Russia

Russia is the largest country in the world and the most populous country in Europe, which was formed after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Therefore, many processes in Russia are explained by the peculiarities of the transition to a capitalist economy and the formation of a post-socialist society. After the period of wild capitalism of the 1990s and the rule of President Boris Yeltsin, his successor Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000, and in 2001, the ruling United Russia party was formed. The party still holds a majority in parliament, providing the president with a stable vertical of power up to this day. Russia combines elements of a democratic political system with authoritarian institutions and methods of governance.

Current Situation 

IMPORTANT NOTE

Ukraine has, since February 24th, 2022, been under siege. Due to the conditions of war resulting from the Russian invasion, we cannot at this time provide accurately validated and verified data and information on the current situation in neither Ukraine nor Russia.

The Russian regime is, through warfare, crackdowns and legislation, suppressing all independent and free media in both countries. This affects reporting by local and foreign journalists. The general media coverage is contaminated with propaganda.

As a result of this, we ask visitors to this site to be patient as we are steadily trying to provide validated and verifiable information on the war, its background and the role of far-right actors among those fighting in this conflict.

Introduction

Introduction

Russia is the largest country in the world and the most populous country in Europe, which was formed after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Therefore, many processes in Russia are explained by the peculiarities of the transition to a capitalist economy and the formation of a post-socialist society. After the period of wild capitalism of the 1990s and the rule of President Boris Yeltsin, his successor Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000, and in 2001, the ruling United Russia party was formed. The party still holds a majority in parliament, providing the president with a stable vertical of power up to this day. Russia combines elements of a democratic political system with authoritarian institutions and methods of governance.

The main problems for Russians are poverty and monstrous income inequality, the powerlessness of citizens and the omnipotence of the elite, the police state and legal nihilism, the ongoing deconstruction of the social state, and the privatisation of the economy. Russia leads the world in income inequality (500 super-rich wealthier than 99.8%) and is one of the top three in the suicide rate and unhappiness level. Human rights are not respected in Russia.

More than 160 nationalities live in the Russian Federation. Over 79% of the population is made up of ethnic Russians. The most acute problem of far-right nationalism is among ethnic Russians which is directed against migration flows from post-Soviet countries and regions of Russia with non-Russian populations, for example, from the North Caucasus republics. At the same time, the nature of migration in Russia differs significantly from migration to Europe, as the post-Soviet space has a unity of language and cultural codes. 

Russia occupies most of Eurasia and shares a border with eighteen countries. Its special geopolitical position allows researchers to describe Russia as a peripheral empire. Under Putin, Russia pretends to be a leader in Eurasia, is friends with China and Central Asian countries, maintains relations with North Korea, and opposes NATO countries. Russia’s most tense situation is in relations with Ukraine.

Status of the far-right in the country

Status of the far-right in the country

The 2000s in Russia were the heyday of the far-right, but after the events of 2014, there was a split in the movement. Part of the far-right, which can be conventionally called “imperialists”, supported the annexation of Crimea and the war against Ukraine. Radical neo-Nazis supported the national revolution in Ukraine and went there to fight against Putin’s regime. Former comrades-in-arms faced each other in the fields of Donbas on both sides of the front. The 2022 Ukraine invasion has only increased the split among Russian nationalists.

The police crackdown on the far-right finally destroyed the movement: major organisations were banned, and their leaders were arrested. Right-wing in Russia is now a pathetic remnant of their former power. Nevertheless, in the spring of 2023, anti-fascist organisations noticed a sharp increase in far-right violence. A new generation of young nationalists has emerged in the country against the backdrop of the war, attacking migrants, communists, anti-fascists, and LGBTQ+ members. They videotape their attacks and publish them in anonymous Telegram channels. Some nationalists loyal to the authorities have been incorporated into the state-controlled nationalist associations Russian Community and Northern Man. Full-fledged far-right combat units also went to war: the independent neo-Nazi group Rusich, the monarchist organisation Imperial Legion, which is in opposition to Putin, as well as two groups composed of far-right soccer hooligans: the PMC Española, which is sponsored by a man from the Rotenberg oligarchs’ entourage, and the Moscow reconnaissance unit of the 106th Airborne Division, which was assembled with money from the ultra-Orthodox oligarch Konstantin Malofeev. 

There are dwarf nationalist parties in Russia, but they are not represented in parliament in any way.

Status of antifascists in the country

Status of antifascism in the country

The anti-fascist movement in Russia emerged in the mid-nineties as a response to far-right violence and police connivance. The first anti-fascist groups emerged in punk and skin subculture to protect musical concerts from neo-Nazi attacks. However, when the antifascists began to fight back, the neo-Nazis went from beatings to murders. By the end of the decade, terrorists from the BORN group committed a series of high-profile murders, including the murder of judge Eduard Chuvashov, leaders of anti-fascist movements Fyodor Filatov, Ilya Dzhaparidze and Ivan Khutorskoy, lawyer Stanislav Markelov, and journalist Anastasia Baburova. Journalists have noted the connection between BORN and the Kremlin. On 16 November 2009, the day after Khutorskoy’s murder, antifascists openly smashed up the reception room of Maxim Mischenko, deputy of the State Duma from “United Russia”, who had publicly cooperated with the members of BORN. 

