McDonald's of Moscow has nearly doubled its hamburger prices and is now charging more than half an average day's wages for a Big Mac, the newspaper Izvestia reported.

The Moscow McDonald's business manager told Izvestia Monday that the price increase - from 3 rubles, 50 kopecks to 6 rubles, 95 kopecks - was necessary because of increases in the cost of meat and the flour for hamburger buns.At the official exchange rate, the new price for a Big Mac is equivalent to about $11.95, but at the more realistic official "tourist" rate it is $1.15 and at black market exchange rates it would be about 25-50 cents.

But since average monthly wages in the Soviet Union are about 250 rubles, with the new prices a Muscovite could easily spend a day's pay for a hamburger, french fries and a milkshake.

Since the McDonald's on Moscow's Gorky Street opened early this year, it has served an estimated 9 million people who wait in hourslong lines in all kinds of weather for Western fast food.