(New York, N.Y./Berlin) – Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, there has been significant concern about the phenomenon of foreign fighters of various extremist ideologies traveling to take part in the conflict. The new CEP report Western Extremists and the Russian Invasion of Ukraine in 2022: All Talk, But Not a Lot of Walk shows that only a fraction of the nearly 20,000 foreigners who initially expressed an interest in joining the Russia-Ukraine war actually have done so until now. While some of these foreigners are indeed extremists, the report’s careful analysis of extreme right-wing scenes across seven countries—the United States, Canada, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and Poland—reveals that the current conflict has not led to a significant flow of extremists to the war zone.
However, among these volunteers are also a small number of violence-oriented extremists from both the extreme right and extreme left. These individuals present a latent security risk to their home countries. Their participation in the conflict will significantly increase their potential for violence upon their return. Furthermore, movements of Russian right-wing extremists fighting on Russia’s side should be closely monitored, as some of these groups have provided support for attacks in Europe in the past.
This webinar will address the major findings of CEP’s latest report, 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, the Counter Extremism Project (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.
The webinar will be conducted in English via Zoom.
Date: July 20, 2022
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. ET / 16:00 – 17:30 CET
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
The presentations will be followed by a Q&A-session open to all participants.
To participate in this webinar please register via this link:
Please register up to 1 hour before the webinar start so that your registration can be approved in time.
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