Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, a series of battles have taken place for control of cities—Kherson, Mariupol, Kharkiv, and many more. Each of those fights have shared a common characteristic—the presence of civilians—that also represents one of the greatest challenges in urban warfare. Specifically, how can a military force protect noncombatants while it works to accomplish its objectives in a city?

In this episode of the Urban Warfare Project Podcast, John Spencer is joined by Sahr Muhammedally. An expert on urban warfare and civilian protection, she served as the director for the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia at CIVIC (the Center for Civilians in Conflict), a nongovernmental organization that seeks to convince parties to armed conflicts to recognize the dignity and rights of civilians, prevent civilian harm, protect civilians caught in conflict, and amend harm. Sahr has advised militaries and governments on civilian harm mitigation policies and training and has worked for over a decade in the fields of armed conflict, human rights, and counterterrorism in Afghanistan, China, Iraq, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen.

You can listen to the discussion below or find the episode on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyTuneIn, or your favorite podcast app. Be sure to subscribe, and if you’re enjoying the Urban Warfare Project Podcast, please take a minute and leave the podcast a review or give it a rating!

Note: This episode was originally released in 2020.

Image credit: DmytryiOzhhikhiin, via