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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Celebrities Sling Burgers for Children

MTFilipp Kirkorov signing autographs for young fans during the fundraising drive Wednesday at the McDonald's on Pushkin Square.
It was obvious he wouldn't last the day.

McDonald's new employee, pop star Filipp Kirkorov, let his long curly hair flop out from a nonregulation cap. He left a large, somewhat vulgar, ring on a finger, and he lacked the attitude of the usual worker at the Pushkin Square restaurant, being neither overly obsequious or obnoxiously rude.

Instead, Kirkorov stood in a daze at the counter, stealing french fries from the customers now and then, sucking on a milkshake and letting his co-workers do all the work as he took part in McDonald's World Children's Day.

McDonald's, one of the most strictly regimented workplaces in the world, let a motley collection of celebrities, pop stars and a few others, whom, frankly, only close relatives would recognize, into its restaurant at Pushkin Square for the charity drive Wednesday.

McDonald's in Russia was donating proceeds from sales of Big Macs to a number of children's charities and hoped to raise $150,000.

Turning out for the drive were dozens of stars working in 30-minute shifts. McDonald's made things easier for them by drafting a large number of employees to help out, leaving the celebrities to hand over the food -- usually stopping in midair to pose for the photographers -- and to sign autographs.

Before the start, the celebs lined up to sing the praises of the fast-food company. Nearby, children from a McDonald's-assisted Moscow orphanage munched on burgers and sucked their sugary drinks, completely ignoring the stars.

Kirkorov, who is currently starring in the musical "Chicago," was, without doubt, the main attraction. Photographers crowded round him, and security guards moved in as if practicing for Thursday's eagerly anticipated Lokomotiv-CSKA match. Singer Lolita Milyavskaya also got a fair share of attention, but singer Anita Tsoi and former hockey star Vladislav Tretyak were largely ignored.

Rossia television host and political commentator Nikolai Svanidze did not turn many heads but he seemed determined to actually do some work at the restaurant.

"I am going to work here for half a year," he said. "I will offer a commentary from here. Come and listen."

Kirkorov was accompanied by the cast of "Chicago," who were all but ignored as customers and reporters crowded around the show's main star.

"Svobodnaya kassa!" shouted one, signaling that she was free to take an order.

"Very free," added another.

"It has never been as free as it is now," a third chimed in.