A while back before the fighting started, I related some first hand experiences that convinced me there was enough resentment amongst Ukrainians of the arrogant, nay racist, Russian attitude towards them that their resistance would be of the 1939 Finnish variety, as opposed to the French 1940 vintage. In this context I mentioned an incident at a business dinner in Moscow where a Ukrainian was present and a Russian told a joke, the punchline of which was to compare Ukrainians unfavourably with those of African descent, (which in Russian parlance is seriously insulting).
And here we are! A recent Russian cartoon.
The caption is in cod-Ukrainian, which any Russian would understand. The two Ukrainian cavemen, dwelling amidst the bombed-out ruins, have walked past a desecrated statue of Lenin that someone has replaced with a little sign saying 'glory to Ukraine'. I'm having trouble translating one word - СОВОК **- but anyhow, one says to the other, That's how we smash up the entire Moscow "СОВОК" - now, back to the cave to celebrate the "victory"! The twofold suggestion is clear: they are sub-human neanderthals; and if they think they've done any serious damage to Russian plans, they've a surprise coming.
Q.E.D. Not a recipe for taking the other side seriously. And of course the surprises have mostly been coming from the opposite direction ...
** СОВОК, google tells me, means the same in both languages, namely "a scoop", in the wholly literal sense of a low-grade implement (- including, e.g., a pooperscoop) - with no indication it has a journalistic usage as in English. In the cartoon, it's in inverted commas, either suggesting a colloquial meaning or, as with the other word in inverted commas, ПЕРЕМОГУ (victory), suggesting a gross misappreciation of something on the part of the cavemen.
I'm assuming it's meant to imply the Ukrainians might have managed to destroy some modest piece of Russian military equipment that's of no consequence. Or maybe it's the statue? Or that they don't realise they've destroyed something much more valuable than they know? But if one of our, *ahem*, many new Russian readers would like to put us onto a better rendering of the term in this context, we'd be happy to hear from them.
UPDATE: a reader has kindly cleared this up for us - see BTL comments: it seems to be a slighting term for someone that hankers after the old Soviet days. Makes perfect sense (it's relating to the defacement of the statue after all, then) - thanks!