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Russian alphabet 2022: Artist Andrey Bilzho reflects on war and “partial mobilization”. Part II

Andrey Bilzho

The latest SlovoNovo forum of Russian language and culture, which took place in Montenegro, hosted a display of the artist and cartoonist Andrey Bilzho’s newest cycle: Azbuka 2022 (The 2022 Alphabet), a manifest against the war and tyranny that spells out today's harsh reality – letter by letter. The Insider presents the second of its three installments.

Part I

ALL CARDS
  • Й [j] KhuY voyne. F*ck war

  • К [ka] Kozly. Goats

  • Л [l] Lozh. Lies

  • M [em] Mobilizatsia. Mobilization

  • М [em] (2) Molchaniye. Silence

  • Н [en] Narod. The People

  • Н [en] (2) Nikogo Net. No One Home

  • О [o] Obnuleniye. Zeroing-Out

  • O [o] (2) Odnoznachno. Unambiguous

  • П [pe] Plan, Padeniye, Pamyat. The Plan, the Fall, Memory

  • П [pe] (2) Polny Pizdets Priletel. We Are All F*cked

  • Р [er] Referendum. Referendum

  • Р [er] (2) Rodina, Rossiya. Homeland, Russia.

  • С [es] (2) Smert. Death

  • С [es] (3) Sudba. Fate

  • Т [te] Televideniye. Television

  • У [u] Ukraina. Ukraine

Й [j] KhuY voyne. F*ck war

In Russian, “Kh.V.” is commonly understood as the abbreviated Easter greeting: “Christ is Risen!” Hence the red Easter egg.

К [ka] Kozly. Goats

Apart from being an animal name, kozly is also a derogatory term in Russian.

Л [l] Lozh. Lies

“Your mother is here, and has brought some milk.” A reference to “The Wolf and Seven Young Kids” fairy tale, in which the Wolf poses as Mama Goat.

M [em] Mobilizatsia. Mobilization

Cheburashka says: “Gena, they are taking me to the army.”

М [em] (2) Molchaniye. Silence

The red captions read “Mumu” – a reference to the short story by Russian classic author Ivan Turgenev, in which the protagonist, a deaf and mute serf, is forced to drown his dog, Mumu. The story is a vocal criticism of serfdom in Russia.

Н [en] Narod. The People

Н [en] (2) Nikogo Net. No One Home

“There are no grownups. I’m at home alone.”

О [o] Obnuleniye. Zeroing-Out

“Only noughts left.”

O [o] (2) Odnoznachno. Unambiguous

“It’s not all black and white.” Translated literally from Russian as “It's not so unambiguous”, the phrase has become proverbial, illustrating a passive and escapist attitude to war, sometimes even its implicit endorsement.

П [pe] Plan, Padeniye, Pamyat. The Plan, the Fall, Memory

“All as planned!”

П [pe] (2) Polny Pizdets Priletel. We Are All F*cked

Р [er] Referendum. Referendum

Р [er] (2) Rodina, Rossiya. Homeland, Russia.

С [es] Svin’yi, Spetsoperatsia. Swine, Special Operation

The pig says: “Swine! You’re all swine!”

С [es] (2) Smert. Death

“He is always late.” The Russian president is known for making his high-level partners wait.

С [es] (3) Sudba. Fate

Shtopany gondon (or gondon shtopany), which literally translates as “stitched-up condom”, is criminal slang for a contemptible, useless person.

Т [te] Televideniye. Television

“Has anyone seen Judas?”

“He’s downstairs, watching Solovyov.”

Vladimir Solovyov is the central figure of Russian TV propaganda.

У [u] Ukraina. Ukraine

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