The constellation of armed actors operating in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion is growing—civilian volunteers within Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces as well as an influx of foreign fighters, paramilitaries, and mercenaries are joining Ukraine and Russia’s professional militaries.
What are the implications of this trend in relation to the protection of civilians in armed conflict and different understandings of international humanitarian law among fighters? Are there emerging patterns of harm that warrant specific attention from the humanitarian and human rights community? How will this constellation of armed actors affect ongoing discussions of holding parties to conflict accountable for war crimes and other violations of international law? How do these developments affect the work of InterAction Members and partners going forward, notably in terms of U.S. government-focused advocacy?
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