Starbucks Opens With A Whimper
It's a sign of how much things have changed in Moscow since 1990 that when Starbucks opened its first branch here last week no one batted an eyelid.
The same could not be said of McDonalds first outlet, which caused a national sensation when it opened in 1990 and had thousands of Muscovites queuing up for hours for their first taste of American food and drink.
These days American, Italian, French, German and just about every other cuisine can be found in abundance in the capital, whilst the logos of international companies proliferate the city and no self-respecting citizen leaves the house without at least one item of Western branded-clothing.
Indeed there are many who say that Moscow is now the most capitalist city in the world. Well it's certainly the most expensive - a large mocha coffee will set you back an exorbitant 4.50 pounds, 35 percent more than in London, a city known in the rest of the world for its costliness.
If you're thinking of coming to Moscow for a taste of the good old days you're at least five years too late!