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vatnik (1)


Borrowed from Russian ва́тник (vátnik, literally quilted jacket). The sense of "unintelligent Russian patriot" was derived from the jackets worn by Soviet citizens and an online cartoon about a sentient jacket known by the same name.

The term was popularized in Russia in 2011 and re-popularized at large in 2022 during the Russian invasion of Ukraine to refer to supporters of the invasion, especially online users, even if they are not from Russia.[1]



vatnik (plural vatniks or vatniki)

  1. A Russian style of quilted jacket.
    • 1959, Men's Wear:
      Two models each for men and women are featured at prices ranging from 100 to 140 rubles, more than the cost of a 'vatnik.' (The ruble is nominally valued at four to $1.)
  2. (derogatory, neologism) An unintelligent Russian patriot.
    Synonyms: sovok, portyanka
    • 2017, Erin Coyne, Igor Fisun, What They Didn't Teach You in Russian Class: Slang Phrases for the Cafe, Club, Bar, Bedroom, Ball Game and More, Simon and Schuster, →ISBN:
      A vatnik basically refers to a Russian who is not too bright and who loves him some Putin.
    • 2017, Lena Jonson, Andrei Erofeev, Russia - Art Resistance and the Conservative-Authoritarian Zeitgeist, Routledge, →ISBN:
      To mock the audience and depict the Russian man as a vatnik [uneducated hurray patriot] or a gopnik [in English: chav] seems totally inappropriate to me.
    • 2017, Anna Matveeva, Through Times of Trouble: Conflict in Southeastern Ukraine Explained from Within, Lexington Books, →ISBN, page 198:
      At first, vatniks were pro-Russian citizens, in the view of some, Sovietized lumpenproletariat, who supported the separation of Crimea and close ties with [Russia].
    • 2020, Natalia Knoblock, Language of Conflict: Discourses of the Ukrainian Crisis, Bloomsbury Publishing, →ISBN, page 109:
      [] many pro-Maidan FB-users whose posts I analysed saw themselves as nothing less than the standard-bearers of civilization: 'The work on vatniks requires huge efforts, but this is what distinguishes civilization from barbarism' (FB-user 15, Kyiv).
  3. (derogatory, Internet slang, neologism, by extension) A supporter of Vladimir Putin, Russian nationalism, or the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine; a Putinist.
    Synonym: Putinist
  4. (derogatory, Internet slang, neologism, by extension) a soldier in the Russian armed forces involved in the invasion of Ukraine.
    Synonym: orc

Usage notes[edit]

For sense 3, "vatnik" is also applied to anyone who is not from Russia or an ethnic Russian if they are a supporter of the 2022 invasion of Ukraine.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Liberman, Mark (2023-05-28), “"Vatnik" — ethnic or political slur?”, in Language Log[1], University of Pennyslvania, retrieved 2023-05-28



vatnik c

  1. (derogatory, Internet slang, neologism) a vatnik (dogmatic supporter of Vladimir Putin, Russian nationalism, or the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine)
    Forumtråden var full med vatniks
    The forum thread was full of vatniks


Declension of vatnik 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative vatnik vatniken vatniks vatniksarna
Genitive vatniks vatnikens vatnikss vatniksarnas