Who Is in Putin’s Army? Talking to Russian Prisoners of War in Ukraine and What We Can Learn From It

Seminars and Colloquia

Peter Ruzavin is a Russian journalist, who has been reporting from Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion. Peter conducted several interviews with Russian prisoners of war in Ukrainian captivity.

Fully aware of the ambiguities of the interview as a genre and complexities of having interviews under prison conditions, he believes that the conversations he had are important in giving a sense of: Who is fighting in the Russian army or rather who are the people who ended up killing others and risking themselves to get killed, wounded and maimed? To what an extent are Russian soldiers aware of the results of their actions? When in September 2022 Russian authorities started mobilization observers made predictions that it could be a turning point for Russian society. But it didn’t happen. Will the new wave of mobilization in Russia lead to the same result?

Watch a selection of the interviews here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lR7cHnO8geM

Peter Ruzavin, journalist and editor, has been reporting from Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion. Currently IWM Visiting Fellow of the program The World in Pieces.

Kirill Rogov, Visiting Fellow at the IWM, senior research fellow at the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy and a member of the supervisory board of the Liberal Mission Foundation (Moscow), provided commentary.

Clemena Antonova, Research Director of IWM's The World in Pieces program, moderated the discussion.


Fellows Colloquia are internal events for the IWM Visiting Fellows and Guests.