In 2010, anti-fascists took part in the campaign to protect the Khimki Forest, after which law enforcement agencies turned to repression. Many activists have been arrested and convicted on trumped-up charges. The most characteristic of the time was the trumped-up case of “Antifa-RASH,” which was concocted by operatives of Nizhny Novgorod’s Counter-Extremism (“Center E”) department. 

After the events of 2014, the anti-fascist movement, as well as their opponents, dried up and is now practically silent. In 2020, anti-fascist Alexei “Socrates” Sutuga was killed in a fight. In 2021, only one major event involving an antifascist group was recorded: a brawl in northern Moscow after a far-right concert. 

Most Russian antifascist resources are not updated now. One of the remaining projects is the Antifa.ru channel on Telegram.

Historic Developments

Historic developments

During the 1990s, dozens of nationalist organisations emerged in Russia as a right-wing reaction to the collapse of the USSR. The most notable phenomenon among far-right radicals in Russia was the neo-Nazi skinheads, or boneheads – an imported British youth subculture of the 1970s, which began to decline in Western countries. Also in the nineties, Russian neopaganism – Russian Vedism or Rodnoverie – became fashionable among the far-right, which further caused a division between the traditional black-hundredists Orthodox organisations and the Hitlerists, who denied Christianity as a “Jewish faith.”

According to rough estimates, the number of boneheads in Russia in the noughties was 50,000 people. Dozens of far-right groups grew into large organisations with branches all over Russia and including thousands of boneheads: National Socialist Society (NSO), Slavic Union (SS), Movement Against Illegal Immigration (DPNI), Russian All-National Union (RONS), Russian People’s Movement (ROD), Northern Brotherhood, Eurasian Youth Union (ESM) and many others. All the organisations listed here were banned to this moment except ESM. Their main goal, as described in the main bonehead book of this time, “Skins: Russia Awakens” (2003), was to create a legal party and get involved in mainstream parliamentary politics. The main public action for the far-right in Russia was the annual “Russian March,” held on National Unity Day on November 4. After 2016, the action fell into decline, and in 2021, it did not take place at all.

At the grassroots level, the neo-Nazis during the Steel noughties started street terror campaigns against migrants from the North Caucasus and Central Asia, blacks, Roma, Jews, and gays – all of whom they considered “an alien element polluting the blood of the white race”. Boneheads are organised into informal groups to commit hate crimes – murders, arson, bombings, pogroms. The most famous among them were “Mad Crowd” and “Combat Terrorist Organisation” (BTO), “Savior” (SPAS), “Schultz-88”, “Lincoln-88”, “United Brigade-88”, NS/WP, Ryno-Skachevsky gang, NSO-North, “Militant organisation of Russian nationalists” (BORN). In total, members of these groups killed more than 100 people and carried out dozens of terrorist attacks. In the public field, their mouthpiece was the leader of the Russian boneheads, Maxim “Tesak” Martsinkevich, who promoted violence through snuff videos on the “Format 18” project website. Tesak’s involvement in real murders, including the notorious “Execution of a Tajik and a Dag”, will only become known 14 years later. 

The far-right terror reached its peak by the end of the decade. Whereas in 2005, there were 152 murders committed by Nazis, in 2009, there were 548 cases, the Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor’s Office calculated. On 11 December 2010, thousands of nationalists and soccer hooligans rioted on Manezhnaya Square in Moscow after the death of Spartak fan Yegor Sviridov, leaving dozens of people injured. The Manezhnaya Square events became a convenient pretext for tightening control over youth movements and defeating far-right organisations. After the 2014 events, the far-right movement was depleted. In 2020, Russian nationalist Konstantin Krylov passed away. In 2020, Maxim “Tesak” Martsinkevich committed suicide in prison, and in 2021, Yegor “Pogrom” Prosvirnin, the nationalists’ chief propagandist, jumped naked from a window in the centre of Moscow.

International relationships

International relationships

The ruling party, United Russia, has established ties with far-right parties in Europe, such as the Freedom Party of Austria, the Alternative for Germany, and the French National Front of Marine Le Pen. The foreign policy of the Russian far-right takes place against this background. By the end of the decade, the contacts with far-right parties had been lost, so when the invasion of Ukraine began, the Kremlin’s former far-right friends turned their backs on it. Only the Alternative for Germany was in favour of the Kremlin.  

