Reviews Sundry

Handmade Vatnik

I am so excited to show you my latest purchase from etsy! I mentioned in the post about the MSt at Oxford I am going to start this October, that I will be researching Holodomor, as it was seen by the British media.

My new vatnik

During the Cold War, the term tankie was used for Western supporters of authoritarian communist governments. They were basically defending these authoritarians sending tanks to kill and crush their opponents.

Unlike tankie, which was reversed for the ones on the left, vatnik is a beautiful, all inclusive term. The term was known in russia and Ukraine, but is now mainstream, after russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Interestingly, the term was coined by a russian, Anton Chadskiy, who had to escape from russia to avoid persecution. The idea is that the vatnik, which is a padded jacket worn by the russian soldiers, is a person who can’t think for themselves. Vatnik changed rapidly to encompass everyone who supports the russian army and the russian regime, regardless of their nationality or political views.

The russian propagandists tried to make it as the term is an ethnic slur, but it is not. A russian can be a vatnik, but also an American, a Brit, a Romanian, and so on. It is a political pejorative and nothing more. The term was firstly used by a russian and it is used by russians.

My beautifully made vatnik was created by an Ukrainian artist.


Look how beautiful it is made. She was so chatty and friendly. I was very impressed with the service. Here is her etsy shop. Besides this incredibly realistic vatnik, she makes lots of plush toys, really cute. There are over 100 items in her shop, so do check it out.

handmade Vatnik

I received the package quite fast, despite the tracking updating after I received the package. I don’t think it matters, of course. Considering that the country is at war, it’s incredible that all my packages of things I ordered from Ukraine in the last year arrived.


I was so happy to see the extra bits she included in the package! There are stickers with Patron, similar to the stamps I bought last year. It also contains 3 stamps, including the best one of all, the one commemorating: “russian warship, go fuck yourself!” I need to buy a display case for these.

cute handmade vatnik

This gorgeous handmade vatnik is now in its location on the bookshelves. I put his hands up, hoping the real vatniks will surrender their stupid beliefs.

8 Comment

  1. That is a very cute purchase. I’ve been following and retweeting all sorts of threads on Twitter since the start of the Russia’s latest genocidal invasion in Ukraine (February 2022) and I’ve seen the terms “tankie” and “vatnik” a lot – your explanation is really helpful.

    1. It’s wonderful that you are helping and staying informed. Vatnik has a very interesting explanation, I discovered it on twitter. 🙂

  2. He’s really cute! I had not heard the term before and I thank you for explaining it so well! You are an inspiration in your support of Ukranian businesses and I really appreciate all you are doing- the reminders, ideas of how to help are really important. I just finished reading “You don’t know what war is” which I really enjoyed reading- it made me think of you.

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