Russia’s Rebranded McDonald’s Restaurants (Vkusno i tochka) Scribble Out Golden Arches On Sauce Packets

Russia’s McDonald’s restaurants reopened Sunday with a new name, logo, and menu, but the same sauce packets.

Staff at the rebranded fast-food chain scribbled out the McDonald’s logo on sauce packets with black pen, Reuters reported, with an image from the Agence France-Presse seemingly confirming this.

Vkusno & tochka, which Reuters translated as “tasty and that’s it,” opened 15 stores in and around Moscow on Sunday, including what was formerly McDonald’s flagship Russian restaurant in the city’s Pushkin Square.

Alexander Govor, a Russian businessperson, bought Russia’s McDonald’s restaurants after the burger giant said that continued ownership was “no longer tenable, nor is it consistent with McDonald’s values” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The hurried rebranding shows how Govor has tried to strike a balance between operating restaurants that will satisfy customers as a substitute for McDonald’s and not violating the company’s trademarks.

“We don’t have the right to use some colors, we don’t have the right to use the golden arches, we don’t have the right to use any mention of McDonald’s,” Govor told Reuters.

The huge lines of people waiting to get burgers in the days before Russian McDonald’s restaurants closed and the hefty price tags for its products on classified-ads sites showed the scale of its bulging Russian market. By clinging on to aspects of McDonald’s menu, branding, and store design, whenever possible, Vkusno & tochka can try win over loyal customers.

The famous golden arches have been scrapped, and Vkusno & tochka has a new logo made up of just one dot and two lines — or a burger and two fries — which appear in the shape of a large “M.”

Oleg Paroev, who was named as the CEO of McDonald’s Russia in February, and who has continued his role as CEO of Vkusno & tochka, said the restaurant interiors would remain the same but all traces of the McDonald’s name would be removed, Reuters reported.

Reuters reported that the chain largely used plain white packaging for fries and burgers, plain white drink cups, and plain brown paper takeaway bags. This is also evident in some of the photos of products on Vkusno & tochka’s website.

Though some dishes look familiar, Vkusno & tochka has no plans to sell Big Macs and McFlurrys.

“These names, these brands, their appearance and production technology” are too directly related to McDonald’s, Paroev said, according to The Journal.

Source: Business Insider

Russian Painting Worth €1 Million Ruined After Bored Security Guard Draws Eyes On Faceless Figures

A painting insured for €1 million has been vandalised by a “bored” security guard who drew eyes on the canvas on his first day of work.

Employees at Russia’s Yeltsin Center have sent Anna Leporskaya’s ‘Three Figures’, painted between 1932-1934, off for restoration after the art was vandalised with a museum-branded ballpoint pen.

Authorities confirmed on 8 February that the work had been defaced by a new security employee aged 60.

The unnamed employee since been dismissed from his position, reports The Art Newspaper Russia, who broke the story.

“His motives are still unknown but the administration believes it was some kind of a lapse in sanity,” the exhibition’s curator Anna Reshetkina said.

Leporskaya’s artwork depicting three faceless figures was on loan from the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow so it could feature at the Yeltsin Center’s abstract exhibition, titled ‘The World as Non-Objectivity. The Birth of a New Art’.

Two visitors spotted the addition of eyes on two of the figures during a visit on 7 December 2021.

Criminal proceedings against the employee were initially dismissed due to the assessment that the painting could be saved.

Mounting public pressure has lead to this being reconsidered under the charge of vandalism, which carries a sentence of a €468 fine and a one-year correctional labour in Russia.

The piece was sent to a restoration team at the State Tretyakov the day after the incident and is now being treated.

Restoration is expected to cost around €3,000 but experts are confident the painting can be saved without any serious damage to the original brush strokes.

Ink from the ballpoint pen is said to have only slightly penetrated the paint layer.

The Yeltsin Center confirmed they have installed protective screens over the rest of the exhibition to prevent copycats.

Source: Euronews Culture

Ukrainian Rapper Andy Cartwright Chopped Up And Fed To Rats By Wife After Affair With A Fan

A RAPPER was allegedly still alive when his wife chopped him up using a knife and hacksaw before she fed pieces of his body to rats.

Andy Cartwright was allegedly killed by his wife Marina Kokhal at their home in St Petersburg in a case that his shocked Russia.

Marina has admitted to dismembering Andy’s body – but claimed he died of a drug overdose and denies murdering him.

She claims she chopped up the 30-year-old’s remains so his fans would never know he had died such an “inglorious” death – and planned to report him as a missing person.

The 37-year-old remains the only suspect in the case and is currently under house arrest pending investigation.

His death came after she discovered he was having an affair with a 26-year-old fan.

Despite law enforcement’s efforts however, there was no evidence that she killed him.

But new forensic evidence suggests that Andy was still alive when he was dismembered and that he died from oxygen starvation, reports Russian media.

The bizarre case had been labelled in the press the “perfect murder” due to the lack of evidence and mysterious circumstances surrounding his death.

Sources told Russian media that Andy – real name Alexander Yushko – was in a state of “pronounced hypoxia” before he died.

Many of his organs were disposed of by Kokhal but the latest scientific evidence indicates the dismembering “occurred shortly – a few minutes, dozens of minutes – before death”.

Earlier, investigators had believed he died from an injection of a hard-to-trace insulin substitute drug intended for diabetics.

After she was held, Kokhal’s lawyers told how she was initially accused by detectives of “drinking her dead husband’s blood and having sex with his corpse”.

Some body parts were located in her fridge, others in bin liners intended for disposal, while his fingertips were fed to rats in the yard outside, it is alleged. 

Forensic experts say eight key organs were unavailable to them, namely his stomach, pancreas, oesophagus, gall and urinary bladders, intestines, adrenal glands, and prostate gland.

They were either missing or had been put through a washing machine, it was reported.

According to Komsomolskaya Pravda, “not a drop of blood” was found in his remaining body parts – yet he had a critically low level of glucose perhaps due to “drug administration”.

Marina and Andy’s child has been sent to an orphanage while the investigation continues – with the case due to return to court this month.

Defence lawyers earlier claimed that Kokhal was quizzed on “disgusting” and “sick” claims.

They said she was asked: “Did you taste his blood?”  

And it was alleged she “had sex with the corpse”.

Her defence claimed this questioning amounted to illegal coercion to testify by use of threats which allegedly included  taunts that investigators would find a “good orphanage” for her infant son when she was jailed. 

Source: The Sun

2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France

Really digging the 2024 Summer Olympics logo! It’s a 24 that mirrors The Eiffel Tower. I’m guessing the painterly brush aesthetic is a nod to Paris’ art & fashion culture too.

Having previously hosted the 1900 and 1924 Summer Olympics, Paris will become the second city to host the Olympic Games three times, along with London (1908, 1948, and 2012). The 2024 Games also mark the centennial of the 1924 Games. This will be the sixth overall Olympic Games held in France (including summer and winter Games).