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Putin khuylo!

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"Putin huylo!" chant
"Putin huylo!" graffiti in the Ukrainian national colours, Luhansk, May 2014

"Putin – khuylo!" or "Putin – khuilo!"[a][1] is a slogan deriding Russian President Vladimir Putin, commonly translated as "Putin [is a] dickhead!"

It originated in Ukraine in 2014, having grown from a football chant first performed by FC Metalist Kharkiv and FC Shakhtar Donetsk ultras in March 2014 at the onset of the Russo-Ukrainian War. The phrase has become a protest song and is widely spread in Ukraine amongst supporters of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as those opposing Vladimir Putin in both Russia and Ukraine.


"ПТН X̆ЛО" (PTN KhLO) made of stickers "Do not buy Russian goods!". Brovary, Kyiv Oblast, June 2014

The obscene term (mat) хуйло́ is variously transliterated as huilo, huylo, khuilo, khuylo, or chujlo. Also there are dialect variants хуи́ла (huila), хуи́бла (huibla). Its core is хуй (huy), literally "penis", in both Russian and Ukrainian. Combined with the suffix -lo, it is a personal insult. It can be translated as "dickhead", but its connotation is far more pejorative in those languages than in English.[2]

In May 2014, media outlets reported that the Russian profanity huilo had been added to the Urban Dictionary as a synonym for Vladimir Putin.[3][4][5][6][7]

Marker graffiti "ПТН ПНХ" (PTN PNKh). "ПНХ" stands for пошёл на́ хуй (poshól ná khuy), "go fuck yourself", so the graffiti can be translated as PTN GFY, "Putin go fuck yourself"). Novosibirsk Akademgorodok, Russia, July 2022.


The chant has its origins in "Surkis Khuylo!", a football chant initiated by the ultras of FC Metalist Kharkiv some time in 2010, during the height of a feud between two Ukrainian oligarchs, Oleksandr Yaroslavsky, then owner of "Metalist", and Hryhoriy Surkis, then president of the Football Federation of Ukraine who had strong historic and family ties with FC Dynamo Kyiv.[8]

The first recorded public performance of the "Putin khuylo!" chant and the song that grew from it took place in March 2014 in Kharkiv, when the local fans chanted it during their street march.[9] The recording was soon posted to YouTube. Various groups of Ukrainian ultras of major Ukrainian clubs with the exception of FC Sevastopol have historically held strong pro-Ukrainian political views. These football fans sided with Ukraine at the onset of the Russian annexation of Crimea and military intervention, as well as during the pro-Russian unrest in the east and south of Ukraine, when the city of Kharkiv was in turmoil.[10][11]

Soon, the song that vulgarly derided Putin gained wider popularity, spreading amongst other clubs, such as the fans of Shakhtar Donetsk (Donetsk) and Dynamo Kyiv (Kyiv), who were formerly feuding but sang the song together.[10][12] During the beginning of the Russo-Ukrainian War in 2014, in which Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine and used proxy forces to occupy parts of the eastern Donbas region, the ultras of various Ukrainian clubs set aside their rivalries[broken anchor] and chanted the song in joint street marches.[8] The chant became "a nationwide cultural meme" according to The Guardian.[13]

Artemy Troitsky identified the melody of the chant[14] as coming from the song "Speedy Gonzales", popularised by American singer Pat Boone in 1962.

In June 2015, the Russian Federal Security Service started a criminal prosecution and investigation of activist Daria Poludova for using the song on VK.[15] The case was dropped after Poludova's lawyer demanded a confrontation with the victim, Putin, as required by law.[16]

When Russian television channel TNT aired one episode of the Ukrainian sitcom Servant of the People in December 2019,[9] a scene containing a joke that referenced the song, in which the fictional president played by Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked "Putin khublo?" («Путин — хубло?») when told that Putin wore a Hublot watch, was cut out of the episode.[17] The omission occurred only within central Russia and the Moscow region, but not in the eastern regions of Russia.[18]


In music[edit]

Several Ukrainian mainstream rock music bands included or adapted the chant into their music. A metal remix, released in April 2014 by AstrogentA, added instrumentation and reworked the video of the March 30 protest chant to depict its spread throughout Ukrainian football clubs.[19]

In May 2014, the Ukrainian band Teleri (band) [uk] released a song and a video titled "Putin Hello!" Their song uses a double entendre, substituting the objectionable word "khuylo" with the English word "Hello!" Alluding to the "Putin huylo!" chant, the video features band players wearing Ukrainian football club colors and posing as ultras marching and chanting "Putin Hello" as the refrain of the song. The band members asserted, tongue-in-cheek, that the linking of their song to an offensive anti-Putin chant was a misunderstanding and insisted that the only people who found the chant objectionable were Russians unfamiliar with English.[20]

