*Russian protesters are increasingly turning to racist images to depict U.S. President Barack Obama during rising tensions between the two nations.
For his 53rd birthday on Monday, lasers were used to beam a racist image of Obama onto the former U.S. Embassy in Moscow, which is today the embassy’s Consular Section. The image showed the president in a birthday hat with a banana going in and out of his mouth followed by projections of the words “Obama” and “happy birthday” in English.
The Moscow Student Initiative took responsibility for the stunt on VK, a social network popular in Russia.
According to the Huffington Post, Racially-charged messages aimed at Obama have been cropping up with alarming regularity in Russia. Also on the president’s birthday, a banner depicting Obama as the “Three Wise Monkeys” — see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil — was unfurled near the U.S. Consular Section in Moscow.
Across from the US embassy in Moscow today, Russians hung this racist banner addressing Obama on his 53rd birthday. pic.twitter.com/wqhX9ILE8W
— Kevin Rothrock (@KevinRothrock) August 4, 2014
In June, a series of racially-charged posters were displayed around the city of Perm, with one (below) showing the president with a banana, The Moscow Times reported.
And in February, former figure skater Irina Rodnina, who helped to light the Olympic flame in Sochi, tweeted a racist image of Obama with a banana.
The Russian skater who just lit the Olympic flame tweeted this doctored, racist photo of the Obamas last September. pic.twitter.com/kQhIDqXwki
— Terry Moran (@TerryMoran) February 7, 2014
Rodnina, a three-time gold medalist, is currently a politician.