MOSCOW, Russia – A Moscow advertisement declaring that “smoking kills more people than Obama” has gone viral, becoming the latest in a string of Russian actions condemning the US president as a mass killer.
Dmitry Gudkov, the sole liberal opposition MP in Russia’s parliament, on Tuesday posted a photograph of the large poster, at a bus shelter on Moscow’s third ring road.
“Smoking kills more people than Obama, although he kills lots and lots of people,” the poster read, showing an illustration of the president smoking the last dregs of a cigarette. “Don’t smoke, don’t be like Obama.”
Gudkov wrote that it was “disgusting and embarrassing that this is appearing on the streets of the Russian capital.” His Facebook post had received more than 1,300 likes, hundreds of positive and negative comments and extensive Russian media coverage.
“Soon they’ll be scaring kids with Obama rather than Baba Yaga,” the witch from Russian folk tales, Gudkov later said.
The advert has no attribution, no author has come forward to claim it and Moscow city hall has not commented.
Some have taken the anti-Obama ad as a reference to a “Stop Obama!” video posted last week that showed dozens of Russian students falling to the floor as if dead, revealing a lone girl with a sign claiming that the “president of the United States kills 875 people every week”.
That was posted the day after a video appeal to the United Nations in which students at universities around Russia declared that Obama should be “punished for thousands of lost lives”.
The videos, which have each received more than 500,000 views, were uploaded on brand new YouTube accounts, but one of the speakers in the UN appeal has been identified as the editor of a publication put out by the ruling United Russia party’s youth wing.
In January, a banner replacing the word “hope” in Barack Obama’s iconic 2008 election poster with “killer” was hung from a residential building across from the US embassy in Moscow. In early, February a video was broadcast on the sides of buildings in Moscow calling for Obama to be judged by a Hague war crimes tribunal.
In December, Cossacks in the Krasnodar region burnt crude effigies of Obama and Turkish president Recep Tayip Erdogan as they chanted “Russia!” and Putin!”