Hromadske.TV aired a live performance of the song by Lemonchiki Project in May 2014.[21] The rock band Druha Rika performed the song at their concert in June 2014.[22] Other rock adaptations were made by Mad Heads[23][24] and Haydamaky.[25] The Kyiv Post reviewed nine video versions of the song and two other related songs.[26]

In sport[edit]

In October 2014, Belarusians joined visiting Ukrainians in a performance of the chant by "nearly the entire stadium" at a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match in Barysaw, Belarus, resulting in more than 100 Ukrainian and 30 Belarusian football fans being detained and interrogated, reportedly on suspicion of using "obscene language".[27] Seven, all Ukrainian, were sentenced to five days in jail for obscene language, whilst one was given a 10-day sentence for allegedly wearing a swastika.[28]

In art[edit]

In December 2022, a statue giving a visual interpretation of "Putin khuylo" was erected in the English town of Rowley Regis,[29] but by 5 February 2023 it had been removed.[30]

In the US press[edit]

In politics[edit]

Oleh Lyashko[edit]

Oleh Lyashko, a former[39] Ukrainian MP and leader of the country's Radical Party, performed the song in May 2014 at a public rally during his 2014 presidential campaign.[40]

Andrii Deshchytsia[edit]

Ukrainian diplomat Andrii Deshchytsia

Hromadske.TV aired a footage showing Andrii Deshchytsia, a then Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine,[1][41][42] uttering the word "khuylo" in reference to the Russian President Putin during his plea with protesters in front of the Russian Embassy in Kyiv on the evening of June 14, 2014, following the shoot-down of a Ukrainian Air Force Ilyushin Il-76 by Russian-armed rebels. Deshchytsya pleaded the protesters to refrain from violence directed at the Embassy that would cause a bigger diplomatic scandal. Deshchytsia stated: "He (Putin) is a khuylo, but — disperse, please!".[43]

Shortly afterward, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko nominated a different diplomat to lead the Foreign Affairs ministry.[44] According to the Ukrainian media, the presidential plan to replace the minister was known prior to the incident,[45] being proposed as part of a bigger reshuffle in the Ukrainian government. Soon after, Poroshenko praised the work of Deshchytsia, who was then leaving his ministerial position, and the parliament gave the outgoing minister a standing ovation.[46]

Deshchytsia's use of the wording caused widespread discontent amongst the Russian leadership.[1] However, Geoffrey Pyatt, the US ambassador to Ukraine, wrote on Twitter that minister Deshchytsia's use of the chant had been "seeking to defuse a dangerous situation", calling Deshchytsia "a skilled diplomat and credit to Ukraine."[1]

Arsen Avakov[edit]

In July 2014, Arsen Avakov who was the Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs, one of the country's major security agencies, published a Facebook post with a photo he took that showed a bus stop near Sloviansk covered by a "Putin Khuilo!" graffiti.[47] The minister's post included his comment with the picture saying: "A private opinion some place near Sloviansk. Aligning myself."[48]

Russian invasion of Ukraine[edit]

The phrase became popular again during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainian brewer Yuri Zastavny began preparing glass bottles to be used for anti-Russian Molotov cocktails with the English-lettered label "Putin Huylo".[49][50]

Ukrainian hackers disabled electric vehicle charging stations in Russia so that instead of providing a charge, the stations display a scrolling message that includes the phrase.[51][52]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Russian: Путин — хуйло, romanizedPutin — khuylo, IPA: [ˈputʲɪn xʊjˈlo]; Ukrainian: Путін — хуйло, romanizedPutin — Khuilo, IPA: [ˈput⁽ʲ⁾in xʊjˈlɔ]; Belarusian: Пуцін хуйло, romanizedPutsin khuylo, IPA: [ˈput͡sʲin xujˈɫo]

Further reading[edit]

  • Christian Diemer. Mutterlandpop. Lokale Markierung und Entgrenzung musikalischer. Darbietungen auf ukrainischen Feiertagen // Speaking in Tongues: Pop lokal global / Dietrich Helms, Thomas Phleps. — Transcript Verlag, 2015. — PP. 78–80. — 219 p. — (Beiträge zur Popularmusikforschung, Vol. 42). — ISBN 9783839432242. — ISBN 3839432243.
    • Frédéric Döhl, Klaus Nathaus. Annäherungen an einen flüchtigen Gegenstand. Neue Literatur zur Geschichte der Musik aus Journalistik, Historiographie und Musikwissenschaft // Neue Politische Literatur. — 2017. — Bd. 62, Nr. 3. — S. 491.
  • Taras Kuzio. Ukraine: Democratization, Corruption, and the New Russian Imperialism: Democratization, Corruption, and the New Russian Imperialism. — ABC-CLIO, 2015. — С. 112. — 641 с. — (Praeger Security International). — ISBN 9781440835032. — ISBN 1440835039.
  • Oksana Havryliv. Verbale Aggression: das Spektrum der Funktionen // Linguistik Online. — 2017. — 25 Aprils (Bd. 82, H. 3). — S. 27–47. — ISSN 1615-3014. — DOI:10.13092/lo.82.3713.


