From FB page; Stand With Ukraine

Sept 9

Sergey Zelenov:

“Sorry, not sure if anyone has posted this here yet…

I think this is absolutely brilliant. Probably my favourite meme of the war.”

Olena Sokolova:

Valerii Zaluzhnyi’s wife:

“Valera, go to bakaliya (shop in Ukrainian) and take some izyum (‘izyum’ means raisins in Ukrainian dialect- surzhyk)

– Go to Balakliya and take on Izyum… Ok!

This is my translation, hope it makes sense, unless Sergey Zelenov comes up with a better one.”

Explanation from Sergey:

The people in the photo – as most of you I’m sure will know – are Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the AFU, and his wife.

Now, the joke is basically a classical pun. ‘Бакалія’ is a somewhat antiquated, but still recognisable word for a small grocery shop, of the kind that was abundant in the pre-supermarket era. It is pronounced ‘bah-kah-lee-ya’ – which sounds similar enough to Balakliya, the first major town liberated in the course of the current counter-offensive of the AFU in the Kharkiv Oblast. Now, the cherry on top of that offensive (which is not Ukrainian yet, but hopefully it’s just a matter of time) is the town called Izyum – or Ізюм, which is also the Ukrainian word for ‘currants’ or ‘raisins’. This is the stronghold of a Russian contingent estimated at up to 10,000 – who are presently risking being cut off from all supplies and evacuation routes (this bit you probably know anyway).

Another thing worth noting is the subtle difference in the usage of verbs – where the word for ‘take’ in Ukrainian is colloquially used to mean ‘get [a quantity of]’, but it also means ‘capture’.

So, it’s like she’s asking him ‘Valera, pop into a grocer’s and get some raisins, will you’ and he repeats to himself, so as not to forget ‘Right… get into Balakliya, capture Izyum… got you’ 😆

Hope I haven’t confused you too much! Слава Україні!!

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