Skip to main content
Chris  Pool

Chris Pool

PhD Candidate

Contact details


Chris is a PhD candidate in the Department of War Studies. After completing a BA in the department, and subsequently obtaining his PGDL and LPC, Chris trained, qualified and practised as a solicitor, specialising in corporate finance and working in the London and Moscow offices of a leading international law firm. With a continued interest in Russian foreign and security policy and Russian politics, Chris completed a MA in International Peace and Security in the department in 2022.

Since March 2022 Chris has been co-leading an independent UK-based group supplying trucks, drones, medical supplies and other non-lethal tactical equipment to the Ukrainian armed forces.

Chris is a member of the War Crimes Research Group.

Research Interests: 

  • Russian politics
  • Russian foreign and security policy
  • International humanitarian law
  • Civilians directly participating in hostilities

Thesis Title: 

Civil-society’s role in defending Ukraine: the developing challenges presented by civilians participating in armed conflict

Thesis Abstract: 

This PhD project focuses on the role played by civilians in building the capacity and lethality of the armed forces of Ukraine in defending against the full-scale Russian invasion in February 2022. Historically, volunteers and civilians have, in one form or another, participated in armed conflict. However, this has traditionally taken the form of a top-down mobilisation of society into the armed forces and war industries, or indirectly through taxation or the issuance of war-related debt securities and social fund-raising, or through volunteers forming special units to join regular armed forces. In the Russian full-scale invasion Ukraine, by contrast, we are seeing civil-society playing a far more pro-active role, using new technologies, know-how and communications tools to initiate and lead grassroots efforts to support the defence efforts, dramatically widening the scope and increasing the scale of civilian participation. Such self-mobilisation and participation presents challenges to the framework of international humanitarian law relating to the differentiation in status between civilian and combatant, as well as to the nature of civil-military relations, and this project intends to survey the nature and scale of such participation and critically assess how such participation challenges these existing frameworks.


  • Professor James Gow
  • Professor Rachel Kerr


War Crimes Research Group

Conducting research and teaching on war crimes (broadly conceived) and war.


War Crimes Research Group

Conducting research and teaching on war crimes (broadly conceived) and war.