“Ruscism” is a new term that has been thrown around a lot recently in social media and is even being used on posts from official Ukrainian government accounts. But what exactly is Ruscism? And what does the new notion represent in context to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine?

Ruscism or “Pашизм” is pronounced like the word fascism with an “R” instead of an “F” as the starting consonant. It roughly translates to “Russian fascism,” or the culmination of extreme right-wing values that now form the Russian war ideology. According to The New York Times, “Pашизм” is a word created from 3 languages, namely Italian, Russian, and English, that contains complex puns references that highlight the Ukrainians’ wit and ability to code-switch.