Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, American conglomerates like McDonald’s, Starbucks and KFC pulled out of the country entirely, devastating fast-food fans across Mother Russia, with one going so far as to handcuff himself to the doors of a McDonald’s in Moscow and shout, “Closing down is an act of hostility against me and my fellow citizens!”

@npr What is the Russian McDonalds? #NPR #Russia ♬ original sound - npr

While the brands we in the West know and love are gone from Russia, the desire to enjoy burgers and fries hasn’t dissipated, leading Russian companies to attempt to fill the void. Vkusno i Tochka, or “Tasty and That’s All” in English, took over for McDonald’s, with local licensee Alexander Govor buying the restaurants from McDonald’s following their exit last year. The store’s name and logo are different, but everything else is incredibly similar to McDonald’s branding, right down to the employee uniforms.

@bubi.milk My mum is visiting and has brought this historical gift from Russia. Mildly interesting fact: you may have heard that many brands are claiming to exit the country on account of the war, however mostly it’s just a façade as they perform some bureaucracy magic/rebranding and re-emerge with much the same offering. Classic capitalism, where making a point is important…but so are the profits #starbucks #starscoffee #russia #mildlyinteresting #coffee #fromrussiawithlove ♬ Icytwat X Ethereal Type Beat "Stars" - Bvtter

Meanwhile, fans of fried chicken can visit Rostic’s, which took over for KFC after KFC’s parent company transferred master franchise rights to a local company earlier this year. Given that Coca-Cola products are no longer being imported into the country, substitutes imported from Turkey help quench people’s thirst (and wash down all that fast food). Additionally, one of Coca-Cola’s former partners has released their own version known as Dobry, or Kind, Cola. Oh, and for those addicted to a different kind of caffeine, don’t worry — Stars Coffee has your back.

As NPR explains, these brands are succeeding because they took over directly from the Western companies upon their exit from Russia, allowing them to inherit corporate practices and local supply chains.

@stacy.kuza MacDonalds’s in Russia | breakfast edition #russia #macdonalds #lifeinrussia #macdonals #russialifestyle #russianbreakfast #macdonaldsrussia #vkusnoitochka #fupシ #lifeinrussia ♬ Funky Town(落雨) - 落花雨

For Western consumers so used to the original brands, the effect is somewhat uncanny (literally in the case of Coke) — products that look familiar at first glance until you take a closer look. As one commenter pointed out, it’s basically Lidl on a national scale. And as another, more cynical commenter argued, it highlights the fact that branded capitalism is bullshit.

What’s not bullshit? This delicious can of Dobry Cola. Будем здоровы!