Putin Occupies McDonald’s PlayPlace in Crimea, Refuses to Leave Without Wrestling Grimace

SEVASTOPOL, Russia – In response to McDonald’s decision to close its three Crimean restaurants “due to the suspension of necessary financial and banking services,” Russian President Vladimir Putin and members of the Russian Ground Forces have reportedly taken control of a McDonald’s PlayPlace in the Crimean capital of Sevastopol, refusing to leave unless Grimace—the purple blob-shaped McDonald’s mascot—defeats Putin in battle.

The standoff is yet another example of the rising tensions in the politically charged Crimean Peninsula, a region that has fallen victim to violence, a political tug-of-war between Russia and Ukraine, and most recently, economic punishment from McDonald’s.

“McDonald’s has forever held a special place in my heart,” said Putin. “I will not stand by, only to watch it gradually disappear from my home country. At least not without a fight.”

Crimea, a former region of Ukraine, was annexed by Russia in March, a political move that has changed Putin’s sentiment on the region, particularly when it comes to their McDonald’s locations.

“By wrestling Grimace shirtless, I will demonstrate to the people of Crimea—my new subjects—that I stand up for what my people believe in: Americanized fast food.”

The Battle Royale is set to take place later in the week when Yefgeny Kovalev, a Crimean middle-school teacher who moonlights as Grimace at children’s birthday parties, is available. Kovalev, who could not be reached for comment, is reportedly in the midst of grading midterms.

“Believe me, I don’t have anywhere to be or anything important to do,” said Putin. “I’ll wait as long as necessary for this weak, purple amoeba to show his face in the playhouse.”

The exact location for the fight has yet to determined, although the Russian President has suggested that wrestling in the ball pit would provide the best test of manhood.

“If he defeats me,” said Putin, “not only will I vacate our stronghold, I will also buy him a Happy Meal.”