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A hardline Stalinist. A tankie is a member of a communist group or a "fellow traveller" (sympathiser) who believes fully in the political system of the Soviet Union and defends/defended the actions of the Soviet Union and other accredited states (China, Serbia, etc.) to the hilt, even in cases where other communists criticise their policies or actions. For instance, such a person favours overseas interventions by Soviet-style states, defends these regimes when they engage in human rights violations, and wishes to establish a similar system in other countries such as Britain and America.

The term is used to distinguish the rare individuals with these kinds of beliefs from communists more broadly (including Communist Party members), whose adherence to Soviet doctrine and attachment to existing "socialist" states is somewhat weaker.

It is always more-or-less abusive in the sense that those termed tankies do not use the term themselves, but it doesn't have any particular bite (unlike, say, Trot).

The term derives from the fact that the divisions within the communist movement first arose when the Soviet Union sent tanks into communist Hungary in 1956, to crush an attempt to establish an alternative version of communism which was not embraced by the Russians. Most communists outside the eastern bloc opposed this action and criticised the Soviet Union. The "tankies" were those who said "send the tanks in".

The epithet has stuck because tankies also supported "sending the tanks in" in cases such as Czechoslovakia 1968, Afghanistan 1979, Bosnia and Kosovo/a (in the case of the Serbian state), and so on (whereas the rest of the communist movement has gravitated towards anti-militarism).
I wouldn't be surprised if the tankies even defend Saddam Hussein.

Some of the people round George W Bush used to be left-wing, but they haven't really changed their views much; they were mostly tankies.
by Andy April 20, 2004
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Someone who idealises military pageantry, communist iconography, and milatary strength including tanks in favour of a far left-wing communist/socialist regime to a borderline fascistic degree.
Wow, that Tankie sure does like tanks
via giphy
by Captain_Flare December 13, 2019
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A young male, usually between the ages of 13 and 21 who spends way to much time on reddit and 4chan, and who is a strong supporter of communism, especially the soviet union because it sounds nice and has a cool national anthem. Will also go out of there way to find reasons why the USSR is (was) cooler than the U.S.

Similar to commieboo
Person #1: Wow, did you know 70 million people died in communist china?

Person #2: But that wasn't real communism!

Person #1: Shut up tankie
by Toad_ie December 16, 2019
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(noun) A leftist who is so overly concerned with not being mistaken for a liberal that they accidentally became a conservative.
Kyle: Everyone is so obsessed with identity politics now.
Rosa: Don't be such a tankie, Kyle.
by blurplethegreat January 26, 2020
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A member of the Royal Tank Regiment of the British Army. The RTR are part of the Royal Armoured Corps- the rest are generally referred to as donkey wallopers or cav ( bit too yankee).
(German accent)- Mein Gott the Tankies are kicking off down Mindener Strasse again!
(2nd German)- Ja, 7 Sigs they never learn !
by I ain't that daft February 15, 2005
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7
an adjective used to describe those who have the capacity to consume food or drink in an unusual, extreme, or sometimes lethal manner.
Tom: John went back to the buffet 8 times!

Pete: Wow, he's a real tankie!
by Kash09 January 11, 2008
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