What is a tankie?
Tankie is a derogatory term for people who believe the Soviet Union had not fallen and that current Russian politics represent its continuation.
This should be obvious, but too often it’s not clear. So I’ll say it right up front to make sure no one is confused by the title of this post: Tankie = person with left-wing communist sympathies (including those who wish to restore Communism) or as an extension, national socialist sympathy and collaborator during WWII.
A tankie would definitely be someone like Hitler Youth member Hecke Wolfe (Hector Guillermo Wolfe Kahle). Meyer fought in Berlin against American forces in April 1945, became a POW, was released around 1996 and married former Red Army commander Klavdia Semionovna. The couple had a daughter and stayed in Russia until 2005, when they moved to Chile.
A tankie is a nickname for someone who supports the military dictatorship in North Korea.
As an example, one could google “North Korean Government vs Opposition Groups”. Under that page there is a picture of people wearing the Korean Workers’ Party’s Young Pioneers uniform, posing with blue banners. The text on the banner says “We love you leader!”. These are all possible examples of tankies on that page alone.
A tankie is someone who has sympathy for the defunct Soviet Union and/or its ideology. It’s typically used by people who are anti-communist (i.e. think that communist states operate on oppressive principles), though it could be used by a more neutral person in an academic setting to describe any individual, group, or government with sympathy for the now defunct Soviet Union or its ideals, such as Leninism or Socialism.
It stems from being a supporter of tanks, which were major weapons during World War II when communism was dominant in Russia during the Stalin era of leadership in the early 1950s before Nikita Khrushchev became Premier and began to replace socialism with market economy. Tankies are usually pro-Soviet Union, pro-Stalin, anti-democracy/anti-West, and anti-capitalism.
A tankie is someone who praises communism as a utopian system to the point of refusing to acknowledge its faults.
Communism has always been seen as utopia because it claims that everyone would have enough. But in reality the strength and satisfaction of the individual comes from his own labor and skill, not “from what he can take away.” What do you think about a place where some people would be rewarded by taking things away from other people? That doesn’t sound like paradise, does it?
A tankie is a world citizen who supports and sympathizes with life in the Soviet Union.
This term is often used in discussion of politics to describe leftists supportive of the former Soviet bloc, typically those from Western countries. Some such people advocate this stance on a humorous basis, while others take it more seriously. The latter may be members or former members of Communist parties and fellow travellers from before the fall of Communism – political supporters as well as academics analysing its consequences rather than just campaigners for human rights. The term usually comes up in discussions about the legacy or relevance of Marxism-Leninism; some believe that since Lenin’s October Revolution ended feudalism not capitalism (and brought freedom to more than one-third of humanity), Lenin and the Soviet Union he built (even without Stalin) were inherently positive.
A tankie is someone, typically employed as an internet troll, who adamantly supports Russia or other authoritarian regimes such as Syrian and Iran.
It derives from the Soviet Union’s T-34 tank that helped them win World War II.
“A tankie is a communist sympathizer who defends the repression of socialists and non-communist leftists by socialist or soviet regimes.”
Tankie is an abbreviation for tank-minded, which refers to the support of Soviet Union military campaigns during the USSR.
This position is criticized by many as a veneer onto that which was done in the name of socialism; when in reality sovietization and collectivization served only to line those in power with strategic resources for their own gain. Ultimately, it allowed them to control every aspect of life even more than before; oppressing those who lived under Marxist regimes while at the same time exploiting their labor. The term “tankie” is used mostly by members of Western communist parties who reject any form of supporting another socialist nation without taking its defects into account.
A Russian tankie is someone that intensively promotes the Soviet Union and its ideology.
A tankie is someone who takes Marxism as serious as their own religion, they live for it. They believe Marx’s theories are perfect, they read everything that was written by Marx himself and believed that with Russia making everything equal, world peace would be achieved. And in a way, they were right to think so at least for a while the Soviet Union had strict orders under Stalin to make sure everyone gets what they need, but when he died it stopped coming out of desperation for power other people wanted him dead so bad there was nothing going on his fear was too much a few years back before he died he began attacking instead of giving up and Russia was quickly on the edge of death and it never fully recovered and never became what people thought it would be.
Tankie is a term that is typically used to describe communists who are pro-Russian in their beliefs.
If you crave high doses of violence and an all-powerful, dictatorial regime then you’re going to want the steel workers of Siberia on your side. The irony here is so thick that it takes a knife or chainsaw to cut through it, but we’ll get there later. Suffice for now to know that if tankies keep demonstrating support for Putin then they’ll be going up against the repressive regimes (in democratic capitalist countries) who would take away your freedom as soon as you blink. ‘Tankie’ was originally coined during WWII when Russian sympathizers expressed their solidarity with Soviet military efforts by running soup kitchens and helping the war effort. The soup kitchen / modern day equivalent we see is over at tankie.biz , which is a particularly informative and educational site (no sarcasm). They say:
“Tankies like to think of themselves as the true communists, because they’re on some kind of “third position”. Tankies are separatists; they want to separate the working class from everyone else. That’s why they were called tankies back in WWII – because they wanted to give Stalin tanks, that would be used to kill all the people who didn’t want to capitulate to him.”