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A depiction of a polkan on the lid of a chest

Polkan or Palkan (Russian: Полка́н or Палкан, from the Italian Pulicane) is a half-human, half-horse (in some variants, half-dog) creature from Russian folktales which possesses enormous power and speed. He appears first as the enemy of the hero Bova Korolevich, but after a battle becomes his loyal friend and ally.

Prince Bova fights Polkan

Polkan is originally based on Pulicane, a half-dog character from Andrea da Barberino's poem «I Reali di Francia», which was once popular in the Slavonic world in prosaic translations.

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