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The Unexpected Appendix. The cover of the first issue of Krokodil by Ivan Malyutin.
CategoriesSatire and humour
Frequency3 issues per month
PublisherRabochaya Gazeta, Pravda
First issue27 August 1922
Final issue2008
CountrySoviet Union
Based inMoscow

Krokodil (Russian: Крокодил, IPA: [krəkɐˈdʲil] , lit.'crocodile') was a satirical magazine published in the Soviet Union. The first issue was published on 27 August 1922 [1] as the satirical supplement to the Workers' Gazette (called simply «Приложения» [Supplement]).[2][3] When it became a separate publication, the name Crocodile was chosen at an editorial meeting from among a list of suggested animal names.[4] At that time, many satirical magazines existed, such as Zanoza and Prozhektor. Nearly all of them eventually disappeared.


Krokodil was founded in 1922, first as a supplement to Rabochaya Gazeta ('Workers' Newspaper'), and was published once a week. Although political satire was dangerous during much of the Soviet period,[citation needed] 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.

Many notable persons contributed to the magazine, including Vladimir Mayakovsky, Mikhail Zoshchenko, Kukriniksy, and Yuliy Ganf.

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, Urzica ("The Nettle") in Romania, Dikobraz ("Porcupine") in Czechoslovakia, and Szpilki ("Pins") in Poland.

Supplements to the Workers' newspaper, 1924

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.

Republic Title Translation
Ukrainian SSR Перець Pepper
Belarusian SSR Вожык Hedgehog
Uzbek SSR Муштум Fist
Kazakh SSR Ара Bumblebee
Georgian SSR ნიანგი Crocodile
Azerbaijani SSR Кирпи Hedgehog
Lithuanian SSR Šluota Broom
Moldavian SSR Кипэруш Pepper
Latvian SSR Dadzis Bur
Kyrgyz SSR Чалкан Nettle
Tajik SSR Хорпуштак Hedgehog
Armenian SSR Ոզնի Hedgehog
Turkmen SSR Токмак Mallet
Estonian SSR Pikker Pikker
Bashkir ASSR Хэнэк Pitchfork
Chuvash ASSR Капкан Trap
Komi ASSR Чушканзі Wasp
Mari ASSR Пачемыш Wasp
Tatar ASSR Чаян Scorpion
Udmurt ASSR Шӧкыч Hornet


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.


The Editorial Staff of Krokodil Discussing a Theme. A friendly jest by Pyotr Belyanin (1929).
  • Konstantin Eremeev (1922–23)
  • Nikolay Smirnov (1924–27)
  • Konstantin Maltsev (1927–28)
  • Felix Kohn (1928–30)
  • Nikolay Ivanov-Gramen (1928–30)
  • Mikhail Manuilsky [ru] (1930–34)
  • Mikhail Koltsov (1934–38)
  • Yakov Rovinsky (1938–41)
  • Lazar Lagin (1938–41)
  • Grigory Ryklin (1941–48)
  • Dmitry Belyaev (1948–53)
  • Sergei Shvetsov (1953–58)
  • Manuil Semyonov (1958–75)
  • Evgeny Dubrovin (1975–85)
  • Alexey Pyanov (1986–2000)
  • Emil Bondarenko (since 2017)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "20 Kopecks Buys You Satire Soviet Style", by Dan Fisher, Los Angeles Times, July 31, 1977, p.I-12 ("As it approaches its 55th birthday Aug. 27, the magazine Krokodil is, indeed, among the Soviet Union's most popular publications.")
  2. ^ Behind The Smile On Krokodil, June 7, 1964, The New York Times
  3. ^ Adams, James. "15 Incredible Soviet Era Magazine Covers". Cartridge Save. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  4. ^ Boris Efimov, Десять десятилетий, ch. 6: "Тогда пошли в ход всевозможные жалящие и кусающие представители животного мира: оса, еж, шмель, ерш, ястреб, волкодав, скорпион и даже… крокодил."

External links[edit]