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Moscow residents say their goodbyes to McDonald's

STORY: The American fast-food chain laid out plans to sell all its restaurants after operating in the country for more than 30 years following Russia's decision to send troops into Ukraine in February.

"It's sad, of course," customer Stella told Reuters Monday, "because I'm already used to eating my favorite ice cream, which I came here for today. But basically, when something new is coming it's only natural, so we'll wait and see. Maybe it'll be even better."

Other Muscovites were less worried, expressing hope that whatever eventually replaced the world-famous burger chain might have its own benefits.

Moscow resident Nikita told Reuters, "Somehow I managed to live for 18 years without McDonald's in Siberia, and everything was pretty good. I don't think the Russian economy will falter due to McDonald's exit (from Russia). Really, nothing bad has happened. It'll return under a different brand with a slightly different-looking menu. That's it."

McDonald's had in March decided to close its restaurants in the country, including the iconic Pushkin Square location in central Moscow - a symbol of flourishing American capitalism in the dying embers of the Soviet Union.

Though a vast majority of the stores in Russia are closed, a few franchised stores have stayed open, cashing in on the sky-rocketing popularity of McDonald's.

Over the weekend, long queues were seen at the restaurant in Moscow's Leningradsky train station, one of the capital's only branches that was open, social media footage showed.

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