Russian far-right activists played an important role in forming the Azov regiment and the events in Donbas. Some of them – like Sergei “Botsman” Korotkikh – joined the National Corps party, formed based on the Azov movement. One of the most influential Russian neo-Nazis is Denis “Whiterex” Kapustin, who fled to Ukraine. He is the most critical link between the neo-Nazis of the ex-USSR and the Western countries. He promotes National Socialism under his “White Rex” MMA and clothing brand. After Russia invaded Ukraine, Kapustin assembled a neo-Nazi unit, the Russian Volunteer Corps, to liberate Russia from Bolshevism.

Another important far-right group is the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM) which has established ties with European neo-Nazis and provided military training for them. Its militant branch, the Imperial Legion, reportedly has sent fighters to Ukraine, Syria, and Libya. Two members of the Swedish neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement, Viktor Melin and Anton Thulin, underwent the Partizan military training course run by a RIM before carrying out a series of bomb attacks against refugee centres in Sweden in January 2017. 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). 

Because Russia invaded Ukraine, most international contacts among the far-right have been disrupted. The most active contacts of the Russians remain in the pan-Slavic space.

Political Landscape

Political landscape

Far-right parties are not represented in the Russian parliament, so the far-right doesn’t have its own deputies. The “United Russia” party was formed as a conservative, but its ideology has shifted over time toward centrism. “United Russia” publicly maintains the anti-Nazi rhetoric that it uses against Ukraine and Western countries.

The far-right movement achieved its greatest electoral success in the 2000s when the Rodina bloc was established in the Duma, and ROS leader Sergei Baburin entered parliament on ROS lists. However, the ideology of Rodina and ROS is often described as a “red-brown” or “red-con(servative),” with its left wing represented by economist presidential aide Sergey Glazyev. Orthodox businessman Konstantin Malofeev was supposed to create a new ultra-conservative party based on Rodina in 2019, but negotiations ended up going nowhere,

At the 2021 Duma elections, Rodina took only one seat, which belonged to its leader, Alexey Zhuravlev. One of the founders of Rodina was the leader of the Congress of Russian Communities, Dmitriy Rogozin, who now holds a high position in Russian politics and heads the State Space Corporation Roscosmos. The far-right candidates – head of “Society. Future” movement Roman Yuneman, head of the Moscow branch of the Russian All-People’s Union Mikhail Butrimov, and member of “Conservator” Valentina Bobrova – did not succeed in the 2021 elections.

Also, during the 2000s, different deputies were allegedly linked to neo-Nazis. NSO leader Dmitry Rumyantsev was an assistant to Albert Makashov, a Communist Party of Russia deputy in the Duma. Also, far-right activist Yevgeny Valyaev was an assistant to Duma LDPR deputy Nikolay Kuryanovich. Ilya Goryachev, the BORN ideologue sentenced to life imprisonment, was an assistant to Viktor Vodolatsky, a Duma deputy from the “United Russia”. As mentioned above, Maxim Mischenko, deputy of the State Duma from “United Russia”, had publicly cooperated with the members of BORN. 


An article was published in the media that BORN was connected to the Kremlin-backed movement “Locals,” which consisted of former soccer hooligans – leader of the Lyubertsy branch Leonid Simunin, one of the regional leaders Sergey Nikulkin, president of CSKA Rugby Club Alexey Mitryushin, political consultant, member of the Moscow Public Chamber Pavel Karpov and also high-profile official in charge of youth policy, former member of the Federation Council Nikita Ivanov.

Media Landscape

Media landscape

After the police campaign, the far-right are afraid to speak openly because the articles on extremism are widely applied to them. Most far-right resources have been banned or abandoned, and Nazis have migrated en masse to Telegram as a result of de-platforming. 

The largest far-right resource in Telegram is Pozdnyakov’s “Male State“, which presumably works with Russian security forces. Also, against the backdrop of the war in Russia, dozens of anonymous Telegram channels have sprung up that specialise in publishing neo-Nazi snuff videos.

Mikhail Svetov, chairman of the “Сivil society” movement and one of the main propagators of right-wing libertarianism in Russia, leads a YouTube channel called “SVTV,” which is widely advertised in the far-right milieu. At the end of 2021, Yegor “Pogrom” Prosvirnin, the nationalists’ chief propagandist, jumped naked from a window in the centre of Moscow. His project Czar.tv status is unclear.

The official ultra-conservative media in Russia are the “Tsargrad” group and its associated online resources. “Tsargrad TV” was created according to the canons of the American conservative television channel Fox News. From the start, Tsargrad was positioned as a TV channel with “news presented from a Christian point of view”. “Tsargrad” began to spread anti-migrant hysteria and conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 pandemic. Other media accused of nationalist rhetoric is online “Readovka” and its editor-in-chief Alexei Kostylev and as well as the former liberal publication “Ridus”, whose editor-in-chief is a former member of the neo-Nazi music group Andrei “Most” Gulutin. 

