Caught in the Crosshair: Exploring the role of combat sports in the Russia-Ukraine war
Combat sports have emerged as a tool for recruiting soldiers, platforming wartime propaganda, and as a target of international sanctions.
When Russia first launched its brutal war in Ukraine in February 2022, footage of a Ukrainian mixed martial arts fighter being tortured began to circulate on Telegram.
The footage appeared to show former MMA fighter Maxim Ryndovskiy being abused by a group of unknown assailants. One of the videos showed the victim seated on a c…