What does "По хулиганке" mean? I cannot find a sensible translation. It is the title of a song of the group 'Iron Bees'.

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    keep in mind that learning Russian by listening шансон can be very productive but is pretty much as learning English by listening gangsta rap.
    – shabunc
    Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 8:50
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    Clarification: "Русский шансон". Not to be confused with the (original) "French chanson".
    – tum_
    Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 9:01
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    @tum_ wow, English article is not that good, for instance, calling "Любэ" шансон is just wrong.
    – shabunc
    Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 12:42
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    @mathreadler indeed it is the word we took "хулиган" from... but "По XXXXX" combination have very specific meanings for a lot of words - "по статье"/"по хулиганке" means getting prison sentence for particular type of violations (while "хулиган" itself is far milder than "criminal" in most cases) , "по дружбе" - asking to do something usually non-trivial for free, "по пиву?" - suggesting to get a beer, possibly with subtext of we are done/agreed and now can relax a bit. Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 18:59
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    "Hooliganism" is Russian criminal code can be mapped to US' "Disorderly conduct", "Vandalism" or "Menacing". Note that "Robbery" or "Assault" are different, and more serious crimes in most countries.
    – Alexander
    Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 19:13

2 Answers 2


(Haven't heard or read the song, so it's a guess).

Most probably, it's a criminal jargon, where "хулиганка" stands for "УК РФ Статья 213. Хулиганство".

See also Хулиганство in Wiki.

An expression "пойти по хулиганке" means something like "be sentenced (and go to prison) for violating the above article of the criminal law".


Tried to find the "lyrics" of the song but failed.

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    this. also worth to mention that "по хулиганке" is build by analogy with "по уголовке" (по уголовной статье).
    – shabunc
    Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 8:46
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    Lawspeak is hard to understand, especially when it's foreign. Here's a short summary in English: Хулиганство means “disorderly conduct”, it's gross violation of public order, behavior which shows disrespect to society and human dignity. According to the laws of Russia, it can entail up to 7 years in prison.
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 8:51
  • Thanks for this answer. i get the idea, also assisted by the comments people left here. I also don't find the lyrics online. But the music video (and plain song) is freely available online. The music video shows hooligans, but in a ridiculed way. Then there is Ska music and pogo dancing. Some minor alcohol (drugs) references in the lyrics and video but nothing offensive. I think everyone who is interested can safely watch it. About the context in the song I'm not sure. Are they saying that everyone who gets sentenced for hooliganism is GREAT or NOT GREAT? :-) Commented Sep 18, 2020 at 17:42

Of course, "пойти по хулиганке" means to get a prison sentence. However, the legal explanations look unsatisfactory to me. So I'll try to give mine. Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer.

First of all, "Disorderly misconduct" is a kind of misdemeanour, and as such it cannot result in a prison sentence. Basically, it corresponds to "мелкое хулиганство" which is surely not what the song above is talking about.

The closest legal term here is "Aggravated assault". The source of confusion is the poor wording in the Russian Criminal code which originates in the Soviet one. Consider the aforementioned art. 213 which starts with "public violation" but right after that adds "by weapon or things used as a weapon". So in practice it's something "worse than just assault". The same as "aggravated assault" in legal English.

So much probably the song talks about a guy who was caught on robbery, but cops couldn't prove the latter and so he was condemned of "hooliganism", i.e. "aggravated assault".

  • it's not necessarily about prison sentence, "пойти по хулинагке" can also mean that investigation is started - возбуждени дела по статье "хулиганство".
    – shabunc
    Commented Sep 17, 2020 at 19:03
  • @shabunc Well, yes, but that difference should be obvious from the context anyway. My point is rather that art.213 is about very serious crimes, not even close to "disorderly conduct" and such.
    – Matt
    Commented Sep 17, 2020 at 19:13
  • Thanks for this answer. It doesn't help me a lot, but I upvoted it, because you are pointing out the "poor wording in the Russian Criminal". That seems to be an issue for this particular translation. Commented Sep 18, 2020 at 17:43

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