Skip to main content

Civilian Collaboration and Reprisals Behind Ukraine’s Front Lines

June 21, 2022
Pearce Edwards


In analysis for Political Violence At A Glance, an IGCC-supported blog dedicated to political violence and its alternatives, Pearce Edwards, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Politics and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University, investigates how civilians are participating in the Russia-Ukraine war.

The city of Bucha, outside Kyiv, witnessed one of the worst atrocities in the early weeks of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Images and video from the town confirmed reports of a massacre in which Russian forces are alleged to have killed more than 1,000 civilians. The massacre attracted the attention of US President Joe Biden, who decried the event and called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to stand trial for war crimes.

Violence against civilians by Russian forces goes beyond Bucha, however. Amnesty International collected evidence of civilian deaths in the form of extrajudicial killings around the Kyiv region, including the execution of the mayor of Hostomel. Civilians have met similar fates in Russia’s more recent assault on the Donbas, though reports are murky, as captured territory largely remains under Russian control. What explains the targeting of civilians in Ukraine?

Read the full blog post at Political Violence At A Glance.