"However, according to all available information on Asov, to argue that the battalion is a monolithic Neo-Nazi, ultra-nationalist, and anti-Semitic unity is unjustified. German-extremism researcher, Alexander Ritzmann at Berlin’s Counter Extremism Project said recently, the Azov Battalion is definitely not a right-wing extremist Battalion in the Ukrainian army.

Riztmann noted that many of Asov’s right-wing extremist founding members had, in fact, left the Azov Battalion in the course of its integration into Ukraine’s National Guard. Once outside, they founded the right-wing extremist Azov movement."

September 7, 2022
Article Source

"For this group, however, the main reason for participating in the war would not be to help the Ukrainian army against the Russian offensive, but to gain military experience. 'Some right-wing extremists have seen the war in Ukraine as an opportunity to gain combat experience that would otherwise not be available to them,' Joshua Fisher-Birch, a far-right expert and analyst at the Counter Extremism Project, tells VICE." 

August 30, 2022
Article Source

"A group of experts gathered by the Counter-Extremism Project believes the number of pro-Ukraine foreign fighters present in-country ranges from 'several hundred… to a few thousand.' Fighters from Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics still seem to constitute the bulk of arrivals, with Poland, Georgia, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania among the most frequently mentioned in open sources as countries of origin."

August 18, 2022
Article Source

"Joshua Fisher-Birch, an expert and analyst on the far-right at the Counter-Extremism Project, said some extremists may see the conflict as a chance to become battle hardened and gain military skills.

'Some right-wing extremists have viewed the war in Ukraine as an opportunity to gain critical combat experience which would otherwise be unavailable to them,' said Fisher-Birch, pointing out that war experience can also help boost their cachet within the movement at home. 'Combat experience not only serves the purpose of increasing their own capabilities but passing those skill sets along to others in their movement.'"

August 16, 2022
Article Source
Wednesday, Jul 20, 2022

Kacper Rekawek, PhD | CEP Webinar: Western Extremists And The Russian Invasion Of Ukraine In 2022

On July 20, 2022, the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) hosted a webinar that addressed the major findings of its latest report,Western Extremists and the Russian Invasion of Ukraine in 2022: All Talk, But Not a Lot of Walk, including the existing military and paramilitary structures within Ukraine in which foreigners integrate as well as the reaction of the German and the U.S. extremist scenes to the intensification of the war in Ukraine.

Since 2019, CEP has been monitoring the activities of foreign extremists traveling to Ukraine as well as paramilitary infrastructures in Central and Eastern Europe frequented by these extremists. Following the Russian invasion this year, CEP published an initial assessment and recommendations for actions by governments on how to manage this new situation.



Kacper Rekawek PhD – Postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX), University of Oslo, and CEP-affiliated researcher
Overall analysis and situation of foreign fighters in Ukraine

Alexander Ritzmann – CEP senior advisor
Travel of German extremists to the war zone in Ukraine

Joshua Fisher-Birch – CEP research analyst
Reaction of the U.S. extremist scene to the invasion of Ukraine


Dr. Hans-Jakob Schindler – CEP senior director

Remote video URL

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On December 6, 2021, alleged ISIS fighters from Syria attacked Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraq in Nineveh province’s Makhmour district.   

View Archive

CEP on Twitter