Christopher MacLachlan

Why are Ukrainians calling Russian invaders ‘orcs’?

The scene of devastation left by Russian soldiers after their withdrawal from Bucha, Ukraine (Getty images)

Ukrainian victims of Russia’s war have taken to calling their invaders ‘orcs’. The word is familiar to JRR Tolkien readers as the name given to the monstrous anthropoids in his epic novel ‘The Lord of the Rings’. In all Tolkien’s stories of the wars in Middle Earth, orcs are violent, destructive and untrustworthy, wreaking wanton havoc wherever they go.

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