In January 2023, Meta removed the Azov Regiment from its list of dangerous individuals and organisations. The Ukrainian regiment became infamous for its neo-Nazi ideology after the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian war in 2014 and is now easy prey for Putin in his purported efforts to ‘de Nazify’ Ukraine. In a statement, Meta’s spokesperson said: “The war in Ukraine has meant changing circumstances in many areas and it has become clear that the Azov Regiment does not meet our strict criteria for designation as a dangerous organization.”
With social media being used by both Russian and Ukrainian forces to garner support for their war efforts, the role of technology in the conflict is constantly evolving. In this Insight, we talk to Kacper Rekawek, author of the recently published Foreign Fighters in Ukraine: The Brown–Red Cocktail, to discuss the role of extremist foreign fighters in the Russo-Ukrainian war and how technology is being used to facilitate their involvement.