Vodka. The language that brings us all together.
As the conflict in eastern Ukraine rumbles on, hundreds of miles away in the west of the country, a restaurant is using past and present wars to attract diners.
It was a stern-faced Ukrainian soldier who asked my Russian colleague Dina whether she was a “moskal”- a bad Russian, who wants to kill Ukrainians – or a “rossiyanka” – a friendly neighbour, with good intentions.
He stood in an old-fashioned green uniform, a machine gun at the ready, waiting for her answer.
Luckily, it was the right one. “I’m a rossiyanka, of course,” she said.
This triggered a smile, a shout of “Glory to Ukraine” and earned Dina both a shot of honey vodka and entry to a partisan-themed restaurant.