  1. ^ a b c d "Ukraine minister's abusive remarks about Putin spark diplomatic row". The Guardian. 15 June 2014. Archived from the original on 15 June 2014.
  2. ^ Cole, Brendan (29 April 2022). "'Putin Huylo' Meaning as Phrase Becomes Rallying Cry for Ukraine Support". Newsweek. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
  3. ^ "Статья Путин "huylo" появилась в американском словаре сленга" (in Russian). MR7. 30 May 2014. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Благодаря песне про Путина в английском языке появилось слово "huylo"" [Thanks to the chant about Putin, the word "huylo" appeared in English language] (in Russian). Vlasti.net. 17 June 2014. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  5. ^ "Американський словник згадав Путіна, пояснюючи слово "huylo"". Ukrainska Pravda (in Ukrainian). 30 May 2014. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Слово Huylo вошло в словарь английского сленга Urban Dictionary". Gazeta.ua (in Russian). 29 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Путин попал в американский словарь сленга" [Putin appeared in American slang dictionary]. BelGazeta (in Russian). 2 June 2014. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  8. ^ a b Украинские ультрас: глобальное перемирие (in Russian). Українська правда. Життя. 19 May 2014. Archived from the original on 28 August 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  9. ^ a b (in Ukrainian) The "servant of the people" in Russia: after the cut joke about Putin the series was removed from the air, Ukrainska Pravda (11 December 2019)
  10. ^ a b Adam Taylor (16 June 2014). "'Khuilo': The offensive term that has attached itself to Putin". The Washington Post.
  11. ^ "Ukraine crisis timeline". BBC News Online. 5 July 2014. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014.
  12. ^ Shishkin, Philip (24 May 2014). "Soccer Foes Join Forces on the Front Lines of Ukraine Crisis". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 19 June 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  13. ^ Alec Luhn (6 July 2014). "Donetsk becomes a ghost town as fearful residents flee conflict". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  14. ^ Ольга Бычкова (18 June 2014). "Особое мнение: Артемий Троицкий" [Special opinion: Artemy Troitsky (An interview with Artemy Troitsky)] (in Russian). Echo of Moscow. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  15. ^ "Против активистки Дарьи Полюдовой возбудили дело за антипутинскую песню – Новости – Новая Газета" [Activist Darya Polyudovoy was sued for anti-Putin song], Novaya Gazeta (in Russian), 26 June 2015, archived from the original on 27 June 2015, retrieved 27 December 2023
  16. ^ "Дарью Полюдову отправили в колонию-поселение на три года за идею "федерализации Кубани"" [Daria Polyudova was sent to a penal colony for three years for the idea of "federalization of Kuban"], NEWSru (in Russian), 21 December 2015, retrieved 27 December 2023
  17. ^ "3 Things Russia Censored on TV in the Past Week". The Moscow Times. 16 December 2019. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  18. ^ paradox (13 December 2019). "TNT cut from the TV series "servant of the people" with Zelensky's joke about "Putin — hublo"". micetimes.asia. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  19. ^ путин - ху*ло. Украинская народная (рок-версия) on YouTube
  20. ^ "Песня "Путин, hello" группы "Телери" взорвала интернет (видео)". Podrobnosti. Ukraine. 6 May 2014. Archived from the original on 6 May 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  21. ^ В эфире украинского канала исполнили знаменитый хит о Путине [Ukrainian channel showed live performance of famous hit about Putin] (in Russian). Big Mir. 16 June 2014. Archived from the original on 18 June 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  22. ^ Группа Друга Ріка представила рок-версию знаменитого хита о Путине [Druga Rika Group presented a rock version of the famous hit about Putin] (in Russian). Big Mir. 16 June 2014. Archived from the original on 18 June 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  23. ^ ПТН-ХЛО от "Мед Хедс". Мотофест "Тарасова Гора - 2014 on YouTube
  24. ^ ""Друга Ріка", "Mad Heads" и Кузьма Скрябин спели на концертах хит про Путина". Myradio.ua. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  25. ^ Белорусы на рок-фестивале «Басовище» пели известный хит о Путине. Наша Ніва
  26. ^ Goncharova, Olena (11 July 2014). "Kharkiv, with new anti-Russian song, becomes capital of anti-Putin music (VIDEO)". Kyiv Post. Archived from the original on 11 July 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  27. ^ "Belarus: 100 fans held for Putin song at Euro 2016 game". BBC News. 10 October 2014.
