Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Some Smile, Others Squirm As Obscenity Becomes Latest Rallying Cry In Ukraine Crisis

Ukrainians Chant Anti-Putin Slur Outside Russian Consulate In Kharkivi
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June 17, 2014
Ukrainian protesters joined in a profane chant aimed at Russian President Vladimir Putin at a June 16 rally outside Russia's consulate in Kharkiv. The protest came two days after Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsya made the same abusive remark about Putin when he spoke to anti-Russian protesters in Kyiv. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
WATCH: (Discretion advised: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE) Ukrainian protesters joined in a profane chant aimed at Russian President Vladimir Putin at a June 16 rally outside Russia's consulate in Kharkiv. The protest came two days after Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsya made the same abusive remark about Putin when he spoke to anti-Russian protesters in Kyiv. (Video by RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
By Daisy Sindelar
Every culture has a curse word so vulgar, so base, so utterly crass that its utterance can cause a sharp intake of breath among even the saltiest of swearers.

So imagine what happens when that word goes from being the proprietary epithet of construction workers and market traders to a mainstream slogan embraced by the elderly, women, and children alike?

That's precisely what's happened in crisis-ridden Ukraine, where the term "khuilo" has become one of the most patriotic rallying cries since "Yes We Can" or "Vive La Revolution." 

The term -- which translates roughly as the rudest variation on the male anatomy you can think of (opinions vary) -- has appeared on banners, graffiti, and the lips of thousands of Ukrainians angered by Russian meddling and eager to compare Vladimir Putin to said body part.

"Putin Khuilo!" has even been popularized as a boisterous song, chanted everywhere from Kyiv's Independence Square to far-flung pockets of Ukrainian solidarity in Japan and California.

The phrase got an involuntary boost when Ukraine's acting foreign minister, career diplomat Andriy Deshchytsya, conceded that he, too, thought Putin was -- well, you know.

Deshchytsya dropped the kh-bomb on June 14 while trying to calm angry crowds who had gathered outside the Russian Embassy in Kyiv to protest the downing of a Ukrainian military plane by pro-Kremlin separatists, an attack that killed all 49 people on board.

A visibly frazzled Deshchytsya repeated the slogan while privately attempting to persuade a protester not to storm the embassy. Unfortunately for him, the exchange was caught on video, where it has fueled indignation among Russia's suddenly very prim elite:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov -- who once reportedly volleyed a series of f-words during talks with his former British counterpart, David Miliband -- called Deshchytsya a "renegade" and suggested he was inebriated, saying, "If you don't know how to drink, then don't."

The LDPR, whose leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky recently threatened to rape a pregnant journalist, announced it was sending books on etiquette to Deshchytsya "to improve his intellect, culture, and diplomatic competence."

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who once hijacked the public announcement system at Grozny's Terek football stadium to loudly accuse a FIFA referee of being corrupt and "a sellout a**hole b*tch," suggested Deshchytsya should apologize to Putin on bended knee for his "boorish behavior."

Putin -- who last month signed a law banning all swearing in Russian films, TV, theater, and media -- has yet to respond publicly to the incident.

The Russian president, it should be noted, has his own history of strong language. In addition to his infamous statement that Chechen militants should be "wiped out in the outhouse," he has threatened to hang then-Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili "by the balls" and even added a tough-guy "mlya" -- to the end of an already graphic sentence comparing journalism to nose-picking.

"Mlya" is a slightly softened version of the now-banned "blyad," or whore, which is commonly used by a certain demographic to lend punchy emphasis at the end of a phrase. Russian writer and curse-word enthusiast Viktor Yerofeyev, himself the son of a Soviet diplomat, once noted approvingly that "the syllables blya-blya-blya...echo through the air above Russia like the bleeps of a sputnik."

None of these expressions, however shocking, drop anywhere near the payload of the kh-bomb, which Russian media outlets, prohibited by law from swearing, have aridly described as an "undiplomatic expression," "obscene chant," and "uncensored insult" targeting Putin. (Russian media, by contrast, have no difficulty pronouncing the name of the protest group Pussy Riot, which one U.S. television station was forced to describe as "a female punk rock band named after a female body part which we're not going to say.")
Vox Pop: Should Ukrainian FM Resign Over Anti-Putin Slur?i
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June 17, 2014
RFE/RL asked residents of Kyiv if they thought Ukraine's acting Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsya should resign over a profane remark he made about Russian President Vladimir Putin. Kyivans spoke near the Russian Embassy, where the Ukrainian diplomat was caught on camera using a swear word for Putin when he spoke to anti-Russian protesters on June 14. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)

Deshchytsya's outburst comes amid a season of florid political language over Ukraine.

There was a U.S. assistant secretary of state's leaked phone exhortation to "F**k the EU" for dawdling on a joint response; former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko calling for the death of "goddamned katsaps," a derogatory Ukrainian terms for Russians; and most recently, Ukrainian lawmaker and writer Maria Matios, who came to a recent session of parliament wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the short-form slogan "PTN KhLO" to express her support for Deshchytsya.

It's all gotten a bit much for some Kyiv residents, who say curse words should have no place in Ukrainian government. "Clearly, they're not doing something right," said a disapproving pensioner who was pushing her grandson on a playground carousel. "Perhaps [Deshchytsya] should be replaced with someone stronger and more educated." 

