Ginger Cats and Cute Puppies: Animals, Affect, and Militarisation in the Crisis in Ukraine

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Exposure to affective depictions of soldiers with domesticated animals such as cats and dogs encourages civilian audiences to view soldiers, militaries and even the aims of war with sympathy and approval. This chapter argues that Russia and Ukraine are currently engaged in parallel processes of creating and disseminating such depictions in order to rehabilitate the reputations of their armed forces and garner support for their military operations in eastern Ukraine. This positioning of soldiers’ bodies and animals’ bodies together, most notably in photographs circulated on social media, but also in other representations such as statues, is just one example of the wider phenomenon of digital militarism. State militaries and alliances have become very sophisticated and systematic about the use of digital technologies, especially social media and the internet, to disseminate positive messages and images about soldiers, the armed forces and war. The chapter concludes that the differing degrees of success by Russia and Ukraine can be attributed to factors that are highly dependent on context, demonstrating that militarisation is above all a set of social processes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMaking War on Bodies
Subtitle of host publicationMilitarisation, Aesthetics and Embodiment in International Politics
EditorsCatherine Baker
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978147444621
ISBN (Print)9781474446181
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in Critical Military Studies
PublisherEdinburgh University Press


  • Militarisation
  • War
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
  • Animals
  • Soldiers
  • Affect


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