  28. ^ Belarus: Football fans jailed for anti-Putin chant, BBC News, 10 October 2014
  29. ^ "UK village names Putin 'Bellend of the Year' and unveils penis-headed statue", Independent, 16 December 2022
  30. ^ Brassington, Jamie (5 February 2023). "Welcome to Bell End - Meet those loving life on one of the 'rudest' street names". BirminghamLive. Retrieved 15 February 2023.
  31. ^ "Ukrainian diplomat uses swear word for Putin, delighting protesters and angering Moscow". The Washington Post. 14 June 2014. Archived from the original on 11 September 2021.
  32. ^ "Soccer Foes Join Forces on the Front Lines of Ukraine Crisis". The Wall Street Journal. 24 May 2014.
  33. ^ "'Putin Khuilo!' Ukraine's Obscene, Patriotic Rallying Cry". The Atlantic. 18 June 2014.
  34. ^ "A Star With a Not-So-Nice Nickname for Putin Won't Have to Change". 7 July 2014. Archived from the original on 16 September 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  35. ^ Russia Explodes At Ukraine After One Of Its Top Diplomats Called Putin A 'D—head' Archived 24 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Business Insider, 16.06.14
  36. ^ Why Diplomats Curse About Ukraine. Archived 28 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Bloomberg View, 16.06.14
  37. ^ Ukraine Foreign Minister Calls Russia's Vladimir Putin a 'Dickhead'. Archived 25 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine, International Business Times, 15.06.14
  38. ^ 42 Football Fans Arrested After Anti-Putin Song Breaks Out in Belarus-Ukraine Match Archived 21 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine by Damien Sharkov, 10.10.14
  39. ^ "Voters reject many controversial candidates in parliamentary election | KyivPost - Ukraine's Global Voice". KyivPost. 22 July 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  40. ^ "Олег Ляшко заспівав новий український хіт" [Oleg Lyashko sang the new Ukrainian hit]. YouTube. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  41. ^ Max Seddon. "Top Ukrainian Diplomat Calls Putin A "Dickhead"". BuzzFeed. Archived from the original on 16 June 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  42. ^ Глава украинской дипломатии выступил на митинге [Head of Ukrainian diplomacy spoke at the rally] (in Russian). News Balt. 15 June 2014. Archived from the original on 15 June 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  43. ^ Порошенко предложил уволить Дещицу с поста главы МИД [Poroshenko proposed that Deshchytsa be removed from the post of Foreign Minister] (in Russian). Vesti. 18 June 2014. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  44. ^ Порошенко предложил уволить Дещицу с поста главы МИД [Poroshenko proposed that Deshchytsa be removed from the post of Foreign Minister] (in Russian). Vesti. 18 June 2014. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  45. ^ "Песню украинского комментатора о Путине на YouTube посмотрели уже более полумиллиона раз". nvua.net (in Russian). 23 June 2014. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  46. ^ Как депутаты увольняли Дещицу стоячей овацией [How the deputies were dismissing Deshchyrsia with a standing ovation] (in Ukrainian). ICTV (Ukraine). 19 June 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  47. ^ "Arsen Avakov". Retrieved 19 November 2017 – via Facebook.
  48. ^ "Аваков "солидарен" с мнением, что "Путин - х*йло"". Ru.tsn.ua. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  49. ^ "Ukrainian brewery owner making bombs instead of beer". Fox News. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  50. ^ "Pravda Brewery team is hand-bottling today". Yuri Zastavny on Instagram. 26 February 2022. Retrieved 28 February 2022 – via Instagram.
  51. ^ Gordon, Aaron (28 February 2022). "Russian Electric Vehicle Chargers Hacked, Tell Users 'PUTIN IS A DICKHEAD'". Vice.com. Retrieved 1 March 2022. AutoEnterprise's Facebook page re-posted a video taken by an Instagram user from the M11 motorway showing the disabled chargers. The chargers show an error message reading in English "CALL SERVICE NO PLUGS AVAILABLE" before new screens show additional messages in Russian: 'GLORY TO UKRAINE / GLORY TO THE HEROES / PUTIN IS A DICKHEAD / DEATH TO THE ENEMY.'
  52. ^ Goodin, Dan (28 February 2022). "After Ukraine recruits an "IT Army," dozens of Russian sites go dark". Ars Technica. Retrieved 1 March 2022. Instead of recharging vehicles, the stations displayed a message that said, among other things: 'GLORY TO UKRAINE / GLORY TO THE HEROES / PUTIN IS A DICKHEAD / DEATH TO THE ENEMY.'

External links[edit]

Media related to Putin khuilo! at Wikimedia Commons