Ultra-conservative media oppose the Western countries, which they see as a “den of homosexuality” and “biblical Sodom”. At the same time, the far-right repeats conservative clichés from the West, talking about the Great Replacement, the “White Race Extinction”, and the Narrative which is aggressively implemented by leftists, the dominance of feminists who want to destroy the traditional Russian family with the money of “Gayrope”. Russian ultra-conservative media also widely promote “ethical crime” topics.

Financial Landscape

Financial landscape

The far-right is a convenient tool for political manipulation. Their main asset is violence. The ultra-right was used in their interests by various groups, starting with the best-known neo-Nazi organisation Russian National Unity (RNU) in the ’90s. It was turned into a powerful organisation that acted as a scarecrow during necessary moments such as October 1993. But when its leader, Alexander Barkashov, became independent, RNU was quickly marginalised by secret services. Sympathetic middle-ranking businessmen primarily financed RNU; members of the organisation did not shy away from racketeering and protection of petty traders.

During the investigation of the NSO-North case in 2011, in which members committed 30 murders, arms trafficking, explosions, arson, and an attempted terrorist attack at a hydroelectric power plant, it was widely known that police found more than 200 million rubles in the accounts of Maxim “Adolf” Bazylev, the chief ideologist of NSO-North. Bazylev and Sergei “Botsman” Korotkikh were involved in a financial scam involving cashing out hundreds of millions of rubles. As part of this scam, the NSO received an office and a gym for free, and the society’s activists received money on secret bank cards. The media repeatedly mentioned Maxim Gritsai, a businessman with whom Malyuta and Adolf did business. Some believe Gritsai was an intermediary between the NSO and the secret services. 

It is believed that the “Russian March”, and largest nationalist Russian movement in the 2000’s DPNI, was funded by the construction business in general, particularly Mirax Group, Rogozin, and oligarch Boris Berezovsky. Konstantin Malofeev funded nationalists from the Novorossiya project who fought in Donbas as part of the deal with the state VTB bank. Malofeev was involved in a criminal case about fraud with a loan. By 2015, the debt to VTB had already reached $600 million, but the parties had signed a settlement agreement. According to Kommersant, VTB forgave 85% of this amount for helping Donbas. Malofeev was put under US sanctions for this.

After Russia invaded Ukraine, Konstantin Malofeev assembled his own “Moscow” squad of the 106th Airborne Division from far-right soccer hooligans and sponsored it. It is also known that a similar team of ultra-right-wing soccer hooligans from the PMC Espanola is sponsored by the head of the security service of Russian Railways, Viktor Shendrik, who, according to the media, acts out of the interests of the oligarch brothers Rotenberg. Who sponsors the Russian Imperial Movement and its combat wing Imperial Legion is still unknown. 

The sources of funding for the ultra-right in Russia are internal since the Russian security services closely monitor such things.

Reports

Quarterly Reports

Quarterly reports give in-depth insights into the most pressing recent social and political developments in each country as they pertain to the local far-right networks and their international allies.

Russia - March 2023
Russia - March 2023

Introduction & Updates in National Landscape
March marked one year and one month since the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War.
At the beginning of March, the far-right unit Russian Volunteer Corps, which consists of Nazis fighting on the Ukrainian side, crossed the border into Russia and carried out a daring raid into the Bryansk region. Two children were wounded, and one man was killed in the attack on two border villages. In the video circulated, neo-Nazi leader Denis Kapustin calls for an armed struggle against Putin. Officials in Kyiv denied any connection to the RDK. However, Kapustin later claimed that the attack was coordinated with the Ukrainian authorities.
After that Russian Federal Security Service published a video showing an attempt by the «Ukrainian special services» to assassinate the head of the Tsargrad board of directors, far-right Orthodox oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev, as well as an operation to prevent it, according to the intelligence service, the businessman’s car was planned to be blown up with an improvised explosive device. The FSB said that Denys Kapustin, under the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) control, had organized the crime.
In mid-March, the Duma passed a law banning defamation and libel against participants in a special military operation. The amendments extend the law banning criticism of the Armed Forces to volunteers and “other participants in the war.” Journalists asked the co-author of the amendments to the law, chairman of the Duma Defence Committee Andrey Kartapolov, whether Nazis from the Russian Rusich unit could be called Nazis. Kartapolov replied that if “they perform tasks as part of a grouping of Russian troops, it means that they have already rehabilitated themselves.” The Duma has passed a law on responsibility for discrediting any participants in a “special operation.” So-called fakes about any participants in the special operation are punishable by up to 15 years. For defamation, the punishment is up to 7 years.
The Ministry of Justice is trying to liquidate the Sova Information and Analysis Centre, which has been researching nationalism and xenophobia in Russia for more than 20 years.
Andrei Kormukhin, leader of the far-right «Sorok Sorokov» movement, has founded and led the political party «For the Family!» The relevant documents were signed on Saturday at the party’s founding congress. The congress was reportedly attended by 300 delegates from 57 regions of the country. The party’s political council included Vladimir Krupennikov, a deputy of the fifth, sixth, and seventh convocations, military officer Anastasia Mikhailovskaya, retired Soviet general Leonid Reshetnikov, political scientist Vladimir Samoilov and journalist Anna Shafran. Legislative support for “traditional families with many children” and President Vladimir Putin is cited as the aim of political activity.
On 14 March 2023, a Russian Su-27 fighter intercepted and damaged an American MQ-9 Reaper drone before the UAV crashed in the Black Sea.
On 17 March, it became known that the International Criminal Court in The Hague had issued international arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Children’s rights commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova. They are accused of deporting Ukrainian children.
The international situation was greatly influenced by the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Russia from 20 to 22 March. The Russo-Chinese summit captured many of the characteristics of the emerging world order, with each side trying to maximize the benefits of the summit.
In late March, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia intended to deploy tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus. According to him, he agreed on this with President Aliaksandr Lukashenka of Belarus.
 
