Russians Now Protesting the War Using a Fish

‘I experience a very strong dislike for the smell of that type of fish’

B Kean
3 min readOct 15, 2022



For writing “Nyet V…e!” one can be imprisoned in Russia. Nyet means no in Russian. “V…e,” the missing middle letters are represented by the dots, means “voine.” All of this together means “no to war.”

24-year-old Alisa Klementova recently wrote on the pavement at the Unity and Agreement Square in the city of Tyumen the very same words. “Nyet V…e!”

She was arrested but then a local judge released her and made the police return to her the chalk she used to write on the ground.

Alisa was released because she said that the words did not mean “voine” or “to war” but rather “voble,” or Caspian roach — “no to voble.”

What is a vobla?

The handsome, fat fish in the image above is a vobla, otherwise called a Caspian roach in English. This is one of the most popular fish in Russia and has been eaten almost exclusively by people in the Soviet Union with beer for well over a hundred years.

Vobla is not particularly popular when eaten fresh. Every time that I have eaten this fish it was perfectly salted and dried and consumed with a cold, frothy beer.

Vobla has a very distinct smell and can definitely ruin a tablecloth not to mention the air around those eating it.

Usually, when people eat vobla with beer, they spread newspapers out on the table so that the fish, its guts, and all of the bones can then be scooped up with the newspaper and tossed into the garbage.

Alisa explained to the judge that in the neighboring apartment a bunch of alcoholics reside. Day in and day out, they consume beer and eat stinky vobla after vobla. They often leave the bags filled with the carcasses in the stairwell near their door until removing the fish to the dumpster in the morning. The smell permeates her apartment.

She was having fun and wrote “Net V…e!” The words she used to explain to the judge her feelings for the fish were: I experience a very strong dislike for the smell of that type of fish.



B Kean

The past holds the answers to today’s problems. “Be curious, not judgmental,” at least until you have all the facts. Think and stop watching cable news.