Yeah, “Little Obama” ice cream bars do exist and they’re just as bad as you’re thinking.
The above confections, made by a company called Slavitsa, are called “Obamka,” which roughly translates to “Little Obama.” The “-ka” suffix in Russian generally just means something small, though, it can also be considered to have negative connotations. The packaging also confusingly pictures a young, smiling black kid with an earring, because apparently Obama is a 12-year-old version of Sinbad now.
Slavitsa denies any “political motivation,” which is kind of like a pharmaceutical company selling prescription drugs and denying it has anything to do with medicine. Even if neither the country’s longstanding issues with racism nor the anti-Obama stance of Vladimir Putin had anything to do with it, though, it’s still pretty idiotically tone deaf to not realize the implications there.
This also isn’t the first time Russia has gotten in hot water over racist depictions of the president — in fact, this is actually one of the less blatant instances. The most recent example was a Dear Leader Poot-Poot-themed cafe in Krasnoyarsk which featured pictures of President Obama on the toilet paper (classy), but that’s far from the only one. There was the cutting board featuring Obama’s face inexpertly photoshopped onto a baby chimpanzee’s body. There was Sochi Olympic flame lighter Irina Rodnina’s tweet of a picture of Barack and Michelle Obama next to a banana (after which Rodnina claimed she couldn’t understand how depicting black people with bananas could possibly be considered racist). There was the Russian news organization that referred to Obama in a headline as “The Farmer’s He-Goat,” which is a level of bizarre racism we didn’t even know existed. There were the birthday messages the country left for Obama in 2014 that depicted him as a monkey (apparently racism in Russia never bothered to move past the “BLACK PEOPLE ARE MONKEYS WITH BANANAS, HURRRRRR DURRRRRRR” stage of development).
We wonder if all this is meant to distract the international community (as well as Russia’s own citizens) from the fact that the country is basically shooting its own economic kneecaps off with embargoes on Western products. Gotta try something, after all.