Joakim Krima is neither Russian nor Obama.
The 37-year-old candidate for mayor of Volgograd has been dubbed the "Volgograd Obama" and the "Black Russian" by local reporters (Krima would prefer to be called "Vasily Ivanovich" or "The New Head of the Region.").
Even Krima’s supporters joke that the Guinea-Bissau native, who sells watermelons for a living, will "work like a slave" on behalf of his constituency.
Pravda calls the campaign "a scandal," noting that Krima bills himself as a Russian citizen and uses "the racial issue" to advance his candidacy.
Krima has adopted the name Vasily Ivanovich in homage to Russian military hero Vasily Chapayev.
Roadside billboards have appeared in the city formerly known as Stalingrad, featuring Krima’s image and the campaign slogan "The New Head of the Region."