Transnational Activities & Group Interactions
The most important campaign in March 2023 for the Russian far-right was the protests around the construction of a mosque in the south of Moscow. For the first time in a long time, the far-right was able to mobilize its supporters and get results. The rally itself took place on 2 April, attracting at least 1,000 people, after which the Moscow authorities decided to move the construction to another location.
The campaign against the construction of the mosque started back in February 2023, when the far-right society Tsargrad posted on its channel on 27 February an article about the construction of «the largest mosque in Russia for 60,000 people». Tsargrad lamented that the authorities did not hold a citywide referendum on the issue and expressed the opinion that «the very fact of the application to build such a cyclopean structure speaks not about an increase in the number of Muscovites professing Islam, but about the emergency situation with the influx of migrants into the capital.» Tsargrad stressed that Moscow had turned into a nationwide center of uncontrolled migration and recalled that elections for the capital’s mayor would be held in September. «A positive decision to erect such a mosque could take away millions of votes of native Muscovites from the government candidate,» Tsargrad concluded the publication.
In mid-March, a video appeared on far-right channels showing a group of far-right activists burying a pig’s head at the construction site, thereby desecrating the space for the mosque. Then, in late March, Russian mixed martial arts fighter Maxim Divnich published several articles about the mosque construction on his private Telegram channel, after which the conflict reached a new level. Divnich started to receive threats. Even the popular blogger Khasbulla Magomedov, known as Hasbik, reacted to the words of MMA fighter Maxim Divnic.
The announcement of the action on 2 April was posted by the major far-right channels, including the Pozdnyakov network, which devoted several posts to the topic at once, as well as the Rusich channel, the Russian Community ZOV, Sorok Sorokov, and the Northern Man by far-right rapper Misha Mavashi. On the day of the action, the far-right gathered near the lake, where they held a prayer service against the construction of the mosque, organized the collection of signatures, and recorded a video. Max Divnich also took part in the rally and was joined by other Russian fighters, Konstantin Yerokhin, Dmitry Aryshev, and Alexei Papin.
On 28 March, RUSOV leader Andrei Rodinov reported that another Serbian volunteer, an associate of RUSOV International with the call sign “Tribal”, had joined the Sudoplatov battalion.
 
Citations
https://www.dw.com/ru/rdk-vzal-na-seba-otvetstvennost-za-sobytia-v-branskoj-oblasti/a-64865454
https://novayagazeta.eu/articles/2023/03/03/osnovatel-russkogo-dobrovolcheskogo-korpusa-zaiavil-chto-ataka-na-brianskuiu-oblast-byla-soglasovana-s-ukrainskimi-voennymi-news
https://ria.ru/20230306/bomba-1856065564.html
http://duma.gov.ru/news/56548/
https://www.fontanka.ru/2023/03/02/72101819/
https://www.sova-center.ru/about-us/nashi-slozhnosti/2023/03/d76044/
https://tass.ru/politika/17369681
https://www.gazeta.ru/army/2023/03/14/16397593.shtml
https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-64990654
https://tass.ru/politika/17315407
https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-65077823
https://lenta.ru/articles/2023/04/05/mechet/

