Russian Imperial Movement

The Russian Imperial Movement (RIM) is a monarchist, white supremacist group operating out of Russia with supporters around the world opposed to president of Russia Vladimir Putin. RIM describes itself as a "Russian monarchist, Orthodox-patriotic, and right-conservative organization. We fight for a better, more just and brighter future for every Russian: rolling up our sleeves, empowering ordinary people, and organizing everywhere to build a better one".

The Russian Imperial Movement (RIM) is a fascist group based in St. Petersburg, Russia, that seeks to create a "mono-ethnic state" led by a "Russian autocratic monarchy," preferably one descended from the Romanov dynasty that ruled Russia before the 1917 revolution. Although the group is not sponsored by the Russian state, the RIM has allegedly recruited and trained Russian fighters for Russia's ongoing conflict with Ukraine. The RIM is best known for having members and sympathizers linked to violent activity abroad. Its militant branch, the Imperial Legion, reportedly has sent fighters to Ukraine, Syria, and Libya.

There is no exact date of the movement’s founding. Official sources report that the RID was founded in 2005 by activists from the All-Russian Party of Monarchists Center, established long before that, in 1992, in St. Petersburg. According to the movement’s founder, Stanislav Vorobiev, the Russian Imperial Movement was born simultaneously with the publication of the first issue of the Imperial Courier in July 2002.

The movement has 100-150 activists and over 5,500 subscribers in the movement’s Internet group. During the “Russian March” in November 2013 representatives of the RID claimed 3 thousand participants in the march.

RIM was designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on March 27, 2020 by the US government and thus became first white supremacy group to be included in this list.


All-Russian Party of the Monarchist Center founded in 1991 was the forerunner of the Russian Imperial Movement. RIM started at first as a publishing company in 2002 to print rightwing literature. In 2007 RIM launced international branches and established connections with international monarchist organisations.

**Military wing**

The RIM has a paramilitary wing, the Imperial Legion, which reports directly to RIM leadership. The RIM also runs a weeklong military training course, Partizan, for both its own members and members of foreign white nationalist movements. According to RIM leader Stanislav Vorobyev, Partizan courses were created in June 2014 due to the high number of "volunteers" with no military experience, who sought to travel to Eastern Ukraine to fight the Ukrainian government. After receiving their training, these men traveled to Ukraine as part of the newly formed Imperial Legion. Between June and December 2014, the RIM had reportedly sent at least 100 such militants to frontline positions under the banner of the Imperial Legion to fight in Ukraine.

Courses are reportedly led by ex-Russian military members, who conduct trainings on bombmaking, marksmanship, combat medicine, and small group tactics such as assaulting and clearing buildings.

**International ties**

Two members of the Swedish, neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement, Viktor Melin and Anton Thulin, underwent the Partizan military training course before carrying out a series of bomb attacks against refugee centers in Sweden in January 2017. During their trial, the prosecutor stated that "attending this paramilitary camp in St. Petersburg was a key step in Melin and Thulin's radicalization.…We also believe it may be the place where they learned to manufacture the bombs that they used in Gothenburg".

The RIM has also networked with non-Russian white-supremacist groups. According to media reports, in 2020, extremists who belonged to the youth wings of two German far-right political parties—the National Democratic Party (NPD) and The Third Path—attended Partizan, where they received training in weapons, explosives, and close combat.

In June 2015, the RIM reportedly worked with the Russian political party Rodina to convene the World National-Conservative Movement (WNCM). Matthew Heimbach, founder of the U.S.-based Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP), met RIM representatives in the United States in September 2017. Heimbach said of the meeting, "We're really aiming to have TWP kind of be the representative of America at the future gatherings of the Russian Imperial Movement. According to Heimbach, he and the RIM have been in contact since at least 2015. Heimbach also stated in 2016 that he had intended to participate in the WNCM conference in 2015 but was unable to due to unspecified circumstances. Heimbach was a central organizer of the August 2017 Unite the Right protest in Charlottesville, where a vehicle attack by a white supremacist killed one and injured at least 30 others.

Extremist groups from 28 countries attended WNCM in 2015, including several far-right European political parties. Among them were the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) from Sweden; Jobbik from Hungary; the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD); Golden Dawn from Greece; British Unity from the United Kingdom; Front National from South Africa. Four U.S.-based groups participated, including the American Freedom Party, American Renaissance, League of the South, and the Traditionalist Youth Network.* In 2020, several men belonging to the NPD and The Third Path's youth movements reportedly attended the RIM's training camp in St. Petersburg, where they were taught how to use weapons and explosives

RID also maintains links with the Black and Yellow Alliance in Austria. On 9 November 2019, for example, Vorobyov attended the “Second Congress of European Monarchists”. In the same month, an RID representative addressed an international conference in Madrid, organised by the right-wing Spanish political party National Democracy and attended by members of the right-wing European party Alliance for Peace and Freedom. In May 2018, the NPD held a meeting in the German city of Riese, which was also attended by representatives of the RIM and the nationalist movements Serbian Action and the Bulgarian National Union – New Democracy.

According to an Infobae investigation, the American neo-Nazi terrorist group, Atomwaffen Division, established a cell in Russia and its members were trained with the RIM. Later National Counterterrorism Center Director Christopher Miller [confirmed]( that US neo-Nazis have contacts with the RID and travel to Russia for training

Other official international programmes by RIM:

"People's Diplomacy" – interaction with right-wing, national movements and parties in Europe and America. Interaction with monarchist centers and organizations in Europe.

"Slavic Cross" – interaction with the Slavic peoples of the Balkans. Supporting the struggle of the Serbian people for the territorial integrity of the country. Support for pro-Russian movements in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Montenegro.

"The Last Crusade" – creation of a pan-European Christian movement, whose main goal is the return of Europe's right-wing movement to the Christian foundations of European civilization. To organize the defense of the Christian population of Europe against the expansion of radical Islam and the dictates of left-liberal values.


Founder and leader of RIM is Stanislav Anatolyevich Vorobyev.

Head of RIM's paramilitary arm, Imperial Legion is Denis Valiullovich Gariyev.

Coordinator for external relations is Nikolay Nikolayevich Trushchalov