for me, anyway, is is присяга, or ‘oath’ in Russian. I’ve been interviewing Ukrainian soldiers in Crimean bases, awaiting Sunday’s referendum to decide their future.
You swear an oath to one country, and then one morning you wake up and there are soldiers without insignia outside your military base, speaking a language you speak perfectly yourself, demanding you swear an oath to another.
What do to do? Sit tight, and hope for the best.
So this was my new word. The two words I heard most often in Crimea today though, were ‘fascist’ and ‘provocateur’. They sound the same in Russian as in English, but I’m not sure how many non-Russians or Ukrainians would quite recognise the way they’re being used here. Indiscriminately, to describe everyone and everything that doesn’t support one hundred and fifty percent, with utter enthusiasm and unquestioning joy, the idea of Crimea becoming part of Russia.