeted "The anti-war protests aren't the only ones in Moscow today. Hours before the first Russian McDonald's closes, Luka Safronov chains himself to the doors before police cart him off."

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"I, Luka Safronov-Zatravkin, a pianist, want to declare the violation of my international rights, freedom of self-expression, and also of genocide on social-cultural membership. I was born 31 October 1990 – just after 9 months after the foundation of the 1st McDonald's in Russia. This coincidence is likely to have had an impact on my further life. Together with me McDonald's different kinds of freedom came into my life. Freedom of choice, freedom of moving, freedom of translation of my own values and following them. Americans attracted us by their flavorings and haunting ads for many things. It's not only fast food," (sic) read Safronov's statement on Telegram.

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"Promoting everywhere their philosophy of tolerance and democracy they gave us the idea of free and independent way of thinking. We realized that it's possible to be different from others – and not to be ashamed of it, not to be punished for this. But what is going on nowadays? Blocking of our freedom everywhere, freedoms which have become an inseparable part of our life. I have always been a free person. I cannot understand why I am personally to blame to be punished in this way and forced to do what I don’t want to. Why do politicians from unfriendly to us countries force us, common peaceful citizens change our habitual way of life?!" (sic) he continued.

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"Those values which I have always translated into the world are also associated with body positive. I suppose that every person has the right of choice – how and in what way to bring his or her 'I (ego)' into this world if it doesn't violate freedom of other people, regardless of their color, shape of eyes and weight. My weight is more than 270 kg. It is my choice, my means of self-estimate and freedom. Up to now, I could follow my own principals and ideas, which I share with the whole mankind."

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"But I, a common peaceful citizen was deprived of this. Now I cannot have the food which I have been eating all my life. I cannot travel and see the world. I am deprived of those technologies which have been developed also thanks to my compatriot. Even our pets have to suffer because they have been eating one and the same food all their life. Now we are deprived of the very ideas of democracy and values of human rights, demonstrating that freedoms are fiction."

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"It is real genocide of common people because together with prohibitions all our moral and social postulates are destroyed. Now I declare with the full sense of responsibility that the ban for those brands with which life of Russian people is connected – is an economical and phycological genocide. I am speaking about McDonald's because this restaurant net has become the first gulp of fresh air in the far away 1990."

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"And now hamburgers from McDonald's are becoming the symbol of freedom violation. The first of all on behalf of the USA – the very state which proclaims human rights for every person throughout the world. This manifest is my peaceful protest against insult of my dignity, against violation of my freedoms. I address all common American citizens display their human position and influence the decisions of their politicians. People, think and stop!" Safronov concluded.

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Meanwhile, McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski's statement said, "The conflict in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis in Europe has caused unspeakable suffering to innocent people. As a system, we join the world in condemning aggression and violence and praying for peace. Our number one priority from the start of this crisis has been – and will remain – our people."

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"In the thirty-plus years that McDonald's has operated in Russia, we've become an essential part of the 850 communities in which we operate. At the same time, our values mean we cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine. McDonald's has decided to temporarily close all our restaurants in Russia and pause all operations in the market," Kempczinski added.

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"As we move forward, McDonald's will continue to assess the situation and determine if any additional measures are required. At this juncture, it's impossible to predict when we might be able to reopen our restaurants in Russia," the statement concluded.

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