Resources: Ukraine’s foreign fighters

Most discussions of foreign fighters (including on this blog) focus on Sunni Muslims joining ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other jihadist groups to Syria and Iraq. But there are other interesting foreign fighter flows worthy of research attention. Phillip Smyth produced this excellent report on Shia Muslims joining Iranian-backed militias in Shia and Iraq. There are also people, often Westerners, travelling to join Kurdish groups in the region fighting against ISIS.

The Ukrainian conflict has also attracted foreign fighters. Since the war began in early-to-mid 2014, small numbers of foreigners have travelled to join extreme-right militias on both sides. This is not an issue I’ve been following much at all, so this post provides a brief collection of links for anyone else interested in it.

Media articles:

Ukraine: Far-Right Fighters from Europe Fight for Ukraine“, Eurasianet, 6 August 2014.

Ukraine War Pulls in Foreign Fighters“, BBC 1 September 2014.

Is Europe Overlooking the Far-Right ‘Foreign Fighter’ Issue in Ukraine?“, Huffington Post, 23 January 2015.


Ukraine’s Far-Right Forces“, Hate Speech International, 3 February 2015.

Neither ‘NATO’s Foreign Legion’ Nor the ‘Donbass International Brigades:’ (Where Are All the) Foreign Fighters in Ukraine?“, PISM Policy Papers, 30 March 2015.

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