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 21, 2004
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a political term with several definitions:
1. communists who support the Brezhnev doctrine which involved Soviet military invasions and coups to keep the Eastern Bloc countries in line
2. a communist that defends the legacy and actions of past and present Marxist-Leninist states and leaders
3. a proponent of "authoritarian socialist" ideologies like Marxism-Leninism, Maoism, Juche, and sometimes Trotskyism
4. a word that clueless liberals use against literally anyone to the left of them, anyone who opposes US foreign policy, and anyone skeptical of the objectivity of western media reporting about socialist states
1. the original tankies supported the USSR "sending in the tanks" in 1956 to put down the rebellion in Hungary
2. tankies be like "Stalin was based"
3. tankies be like "uphold the immortal science of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism-Hoxhaism-Titoism-Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism-Deng Xiaoping thought!"
4. average clueless liberal: "what? you don't like neoliberal capitalism? you think we should drop the Cuban embargo and stop bombing the middle east? you think that unverifiable claims originating from US intelligence sources are bullshit because they lied about WMDs in Iraq and many other things to justify interventionism? EW FUCKING TANKIE"
by cheese toastie with pickles November 25, 2021
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Anyone who doesn’t think communist countries are required to roll over and die when confronting a capitalist belligerent.
Noah Smith heaped abuse on tankies for saying DC-based OAS was lying about electoral fraud in Bolivia.
by jchristian January 13, 2022
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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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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 12, 2008
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another way to say "thanks", because "thanks" is so played out. {taken from the hit show "Gullah Gullah Island"}
Here's some more sweet nourishing apple juice.

Tanky tanky.
by El_Scorcho September 5, 2003
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Have you seen the Video of Ushanka Kid? When he said Stalin would be better than Trump he was a real Tanky
by Comradekennedy March 11, 2019
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