The whole world has been pretty pissed off at Russians all year. First, it was because they passed anti-gay laws right before the Olympics; then they invaded Ukraine and, most recently, because they may have shot down a passenger plane for no reason. So yeah, the international community's anger is more than warranted.
But Russia isn't about to learn from its mistakes and vow to be better-behaved from here on out. If the rest of the world hates Russia, Russia's going to hate the rest of the world right back.
A prime example of that mentality is this week's demand by a Russian consumer watchdog agency. They want the sale of certain McDonald's menu items, like burgers and soft-serve, to be deemed illegal due to a plethora of "violations" their agents observed in regards to sanitation, production and validity of the nutritional content information made available to clients.
The agency, by the way, like most authoritative organizations in Russia, is known for being a Kremlin ally. This means they're more than happy to help the government on their current mission, which is to punish the west and encourage anti-western and anti-American sentiments all across the land.
So, by cracking down on McDonald's, which is very symbolic of the United States to most Russians, what officials are really doing is giving America the proverbial middle finger...and riling Russians up against the chain. Because, again, the U.S and McDonald's go hand-in-hand; if you can make people hate one, they'll automatically hate the other.
In fact, every time Russia gets slapped with sanctions or reprimanded for being bad by other nations, you can be almost certain that Russia's state-run media will soon be going on about how terrible McDonald's is for whatever reason they can cling to. The golden arches have become Russia's go-to punching bag whenever the whole world seems to be against them "“ which is pretty often.
It's not just Kremlin officials either. Many Russian citizens have hopped on the anti-McDonald's bandwagon as well...how could they not, when their government and news outlets are vigilant in making sure they do just that?
Just a couple months ago, when Russian businesses and government figure-heads were being sanctioned left and right after the invasion and annexation of Crimea, Russia's most brainwashed launched a petition (on change.org nonetheless) to have McDonald's banned in Russia altogether. The petition currently has, believe it or not, 23, 608 thousand signatures, but I'd be hard-pressed to believe that at least half of them didn't eat at a McDonald's restaurant at least one week before or after voicing their support for this "cause." And that's because wanting to shut down McDonald's doesn't have anything to do with how unhealthy its food is (as the majority of comments on the petition claim the issue to be). Wanting to shut down McDonald's is an expression of patriotism in Russia. It implies the rejection of western ideals, independence ("we don't need your fast-food chains, we have our own fast-food chains"), and support for President Putin "“ whose actions die-hard patriots never question, even if the rest of the world sees them as immoral or downright illegal.
At the end of the day, Russia's hostility towards the west, towards the U.S and towards poor McDonald's is the result of a major nation-wide inferiority complex. It's the equivalent of saying, "who needs you?" to someone you've just been rejected by when you're actually super hurt. And while it might be fashionable (in certain circles) to talk smack about McDonald's and everything it stands for, Russian's actually love fast food, watch American movies, listen to American bands and follow American fashion. They emulate American culture, but because of rampant economic struggles, alcoholism, government corruption and poor infrastructure, Russians also know they'll never really live the lifestyle they secretly covet.
Unfortunately, their unwavering sense of pride doesn't allow most Russian to acknowledge that they are less fortunate than others, or admit to being jealous. So instead of facing the truth and working to better their own situation, Russians prefer to punish prosperous nations and convince themselves that the countries they secretly envy are actually terrible places. Yes, in Russia stubbornness wins over logic every time.