Nov 3, 2023

Toy Soldiers

Back in February of 2022, anyone who knew anything thought the War in Ukraine would be over in a few weeks. Russia simply had more bodies to fight with and more steel to kill with.

Fast-forward to today, however, and the war is anything but over. Ukraine has held and regained territory with shocking resilience. Stranger still, a small, cheap gadget that up until now was little more than a toy, has been central to their success.

Today on Radiolab, we track the deployment of this weapon and wonder what happens when you have to look your enemy in the eye before you pull the trigger. 

Special thanks to
Anna Kaliusna and her team for her footage from the frontline, Yulia Tarisuk for her help with all things Ukrainian language related. And Hanna Rose Shell for her helping us understand the history of camouflage.

Reported by - Simon Adler
Produced by - Simon Adler
Original music and sound design contributed by - Simon Adler and Jeremy Bloom
with mixing by - Jeremy Bloom
Fact-checking by - Natalie Middleton
and Edited by - Becca Bressler



On the Media, “The Fog of War” (

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Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.


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