Others were more sympathetic. "He expressed his indignation and emotions outside office hours," said a man standing next to a "Putin Khuilo!" slogan spray-painted on the battered facade of the Russian Embassy. "It wasn't on a work day. I understand his position, both as an individual and as a citizen."
RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service contributed to this report
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Jack from: US
June 17, 2014 14:48
pro-western lackeys in Kiev are so desperate.. the empty barking up the tree is the only thing left for them. The whole Ukraine is becoming second Libya, again, thanks to sleepless efforts of US government
In Response

by: John from: US
June 17, 2014 16:37
Finding someone to blame (and then blaming them) may give us a substitute sensation for having solved a problem when we haven't really understood cause and effect at all.
In Response

by: Pete from: NA Vets
June 18, 2014 17:09
Yep. I'm sure you're from the USA. Yep. No phony disinfo agent here. Yep. Sure.

June 17, 2014 16:45
In Response

by: Jack Jackovich
June 17, 2014 23:10
Blin! Khren! Khutin Pui! (sorry Google translate couldn't handle it)
In Response

by: Andrew from: Auckland
June 18, 2014 05:15
Another retarded Russian troll posting in capitals.

It was scumbag ethnic Russian traitors to Ukraine that began the armed conflict, and the killing.

There is only one punishment for treason.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
June 18, 2014 20:53
May I remind you, guys, that the "anti-terror operation" in "Ukraine" started more than two months ago already - on April 15th. Now, two months later, what has it achieved? Back then the Ukrainian paramilitary death-squadrons were beseiging Slavyansk and Kramatosk, and today - two months later - they are still beseiging those two towns. An important achievement in itself :-)).
In the meanwhile, the border guards of "Ukraine" successfully lost control over some 130 km of the border between Russia and "Ukraine" - a hole through which anti-NATO fighters and military equipment is being regularly transferred to the people of Lugansk and Donetsk. One more victory for the defenders of the Eurointegration :-)).
Ah yes, by the way, today it was annonnced that hot water will become 70 % more expensive for the dwellers of Kiev!
So, all in all, I would once again like to congratulate all those smart guys who - back in December and January - were smartly predicting that "Ukraine" was going to become a florishing European state as a result of the Euromaidan. Good job, guys, "Ukraine" is in fact on its way to prosperity :-). And do not forget that the next Winter is only 4-5 months away, and it will most likely be a cold one for some :-)).
In Response

by: caaps02 from: Toronto
June 19, 2014 14:18
Guess what Eugenio "from Vienna" (yeah, sure): it takes more that a few months to take a country from a corrupt post-communist kleptocracy (thank-you Yanukovich and the people of Donbass who elected him) to a reasonably functioning state! It does not happen overnight and it will involve effort and sacrifice. But the alternative is to slide back in to the neo-Soviet klepto-dictatorship that are Russia, Byelorussia, Kazakhstan, Kyrhysistan etc etc.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
June 20, 2014 05:25
By the way, guys, some media are reporting that the Russian military is preparing for a long-term military operation "on the border to Ukraine". The plan is to deploy A LOT of Russian military personnel and equipment on the Ukrainian borders and then impose "humanitarian corridors" which would imply separating warring sides and opening fire at one of them "if unevoidable".
So, very frankly, guys, it does sound like Victoria Nuland is really about to deserve a reward from Vladimir Putin for making an important contributing to the process of expanding the borders of the Russian Federation :-)).
Fasten your seat-belts and happy Euro-integration, losers :_)).

by: Mira from: NY
June 19, 2014 11:48
The sooner shameless Russian leaders stop terrorizing Ukraine with their military invasion the better it will be for all! Russia = State Sponsored Terrorism. A ruthless, selfish, corrupt Putin is destroying his own country in the process of rebuilding the Soviet Union. How pathetic is that? Go travel outside Moscow & see how poorly Russians live, while their amoral leaders invade Crimea, Ukraine & spend billions in the process.

by: peter from: ottawa
June 19, 2014 13:32
Its like your neighbor is sick and instead of helping him, you rob him with violence, well that's what Russia is doing to the Ukraine. Some friend !

by: John from: Canada
June 19, 2014 22:34
President Poroshenko has just replaced Deshchytsya so the Russians can pretend that ex-FM is gone because of blaspheme against Tsar Putin (“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” ― Voltaire)

However, Deshchytsya knew he was going so he decided to go out in style allowing President Poroshenko the flexibility to have a new FM with a clean slate to work with Lavrov.

No doubt that Deshchytsya will not have any problem getting any jobs in Ukraine or in the West and will make a fortune on speaking engagements - especially if he introduces himself by reciting his now-famous words from that new Ukrainian national patriotic song...

When a Boy Scout troop in Toronto posts Putin Khulyo codeword on their sign outside their meeting hall, you can figure that the epithet is acceptable to most people in that community: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Plast-Toronto/135071499928751

However, the main threat isn't epithets against criminals like Putin but rather the larger issue of censorship, media manipulation and propaganda that the Russian regime is spreading across the globe. Good analysis by James Miller in The Interpreter:
- "Throwing a Wrench In Russia’s Propaganda Machine":

by: jojnjo from: Dublin
June 20, 2014 01:39
Well...there's no difference, whether you're looking at Putin from the front or behind...because he is all "khuilo"!

PS. And now I hear he's amassing more little green men in little green uniforms on the Eastern border of Ukraine. Is it any wonder he's being called what he's been called? And I'll say it again, "khuilo".

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