Russia - February 2023
Russia - February 2023

Introduction & Updates in National Landscape
February 2023 marked the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Many expected an intensification of hostilities, but this did not happen. On 20 February, US President Joe Biden visited Kyiv, where he gave a speech and promised new arms supplies. On 21 February, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his address to the Federal Assembly.
At the global level, the issue of nuclear security and related US-Russian relations became crucial again. It was the main issue in the president’s address and was the reason for the extraordinary session of the State Duma and the Federation Council the next day. At issue is Russia’s suspension of its participation in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-3). This treaty was signed by Medvedev and Obama in 2010, and it came into force in February 2011. At the beginning of 2021, the treaty was extended until February 2026.
Contrary to the expectations of some observers, there were no significant changes in the war zone against the background of the presidential address and on the eve of the war’s first anniversary, indicating the successful implementation of certain strategic plans. In particular, the overall course of events was negatively influenced by unsuccessful offensive attempts from the south near Vuhledar. The pressure on Bakhmut increased but did not culminate in any fundamental shift.
Much of the new escalation was due to the renewed conflict between the Russian Ministry of Defence and E. Prigozhin’s structures, which usually played a key role in the occupation of a number of small settlements in the Donetsk direction. However, the lack of ammunition at a time when PMCs have become more dependent on the Ministry of Defense has taken its toll. And this has turned into a new active criticism of the Ministry of Defense by E. Prigozhin with demands to provide the Wagner PMCs and a clear hint that this is the only chance to ensure the advancement of Russian troops.
In mid-February, Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist Seymour Hersh, who published an article on US involvement in sabotaging Russia’s Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, called for “no switch” and said that “this is only the first stage.”
The conflicts between youth groups were the most important themes for the Russian far-right in February. On 8 February in Chelyabinsk, a nationally-motivated conflict between tenth-graders Nikita and Feruz escalated into an attack on a school with weapons. Nikita invited six friends with hammers and a traumatic gun to meet Feruz, after which the hooligans stormed the school and began beating Feruz in front of guards and children. The police detained Nikita’s friends the next day. The Investigative Committee is now investigating the hooliganism case. The suspects are three teenagers aged 14-17 and their 18-year-old boyfriend. They were detained in a rented flat. Law enforcers found an air rifle with bullets, hammers, and a gas pistol. The oldest participant in the fight was placed under house arrest by court order. The others are under house arrest. The victims in the case are three high school students. The news went viral on patriotic publicity boards, where Nikita defended Russian children from the “national mafia.” The far-right organization Russian Community organized legal defense for the detainees.
One of the most discussed topics of late has been the new teenage subculture of fighting anime fans, “PMC Redan,” which unexpectedly gained fame on a national scale. Officials have called the movement destructive, their existence has been commented upon even in the Kremlin, and security forces raided the gathering places of teenagers around the country. The whole story with the “dangerous” PMC Redan is overblown and demonized by the media and authorities. Many publications, including our colleagues from Fontanka, have already concluded that no Redan PMC does not exist. The teenagers themselves say the same thing.
Detentions of teenagers calling themselves “PMC Redan” began in shopping malls in Moscow, St Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Rostov-on-Don, and Kazan. The trend spread to Ukraine and Belarus. “PMC Redan” is a youth subculture. Its members are inspired by Hunter x Hunter manga and anime (Japanese comics and cartoons). The teenagers who belong to this group wear long black hair and checkered trousers. Also on their clothing is a spider with the number “4”, which is consonant with the word “death.” It is clarified that the anime and manga feature the criminal gang “The Spiders.” “PMC Redan” is made up mostly of teenagers. The youngest of them is 15 years old. The subculture has several communities on the social networking site VKontakte. The largest one has about 193 thousand subscribers. According to media reports, “PMC Redan” opposes football fans, skinheads, and migrants. Movement members find their target and stage mass brawls in shopping malls.
PMC Redan is a typical youth subculture that emerged from the war in Ukraine, where the Wagner PMC has shown its effectiveness. The far-right has tried to co-opt the Redan PMCs and present them as “fighters against migrant mayhem,” but so far without success.
It should be noted that youth subcultures in Russia have increased significantly, with the fashion for early Nazi-skinhead subcultures also returning, which is of considerable concern.
Transnational Activities & Group Interactions
On 18 February, leaders of the Russian Imperial Movement (RID) Stanislav Vorobyev and the head of its combat wing, Imperial Legion, Denys Gariyev, admitted that a former member of the Legion had defected to fight on the side of Ukraine as part of the Freedom of Russia Legion. RID leaders claim that at least one former comrade-in-arms named Maksim Andronnikov has defected to the enemy’s side. According to them, Maksim Andronnikov is an Orthodox monarchist who was also a member of the Imperial Legion under the call sign “Legat.” He left the RID in 2007-2008 and disappeared. Suddenly he was discovered as part of the Ukrainian Legion under the callsign “Caesar.”
In early February, it was reported that the Barcelona City Council had hired Russian citizen Stanislav Shevchuk, a member of the Russian Imperial Movement, recognized as an international terrorist organization in the US.
RUSOV reported a congress of Polish nationalist organizations in the Świętokrzyskie Mountains area was held in February. “They do not support the Russophobic policy of the Polish government and are in favor of a fraternal alliance with Russia. Among those gathered were associates of the International RUSOV Movement from the well-known Polish organization Zadrużny Krąg (ZKDS),” the post says.
RUSOV reported that the Serbian fighters of the Sudoplatov battalion Danube and Sava, as well as all Serbian volunteers in the Russian army, condemn the arrest of Serbian far-right activists, Damnjan Knežević, leader of the People’s Patrol movement, and editor of Srbin.info media Dejan Zlatanović.
In early February, Russia 24 channel shot a story about Serbian volunteers in the ranks of the Pavel Sudoplatov battalion.
Citations
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/02/20/statement-from-president-joe-biden-on-travel-to-kyiv-ukraine/
http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/70565
https://www.politico.eu/article/russia-suspend-participation-start-nuclear-arms-treaty-vladimir-putin/
https://edition.cnn.com/2023/02/13/europe/russia-ukraine-vuhledar-donetsk-fiasco-intl/index.html
https://www.bbc.com/russian/features-64709870
https://ria.ru/20230208/draka-1850533571.html
https://tsargrad.tv/articles/migrantskoe-poboishhe-pravda-o-massovoj-drake-v-cheljabinskoj-shkole_726185
https://t.me/obshina_ru/7272
https://lenta.ru/news/2023/02/28/ryodan/
https://www.unian.net/incidents/chvk-redan-v-ukraine-v-chem-opasnost-dvizheniya-12165339.html
https://mostmedia.io/2023/03/03/chvk-redan-belarus-polsha/
https://vk.com/video-3560737_456241708
https://www.totbarcelona.cat/politica/ajuntament-barcelona-contracta-ultra-rus-acusat-terrorista-global-310502/
https://vk.com/wall-49804789_53764
https://vk.com/wall-49804789_53625
https://balkaninsight.com/2023/02/17/serbian-rightists-demand-release-of-activists-facing-coup-charges/
https://vk.com/video200254480_456239605?list=ca0cb3beba038957f9

