The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

Ukraine War Music

Pig-Sticker, a Song of the PMC Wagner Mercenaries


Readers of the blog know what side I support in the Russia-Ukraine war, so unsurprisingly most of the songs of the war that I've blogged have been pro-Ukrainian, since they're the ones that most struck me. (Here's an exception.) Still, my point in these posts is to pass along things that may offer some indirect insight into the sentiments of the people who are actually in this war, so I think it would be a mistake to omit the other side's perspective.

Here, then, is "Pig-Sticker" ("Свинорез"), which I believe refers to a knife in Russian as well as in English; it's billed as a song of the Private Military Company (PMC) Wagner (ЧВК Wagner), and I assume that it's an authorized recruiting video, which reflects what Wagner thinks its target audience wants to hear. In various copies it's amassed about 1.5M views in the last six days, so I take it that it's resonated with some people; again, these are not my sentiments, but I thought they were worth observing. (Naturally, the Russian lyrics are rhymed and metered, and from a technical perspective strikes me as quite effectively done.)

The order arrived at night
We fly out that very hour
It means there are problems somewhere
Apparently not for the first time

There, where the soldiers can't pass,
PMCs will lay the path
Just throw us the coordinates
We'll get rid of the enemy right away

[Refrain, sung by an anime girl:]
Uno, dos, tres
I'll get the pigsticker
Where'd you come from, little boy?
Why'd you climb over here?
Quatro, cinco, cinco, seis
I'll wipe off my pigsticker
Better that you run away to the West
And suck dicks in the EU

The PMC's life is short
Which is why it's so sweet [*]
Are you an animal or a man?
You'll understand by the sound of the bullet

We send our autographs on the rockets
We drink our fill of the goblet of life
Two grenades on our vest
For the enemy and for ourselves


It's all about the truth, the truth is in the action
Our task is always right
We work so our grandchildren
Told us, "Grandfather, well done!" [#]

Well, and if we die,
We'll get to Valhalla
We'll quickly regroup
And then go fuck the enemy again


[*] This may be an allusion, deliberate or subconscious, to the Song of the Cavalry Guard, by the great Bulat Okudzhava—a songly vastly different in mood and meaning.

[#] Literally, "Grandfather, you're beautiful," but I think "well done" is probably closer here to the actual sense.