The Russian branch of Papa John’s used Joseph Stalin’s name as part of a promotion for free pizza pies, enraging anyone with a sense of history.
Customers were asked to name the person a Soviet tank was named after (hint: Stalin) for their chance at a free pie.
The promotion, launched Jan. 4, was noticed by an editor at a local Russian TV station, who immediately fumed on Facebook, RT reported.
“Papa John’s pizzeria has introduced a promotional code JOSEPHSTALIN. They offer a Hawaiian or a pepperoni for the dictator’s name. Seriously. I’m not kidding. My grandfather Aleksey Somov was repressed with his only fault being an engineer and building an electric mill (which was ruled ‘excessively bourgeois’ and demolished), so I send my best regards to these sick bastards,” Ilia Klishin wrote.
Others were equally dyspeptic.
“#PapaJohns launches Stalin promo code, because nothing makes people hungry for pizza like a man who starved millions,” wrote @Novorossiya_PR.
“Enter promo code Josef Stalin and get a free pizza. Enter promo code Adolf Hitler and get a pizza with pepperoni,” Moscow politician Maxim Katz added on Twitter.
Papa John’s insisted the code was connected to the release of World of Tanks, a video game that features Soviet-era armored vehicles used during his reign — and only meant to quiz locals’ sense of history.
Despite that, the Kentucky-based pizza joint still wanted to “apologize to everyone who we — albeit unconsciously — offended.”
“We always try to be apolitical,” it wrote on its Russian Facebook page.
During Stalin’s 30-year regime, more than 20 million Russians were killed on top of the 20 million Soviet troops and civilians who died during World War II.
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