Russia - January 2023
Russia - January 2023

Introduction & Updates in National Landscape
The war in Ukraine has been going on for almost a year.
In January, the Russian army went on the offensive, seeking to seize the strategic initiative. The focus is now on the town of Bakhmut, which the Russian army is covering from the north and south.
After 11 months of war and nearly four months of relentless Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy sector, the country’s electric grid comes nearer to collapsing each day.
After a series of difficult negotiations, Ukraine’s Western allies have changed their approach to military assistance, deciding to start supplying tanks and long-range missiles and no longer ruling out the prospect of fighter jets. The German government has approved the delivery by a private arms maker of its old Leopard 1 tanks to Kyiv. Also, Germany has announced it will provide Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv’s troops. Other countries, including USA, will deliver more tanks to Ukraine, but it’s still unclear how many.
In response, Russia has stepped up its offensive. According to experts, an active phase of a Russian offensive is possible in spring or early summer 2023, while at present, there are occasionally successful attempts to break through Ukrainian defenses in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhya directions. The minimum objective is to prevent a Ukrainian counterattack, which has been attempted in the Luhansk direction and is expected in the Zaporizhzhya direction, where Russia has therefore tried to take the initiative first and reduced its risks.
The West assumes Russia is preparing for decisive battles and intends to provide Ukraine with new weapons. The time factor is of great importance now because if the West hesitates, it will be very difficult to resist Russian expansion. Therefore, some military experts do not rule out that the Russian Armed Forces could take decisive action in Ukraine in the coming months, ahead of Western arms deliveries and training of the Ukrainian military in their use.
Moscow installs air defense equipment on rooftops.
Harsh decisions have been taken against human rights groups and centers that were formed in one way or another during the Soviet period and which played an important role in anti-Soviet activities. For example, the Moscow City Court ordered the liquidation of the Moscow Helsinki Group, which originated and operated during the Soviet era. The Sakharov Centre in Moscow was also stripped of its premises, and the Andrei Sakharov Foundation was placed on the list of undesirable organizations. Also, at a meeting with veterans and residents of the besieged Leningrad, Putin supported the idea of returning several works by Soviet classics, including Fadeev, Simonov, and Ostrovsky, to the compulsory school curriculum.
An expected trend has been a further deterioration of relations between Russia and the Baltic states. The Russian authorities have decided to reduce diplomatic relations with Estonia to chargé d’affaires ad interim, causing Estonia’s ambassador to Russia, M. Laidre, to leave Moscow until 7 February 2023.
Transnational Activities & Group Interactions
In January, the involvement of Serbian volunteers on the side of the Russian army in Ukraine was widely discussed. It became known that a small organization of Serbian and Russian nationalists, which runs a Telegram channel called “Evil Eagles” (Zlые ОрлоVи), might be involved. A video of a Serbian volunteer with the call sign “Tom” was posted on the channel. Serbian volunteers allegedly joined the Sudoplatov Battalion.
Far-right activists from another pan-Slavic organization, RUSOV, claim to be joining the Sudoplatov battalion. At the moment, there are about 100 RUSOV comrades in the combat zone, and their number is constantly increasing. In the near future, at least a platoon (30 people) of RUSOV associates will be formed in the Sudoplatov battalion alone.
RUSOV leader Andrei “Viking” Rodionov made a video with Serbian volunteers Dunay and Savoy.
Politico published a text saying that Russia allegedly used Wagner to fight “anti-Putin sentiment and protect the government’s mining interests with troops and weapons.” The Wagner PMC is also alleged to have stationed people in Belgrade and announced the official opening of the center in Serbia in early December. Since then, it has launched influence operations to counter “actions against Putin’s regime by elements of the Russian diaspora.” The text refers to the Russian-Serbian Cultural Centre Orly linked to a Telegram channel called “Evil Eagles.”
An explanation followed. Aleksandr Lysov, the head of the Eagles, honestly admitted that he had signed a cooperation agreement with the PMC Wagner Centre. However, his center is not a branch of the PMC. PMC Wagner has never been present in Serbia and has had no contact with the country. This was stated by the founder of the company, Yevgeny Prigozhin, in response to a question from the journalist of Voice of America” about the activities of PMCs in Serbia.
On 14 January, graffiti appeared in Belgrade dedicated to the Wagner PMC. On the night of 15 January, local antifascists painted over it. RUSOV claimed it was painted by their friendly associates in Serbia from the People’s patrol.
Denis Gariev, commander of the Imperial Legion volunteer unit, recorded a podcast for the state news agency RIA Novosti.
Citations
Battle of Bakhmut nears tipping point as Russia intensifies offensive https://www.ft.com/content/0bfe39c1-6d68-4e72-9fe2-9f54b7efa2bd
Ukraine’s Coming Electricity Crisis
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/ukraine/ukraine-coming-electricity-crisis-protect-grid-from-russian-attacks
Germany to send 88 Leopard I tanks to Ukraine
https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-send-leopard-tanks-ukraine-russia-war-rheinmetall/
Germany’s decision to send tanks to Ukraine is a major moment in the war. Here’s how it will change the conflict
https://edition.cnn.com/2023/01/25/europe/germany-leopard-tanks-ukraine-impact-explainer-intl/index.html
Russia lowers level of diplomatic relations with Estonia — Foreign Ministry
https://tass.com/politics/1565755
Defensive missile systems erected on Moscow rooftops
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/19/defensive-missile-systems-erected-on-moscow-rooftops
Moscow Helsinki Group Ordered To Shut Down As Campaign Against Civil Society Continues
https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-helsinki-group-closed/32239220.html
Russia’s Wagner group ramping up operations outside of Ukraine, U.S. warns
https://www.politico.com/news/2023/01/09/russias-wagner-group-ramping-up-operations-outside-of-ukraine-u-s-warns-00076859
https://t.me/orly_rs/3172
https://t.me/orly_rs/3227
https://t.me/orly_rs/3245
https://t.me/orly_rs/3259
https://vk.com/wall-49804789_53483
https://vk.com/wall-49804789_53340
https://vk.com/wall-49804789_53340
Denis Gariev – Imperial Legion squad leader
https://radiosputnik.ria.ru/20230102/1842793954.html

