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Russia's New 'Little Obama' Ice Cream Bars Stir Up International Controversy

The maker denies any political motivation

Slavitsa via Reuters

A new variety of Russian ice cream is highlighting the rather chilly relations between the U.S. and the former Soviet nation. The chocolate-covered ice cream bars are called "Obamka," Reuters reports, with a wrapper that "features an image of a smiling young African boy, wearing an ear ring and holding an ice cream."

The -ka suffix in Russian is used to designate something as small, so the name translates to "Little Obama." As RT notes, "The form is mostly used to express affection, although sometimes it can be used as a type of scorn." The manufacturer, Slavitsa, denies any political motivation behind its new ice cream novelty, but an unnamed U.S. official tells Reuters, "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."

As an example of this, Reuters cites a Vladimir Putin-themed cafe that opened recently in the city of Krasnoyarsk featuring President Obama's face on the toilet paper. Of course, one need not travel halfway around the world to find a restaurant serving up anti-Obama sentiment: A diner in upstate New York serves a "Dictator Obama" breakfast special that's priced at $3.59, plus $27.99 in tax.