The Lawfare Podcast: Emily Hoge on the Strange Evolution of Russian Veterans Organizations

By Jen Patja Howell
Monday, April 25, 2022, 5:01 AM

Emily Hoge is a PhD candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, writing a dissertation on Russian veterans groups from the Afghan war and their evolution over time. She wrote a recent piece in Lawfare about how these groups, which started as anti-war, anti-state, pro-veterans activist organizations, morphed into a big part of Vladimir Putin's propaganda operations. She joined Benjamin Wittes to talk about the history of these groups, how they emerged from the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan and the collapse of the Soviet Union to represent veterans all over the country, how Putin adopted their victimization narrative and made it key to his vision of the state's relations with the international order more broadly, and how these groups are now promoting the war in Ukraine.