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Russian Nationalist Veterans of the Donbas War

  • Natalia Yudina (a1) and Alexander Verkhovsky (a1)


Among the Russian citizens who fought in eastern Ukraine on the side of the separatists are representatives of Russian nationalist groups and organizations. After briefly reviewing the details of their participation in the war, this article looks at the various paths open to former militants upon their return from the war. This article identifies such options as continued military training and organization of military camps, participation in the war in Syria, participation in attacks on political opponents in Russia, racially tinged vigilantism, and attempts to return to political activities. Nationalist fighters who have returned from the war found themselves with limited options given the current decline of the radical far-right in Russia. The following three important conclusions can be made: (1) the return of deeply disappointed militants from the Donbas, especially those who had previously participated in radical groups, was perceived as a significant threat, but this threat has not yet materialized; (2) their return had no significant effect on the nationalist movement as a whole; and (3) some groups of former militants nevertheless remain potentially dangerous in the event of political destabilization.


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Russian Nationalist Veterans of the Donbas War

  • Natalia Yudina (a1) and Alexander Verkhovsky (a1)


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