The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent



I hadn't heard the term (in the form "ruscist") until listening to "Bayraktar" this morning—as you might gather, it's a portmanteau of "Russian" and "fascism." In Ukrainian and Russian, "fascism" is pronounced with an "ah" sound, so the two words rhyme. "Ruscism" is said to have been popularized in 2008, with the Russo-Georgian War, though I expect it's getting much more currency now.

I suspect it's also significant that in Russia (and likely in Ukraine) the Nazis were generally called "fashisty" more than "natsisty," the reverse of the English pattern. In America these days, "fascist" is more a political term used promiscuously by many on the Left for people they dislike. In Ukraine and Russia, I suspect that "fascist" remains much more closely linked to a very specific set of murderous invaders.