START Webinar Series: Foreign Fighters in Ukraine

Video Synopsis

Given by START Researcher Egle Murauskaite, this presentation is adapted from the report "Foreign Fighters in Ukraine: Assessing Potential Risks," which is the first academic publication to focus exclusively on the subject of foreigners taking part in the conflict in Ukraine. What types of people does this conflict attract, and what happens to them upon returning home? Many in the West have come to mistakenly view these fighters as a potential risk of radicalization and violent extremism - erroneously comparing them to radicalized fighters returning from Iraq, Syria, and other hotspots in the Middle East. Instead, the risks associated with foreign fighters returning from Ukraine lie elsewhere: stigmatization upon return, their latent potential for foreign-directed disruptive action, and irresponsible media coverage that turns them into heroes for self-radicalizing elements of society. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this video are the speaker’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of START, the University of Maryland or the United States government.

Research Area