Russian pianist Luka Safronov, son of prominent Russian artist Nikas Safronov, handcuffed himself to the doors of a McDonald’s restaurant in Moscow on Sunday to protest the company’s decision to withdraw from the country in light of the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine.
Safronov, who is a body positivity activist and weighs over 270 kilograms said that he doesn’t want to change his lifestyle and accused America of spending the last 30 years getting Russian people hooked on McDonald’s and preaching that people can be accepted for who they are, no matter how big they are, only to take it all away and force people to change their habits. He said that the sanctions against Russia are being aimed at regular people like him.
“The situation is extremely tense and today I decided to act. I was born on October 31, 1990 - exactly 9 months after the opening of the first McDonald’s in Russia. Perhaps this coincidence had an influence on my whole life,” said Safronov.
“The Americans have tamed us with their flavorings and intrusive advertisements and have gotten us hooked on many things,” he continued, accusing the West of taking away the freedoms of Russians.
“Why do politicians from unfriendly countries make us, regular people, forcefully change our way of life? The values for which I have always stood, including body positivity. I think every person has the right to choose. I weigh over 270 kilograms and that’s my choice, my form of self expression and my freedom,” claimed Luka. “Today, the food which I have eaten all my life is being taken away from me. I am being robbed of opportunities to travel and get to know the world.”
Safronov also defended the rights of pets, which will now have to be switched to different brands of feed, since the most popular pet foods are produced in the West, and accused the US of committing genocide despite being the ones who talk about freedom the most.
Luka was eventually detained by police for the unsanctioned protest and removed from the property.