A major Russian supermarket chain has apologized for selling a chopping board with U.S. President Barack Obama pictured as a chimpanzee.
The boards, which were stocked at Bakhetle stores in the city of Kazan, depicted Obama as the chimp child in a family of primates dressed for a photo session.
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Bakhetle's press service said: “We are dealing with this sort of situation for the first time, and our personnel were not ready for it,” according to the Interfax news agency.
But the company that supplied the boards was less self-effacing. “It's just a board with monkeys,” Kirill Naumenko, commercial director of the company, Evrostil, told radio station Russian News Service. “Type 'funny little monkeys' into [search engine] Yandex and these images come up,” he said. “It doesn't say anywhere on the boards that it's Obama.”
Russia is notorious for racism, with non-white footballers frequently mocked at stadiums. President Obama is also the butt of many jokes, particularly in the wake of Russia's clash with the U.S. over Ukraine.