Russian Company Creates ‘Little Obama’ Chocolate Covered Ice Cream Treats, Denies Any Racial or Political Underpinning

The 'Obamka' or 'Little Obama' ice cream bar by Russian company Slavista. Photo courtesy of Evening-Kazan.ru

The ‘Obamka’ or ‘Little Obama’ ice cream bar by Russian company Slavista. Photo courtesy of Evening-Kazan.ru

A company in Russia has a debuted a new ice cream treat that has many Americans shaking their heads in disbelief and disapproval.

The ‘Obamka’ or ‘Little Obama” ice cream bar hit shelves in the city of Naberezhnye Chelny in late April, the Moscow Times reports. The dessert, produced by Russian company Slavista, is a vanilla ice cream bar coated in chocolate. It’s bright blue wrapper even features a young Black boy sporting a gold earring.

Rasil Mustafin, deputy development director at the Slavista ice cream factory, asserts that the name of the product isn’t political at all, but was chosen due to the ice cream’s chocolate flavor.

“There’s no political underpinning, Mustafin said. “We have no intention to offend anyone. Someone at the factory came up with the idea.”

According to the Moscow Times, the ice cream’s packaging was inspired by a Soviet-era cartoon in which little African children inhabited the fictional island of “Chunga-Changa.”

“We just like the name,” said Anatoli Ragimkhanov, financial director of the factory. “It’s so amusing.”

Per Reuters, the United States’ relations with Russia have been at a “post-Cold War low” ever since the country’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Syria. The Russian media and pro-Kremlin supporters have often mocked and chided President Barack Obama in a racially insensitive manner, the news service also reported.

In a public statement, Slavista insisted that its product was only part of a campaign targeting children with “cheerful” characters.

“With different flavors and glazes, the ice cream symbolizes the main races of people on our planet,” the company said. “Ice cream names need to be memorable. For those with a rich imagination, various associations might arise, but this product is for children and is a long way from politics.”

A U.S. official, who declined to give his name, told Reuters that although Slavista didn’t mean any harm, the naming of the ice cream product is only adding to a “disturbing trend of anti-Americanism,” The Root reports.

“While I haven’t seen this particular product for sale, we are disappointed by the media-driven anti-Americanism that has become so prevalent in Russia over the past few years, particularly when it takes on a discriminatory or racist bent,” the official said.

So far, only one batch of the Obamka ice cream bars have been produced, according to the Moscow Times.  Politrussia.com also says that local residents are already discussing other “politically-inspired” brands, such as such as “Little Erdogan” and “Little Merkel;” the “Erdogan” would be caramel ice cream coated in milk chocolate and the “Merkel” would be vanilla ice cream coated in white chocolate, Evening-Kazan.ru reports.

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