Christopher MacLachlan

Christopher MacLachlan is lecturer in English at the university of St Andrews

Why are Ukrainians calling Russian invaders ‘orcs’?

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.