A Russian confectioner has created a new patriotic collection of chocolates for Defender of the Fatherland Day, celebrated Monday in Russia, which jabs at Western leaders for placing sanctions on Russia. But many of his customers aren’t happy.
Konfael’s boxes of “political chocolates” are decorated in the style of Soviet-era propaganda posters and adorned with patriotic slogans to fit current events.
One rips off a classic World War II image of a woman with her finger up to her mouth, as if to hush someone, and reads “Don’t speak out, gentlemen and dears — Obama can hear!”
Another features an image of Russian President Vladimir Putin in sunglasses, with the verse (which rhymes in Russian) “To be king, when everywhere are pawns — You have to have tough nuts!”
The Konfael collection also offers candies on sticks with caricatures of Obama, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“Today, for many of us, despite the upcoming holidays, it’s very difficult to think in terms of flowers and gifts — the political situation in the country distracts us,” the company said in a statement.
Russia is embroiled in its worst economic crisis in more than 15 years. It’s also the instigator in the 10-month-long conflict plaguing Ukraine, according to Western governments, which say Moscow has backed separatists in the country’s east with fighters and weapons.
The U.S. and European Union have slapped Russia and some of its top officials with numerous rounds of sanctions in response. The Kremlin has denied any direct involvement in the conflict.
Konfael appealed to the public on Facebook to weigh in with its thoughts on the new chocolate collection. Most commented that the political sweets left them with a bitter taste in their mouths.
“I hope that no self-respecting man will do business with you,” one commenter wrote. “Did you just decide to leech off [Russian] propaganda for the sake of making an extra penny?”
“Disgusting, petty and banal,” wrote another. “Shameful toilet humor.”
The collection can be yours for 249 rubles, or about $4. Smaller boxes go for 89 rubles, or $1.40.
If war is more your style, Konfael offers a chocolate tank adorned with a Russian red star for 4,250 rubles, about $67.
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