More than 17,000 foreign fighters were involved in the war in Ukraine. The majority of them were Russians but there were also significant foreign fighter mobilisations in Western Europe.
This video looks at two such mobilisations: one that brought fighters to the “separatist” or pro-Russian side – the French, and the other that recruited fighters for the pro-Ukraine side – the Swedish. These two mobilisations encompassed at least 50 fighters with at least a hundred of other individuals from France and Sweden somehow involved in the war – be it as doctors, trainers, sympathetic journalists if not propagandists, humanitarian activists, or even musicians entertaining the troops on the frontline.
The video, in a comparative manner, zooms in on the background of these French and Swedish foreign fighters and their rationale for joining the conflict. It also discusses the fighters’ travels to the frontlines, the units in which they fought, the experiences of the fighters, and their lives after their involvement in the conflict.
The video is a part of the project “The Future of Foreign Fighters in Ukraine” conducted by Kacper Rekawek (@KacperRekawek) and supported by the Counter Extremism Project (CEP).
For more information on the fighters and this project see:
Kacper Rekawek, Career Break Or a New Career? Extremist Foreign Fighters in Ukraine, CEP, 2020, https://bit.ly/2BtfIzY