October 4, 2022

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Pro-Putin rapper reopens former Starbucks cafes in Russia | Russia

The pro-Putin rapper has reopened the coffee shop chain that was previously owned by her Starbucks Under a new name, Stars Coffee, the latest high-profile rebranding of a major Western chain after an unprecedented corporate exodus from Russia.

On Thursday, rapper Timati and restaurateur Anton Pinsky, the duo that acquired the rights to the chain in RussiaHe attended the opening of the first of the 130 coffee shops previously owned by Starbucks. During the opening in central Moscow, the couple also revealed the chain’s new logo, which replaces the famous Starbucks whistle with a woman dressed in traditional Russian attire. kokoshnik Headgear, but somewhat similar.

Seattle-based Starbucks announced in May that it was exiting the Russian market after nearly 15 years, joining hundreds of other major Western brands that left the country after Moscow invaded Ukraine.

Dozens of Western companies have since agreed to sell their assets to pro-Kremlin Russian businessmen, at deep discounts. Russian authorities are actively encouraging takeovers, which are intended to relieve ordinary Russians that they can continue to live Western lifestyles amid the country’s growing isolation.

Timati, whose real name is Timur Yunusov, was a staunch supporter of the Russian president, Russian President Vladimir Putinas well as describing him as a friend of the Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov.

In 2015, the rapper released a song called “My Best Friend is Vladimir Putin” that describes the president as a “superhero”. Timati was also behind a pro-government song called Moscow, in which he boasted that the Russian capital “does not hold gay rallies.” It became the most “hated” song in the history of Russian YouTube.

The reopening of Starbucks marks the second high-profile rebranding of a Western restaurant chain after the previous McDonald’s re Their operations are under a new name, Vkusno & tochka (“Delicious and that’s it”).

Vkusno & tochka has since been crippled by Western sanctions, and it is struggling to maintain its old menu, forcing the company to temporarily stop serving French fries and potato wedges.

It was not immediately clear what would be on the menu of the new coffee chain.

Soon after the acquisition of Starbucks in Russia, Timati vowed not to “disappoint millions of coffee lovers” in the country: “We have the opportunity not only to change the label, but to make a real case for a wonderful import substitution!”

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