The Unexpected Appendix. The cover of the first issue of Krokodil by Ivan Malyutin.
|Categories||Satire and humor|
|Frequency||3 issues per month|
|Publisher||Rabochaya Gazeta, Pravda|
|First issue||27 August 1922|
Krokodil (Russian: Крокодил, IPA: [krəkɐˈdʲil] ( listen), lit. crocodile) was a satirical magazine published in the Soviet Union. It was founded in 1922, at first as the satirical supplement to the Workers' Gazette (called simply «Приложения» [Supplement]); when it became a separate publication, the name 'Crocodile' was chosen at an editorial meeting from among a list of suggested animal names. At that time, a large number of satirical magazines existed, such as Zanoza and Prozhektor. Nearly all of them eventually disappeared.
Although political satire was dangerous during much of the Soviet period, Krokodil was given considerable license to lampoon political figures and events. Typical and safe topics for lampooning in the Soviet era were the lack of initiative and imagination promoted by the style of an average Soviet middle-bureaucrat, and the problems produced by drinking on the job by Soviet workers. Krokodil also ridiculed capitalist countries and attacked various political, ethnic and religious groups that allegedly opposed the Soviet system. For example, at the time of the Doctors' plot it published a number of anti-semitic articles and cartoons.
Similar magazines existed in all the Union republics, and in several ASSRs and in other states of the Soviet bloc, e.g. Starshel ("Wasp") in Bulgaria, Eulenspiegel in East Germany, Urzică ("The Nettle") in Romania, and Dikobraz ("Porcupine") in Czechoslovakia.
Among the vocal compositions of Dmitri Shostakovich, who is known for his satirical character, there are 5 Romances on texts from Krokodil Magazine (1965), taken from the section of the magazine where were published real-life nonsense texts.
After the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union the magazine was discontinued (2000). It was reinstated in 2005 in Russia, issued monthly, headquartered in Moscow, and with editor-in-chief Sergei Mostovshchikov. The reinstated version, deliberately printed on old Soviet-style paper, ceased publication in 2008.
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