HKS Authors

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As Ukrainian forces aim at a major counteroffensive against Russia, the issue of collaborators, especially in Russian-occupied areas, has drawn renewed attention. If Kyiv successfully regains significant territory, as it did in the fall of 2022, it will have to decide what to do with people in those areas who worked with or otherwise assisted Russian occupation authorities and forces in their repression of local populations and propaganda. Since the start of its illegal invasion of Ukraine in 2014, Russia has been actively relying on collaborators to establish its control over the occupied territories, get information about military targets, help crush dissent and spread propaganda in occupied areas, and sabotage Ukrainian democracy from within, for example by infiltrating Ukrainian state institutions to assist Moscow’s aggressive agenda.


Dancy, Geoff, Kathryn Sikkink, Mykhailo Soldatenko, and Patrick Vinck. "Russia’s Willing Collaborators: Ukraine Needs a Measured Lustration Policy to Strengthen Security and Rebuild Democracy." Foreign Affairs. June 8, 2023.