The term whataboutery means

"Responding to criticism by accusing one's opponent of similar or worse faults" (wikipedia).

The closest I found is the whole phrase

В огороде бузина, а в Киеве — дядька

Is there a better translation for this, apart from the fact that whataboutery is a logical fallacy and as such could be translated with a general term as софизм or демагогия?

  • 3
    Встречная критика (a more formal term).
    – Alex_ander
    Jan 10, 2018 at 5:49
  • Maybe related: lurkmore.to/… Jan 10, 2018 at 22:15
  • I would say that "В огороде бузина" is about incoherent conversations in general. Mutual criticism isn't the first thing that comes to mind.
    – Igor G
    May 7, 2019 at 15:28

3 Answers 3



It's a joke term, quite rare yet actually used (about 2 thousands usages found by Yandex, about 1 thousand by Google).

Here's quote from wikipedia about this particular term:

Метод какнасчётизма также вошёл и в советский фольклор в форме анекдота:

— Скажите, какова средняя заработная плата рабочего в СССР? — …А у вас негров линчуют!

Here's example of usage:

В связи с этим в Великобритании начали говорить о возвращении "какнасчетизма", сопровождающем "откат к авторитарному укладу", пишет газета "The Financial Times"


I guess there's no concise equivalent in Russian and for a reason as this rhetorical vehicle was known to be mainly employed by the Soviet side of the Cold War in response to Western (American) criticism and accusations, so it's anglophones who coined a term for it.

There're some suggestions in Multitran:

перекладывание вины на других
засыпание оппонента встречными обвинениями
критика в ответ на критику

  • перекладывание вины на других - всё-таки не whataboutery, но да, близко, два остальных варианта ближе.
    – shabunc
    Jan 9, 2018 at 21:37
  • agreed, just presented all options available there Jan 10, 2018 at 8:07

On Russian Wikipedia "какнасчётизм" is used. A very popular phrase in this context is "а у вас негров линчуют", however it does not suit as a term.

  • 1
    As I can see, even though the phrase "а у вас негров линчуют" is not a term yet, it is going to become a term. For example, in discussions one can hear often "Ну, это аргумент уровня "а у вас негров линчуют"".
    – Dmitriy
    Jan 10, 2018 at 10:23

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