McDonald’s, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, as well as PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are withdrawing from Russia following mounting criticism over their operations in the country.

McDonald’s led the exodus with an announcement that the company had decided to temporarily close all restaurants and pause all operations in the market over the war in Ukraine.

CEO Chris Kempczinski told employees and franchisees that the company values mean “we cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine”.

He said McDonald’s would go on paying salaries to its 62,000 employees in Russia as it closed its 847 corporate restaurants.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said the coffee company had decided to suspend all business activity in Russia, including shipment of all Starbucks products.

The coffee company’s licensed partner has agreed to pause store operations and will provide support to the nearly 2,000 partners in Russia.

Meanwhile, Yum! Brands said it was suspending operations of KFC company-owned restaurants in Russia and finalizing an agreement to suspend all Pizza Hut restaurant operations in Russia, in partnership with its master franchisee.

Yum! said it had already suspended all investment and restaurant development in Russia and redirect all profits from operations in Russia to humanitarian efforts.

However, the suspension of operations does not appear to include the c1,000 KFC restaurants in Russia run by independent franchisees.

PepsiCo will suspend all advertising in Russia and stop the sale of its drinks brands, while continuing to sell essentials such as milk and baby food. Coca-Cola said it will suspend its business there.