Russia

Maniacs. Murder. Cult

“Maniacs. Murder. Cult” is Russia’s newest neo-Nazi terrorist organization, created by Ukrainian neo-Nazi Yegor “Maniac” Krasnov in 2017. According to Russian special services, the group’s ideology is peoplehate.

**Official position**

The ICU first became known in January 2021. Russian media, citing an FSB press release, reported the [detention](https://www.bbc.com/russian/features-56458156) of Nazis in Yaroslavl, Voronezh, and Gelendzhik, and television showed footage of the arrests. The official press releases stated that numerous extremist materials, cold weapons, instructions for making homemade bombs and firearms were seized from the radicals. Among the symbols they had images of Hitler, former Soviet general Andrey Vlasov and Russian Liberation Army headed by him.

As the detainees admitted during interrogations, their group formed in 2019 “under the ideological influence” of Ukrainian citizen Yegor Krasnov, who used the pseudonym “Yegor Yakovlev” on the Internet. He and other members of the “MKU” subsequently forwarded instructions to Russia from Kiev and Kharkov for committing terrorist attacks, mass murders and other violent actions, the FSB noted.
“Preparation for them was conducted at special training sessions, and practical skills were practiced at beatings of homeless people and representatives of youth subcultures,” the release stated. As a demonstration of “commitment to Nazi ideology,” members of the group burned a copy of the Victory Banner.

Throughout the year, Russian security services reported detentions of gang members in various cities. According to their data, the first Russian M.K.U. cell was established, presumably in 2018. In December 2021, it was reported that security forces had identified 106 members of the neo-Nazi youth group M.K.U. in 37 regions of Russia. The Federal Security Service carried out search and investigation activities in relation to them.

**Yegor “Maniac” Krasnov**

The “founder of the group” Egor Krasnov himself is only 20 years old. He is indeed suspected of armed attacks on people. In February 2020, Komsomolskaya Pravda in Ukraine [wrote](https://kp.ua/life/660062-19-letnyi-sadyst-yz-dnepra-nazyvaet-sebia-maniakom-y-psykhom) that he and a group of accomplices [attacked](https://fakty.com.ua/ua/proisshestvija/20200129-rizav-nozhem-i-znimav-na-video-u-dnipri-zatrymaly-19-richnogo-maniyaka/) a 22-year-old resident of Dnipro. The young man, whom the media called Dmitry, was stabbed eight times, but he survived. The Prosecutor’s Office of the Dnipropetrovsk region stated at the time that Krasnov had five episodes of attacks on his account.

In Telegram channels associated with the M.K.U., Krasnov explains that he was pushed to violence by childhood traumas. But he is not remorseful; on the contrary, he says that the attacks seem “fun” to him.

There is practically no material on the activities of the M.K.U. in open sources. M.K.U. associates with the Nazi movement ENO (Ethnic National Movement). Its leader [told](https://novayagazeta.ru/articles/2021/03/19/egor-maniak-i-ego-komanda) that he helped Krasnov promote the group:

“We were initially involved in promoting Yegor. He’s been running since 2019. His brother sat in our chat room, wrote about him in 2020. His friend, who administers resources and with whom we communicated, passed on this information. There is no M.K.U. as an organization. It is a group of five people, most of whom are schoolchildren. The FSB is interested in presenting this situation from the point of view of “Bandera members, fascists. And the SBU is interested in presenting everything from the position of “the Kremlin’s hand. How can a group of five or six people, which rose solely on the fact that we helped them in advertising, be any organization or network?”

According to the ENO leader, Yegor Krasnov committed suicide in early March in the Dnepropetrovsk detention center. This information was confirmed to him by Yegor’s friend, who runs the ICU community on Telegram. At the moment, this person is responsible for several channels that promote the ideology of mass murders of “enemies of the white race” and terrorism.

**–°ontradictions**

There are serious doubts that the M.K.U. really exists as an organized Nazi group. Journalists have [investigated](https://theins.ru/antifake/240334) and concluded that there is too much contradictory information in the M.K.U. story. That is, the detainees are indeed Nazis, but the group from Voronezh claimed to belong to the dissolved organization Russian Corps, while they had heard about M.K.U. for the first time. The Russian special services benefit from presenting the case of the arrested Nazis as an organized group coordinated from Ukraine.

At the same time, journalists [were able](https://www.currenttime.tv/a/chto-takoe-m-k-u/31171118.html) to find Yegor Maniak’s victims in Dnipro. The victim was 26-year-old Al Massalmeh Mshed from Syria. In November 2019, he was beaten and had his iPhone taken away. Also members of the gang attacked programmer Dmitriy, and then said that he was a drug addict. After this episode, Yegor Maniak was arrested.

**Media Influence**

The group became popular on Internet among radical Nazi peoplehaters through videos with scenes of attacks and murders, set to the music of [Skabbibal](https://vk.com/skabbibal).