One thing that I don’t like about Aseyev’s book In Isolation are the footnotes. Of course, the book is published by Harvard University Press, so the footnotes are either snooty (“the author misunderstands XYZ”) or uninformed. For instance, the slang word “sovok” is explained as “a person who uncritically supports Soviet ideology and buys into Soviet propaganda.” The problem is that when the word was invented in the 1970s such people didn’t exist. Sovok is a person who’s obedient, badly dressed, lacks initiative, and is generally afraid of life. The fashionable crowd in the 1970s used the word to describe people in cheap fake Soviet jeans who followed the rules.

7 thoughts on “Sovok

  1. Interesting and seems beneficial to Israel. Why should USA and Europe get all the brains and money? Especially, considering the possible war with Iran (see next comment).

    // Yandex wants to move its headquarters to Israel but has some conditions
    Arkady Volozh, one of the founders of Yandex, wrote to the Israeli Prime Minister and three ministers telling them that he has decided to move the company’s headquarters to Tel Aviv. He is seeking special conditions for the company’s non-Israeli workers as he attempts to move the “Russian Google” away from Russia and the sanctions

    Yandex already has significant business activity in Israel and employs 450 people here.

    Volozh himself has been living in Israel in recent years after receiving Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return in 2017.

    In the two months since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, hundreds of Yandex workers have fled from Russia, many of them to Israel.


    1. I think it’s utterly self-defeating to accept these people anywhere. The only reason they are “fleeing” is because their credit cards have stopped working. Admit them, and they’ll spend the rest of their lives despising you and seething with hatred.

      Yandex was one of the most important propaganda tools of the Putin regime. One has got to be dotty to welcome these people and even allow them to dictate “conditions”. These are literal war criminals.

      Why is Israel so subservient? Why is there no pride? No self-respect? Why gather all this incredible trash and coddle it?

      I don’t get it.


  2. // Iran working on advanced centrifuges at new underground sites, Gantz warns
    Defense minister says Tehran making an effort to complete manufacturing and installation of 1,000 additional advanced centrifuges; adds the price of stopping Iran now would be lower than a year from today

    Gantz added that the Iranian threat is not exclusively nuclear, but also regional: “[Tehran] is developing operational systems throughout the region with accurate capabilities of cruise missiles, surface-to-surface missiles and UAVs, all with a range of thousands of kilometers.

    Gantz further referred to the war in Ukraine, which taught Israel that “it’s right to exercise one’s economic and political power, and if needs be military force, as early as possible in order to maybe prevent a possible war.”


    Israel to simulate attack on Iran in military drill
    Thousands of soldiers and reservists are set to participate in the ‘Chariots of Fire’ exercise, as preparation for potential military strike against Iran; Gantz to travels to U.S as USCENTCOM commander arrives in Israel to meet Chief of Staff

    Simultaneously, the IDF is continuing to conduct military exercises within Israel’s borders, amid the ongoing terror wave that has thus far claimed the lives of 19 Israelis over the last several weeks.


  3. Curious. Perhaps that’s Ukrainian usage because in Russia, at least in St. Petersburg in the 1980s and 1990s, “Sovok” never denoted a person. Rather, it was used as synonym for the SU, especially its cultural and ideological aspects (as in, “the culture of Sovok”), and the corresponding mentality (as in “Sovok in their heads,” very similar to what you so vividly describe in one of your previous posts.) But that’s what I remember–perhaps originally it did signify a person.


    1. True, it’s used more to denote a way of being than specific people. The usage of referring to people exists, too, but it’s more rare.


      1. I think “a way of being” best captures what I was trying to express, thank you. And the Russian way of being is still 100% “Sovok,” despite their malls, banks, gadgets and whatnot. Pathetic and terrifying at the same time.


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