Russia - December 2022
Russia - December 2022

Introduction & Updates in National Landscape
The war in Ukraine is now in its eleventh month. As of 12 December, Russia had destroyed half of the country’s energy infrastructure, the UN said. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Zelensky left Ukraine for the first time since the start of the EUSA to make an official visit to the USA. Zelenskyy met President Biden at the White House and also delivered a speech to Congress.
Against this backdrop, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Belarus on 19 December, where he met president Alexander Lukashenko. Following Putin’s first visit to Minsk in three years, where he was accompanied by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and talks with Lukashenka, Belarusian authorities banned civilians in the border area of the Gomel region, which directly borders on Ukraine. Simultaneously with the imposition of the ban, the transfer of Russian military equipment to the areas that border the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions of Ukraine began. Additionally, on 21 December, information came from Belarus according to which fighters of the Liga PMC (part of the Wagner PMC) arrived at the border with Ukraine. It is believed that the Russian side seeks in this way to divert resources of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in order to strengthen its own offensive in Donbas, which remains a priority for now.
Putin made his traditional New Year’s address unexpectedly from the headquarters of the Southern Military District. He made his longest New Year’s Eve address ever in power. He accused the West of lying and using Ukraine to divide Russia.
On 20 December, the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, visited China, where he met Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Also, it’s important to mention that on 8 December 2022, the US and Russia held a prisoner swap, exchanging Brittney Greiner, a US Women’s National Basketball Association player and Olympic athlete for the US national team, who earlier that year had been convicted in Russia of cannabis possession and sentenced to nine years in prison, for Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer.
Transnational Activities & Group Interactions
On 18 December, Serbian nationalists from Serbia, Montenegro, and Republika Srpska gathered at the Serbian-Kosovo border crossing in Jarinje for a rally, including supporters of the Russian Movement “RUSOV”. They were protesting and expressed their support for the Serbs living in Kosovo. During the event, there was a clash with the Serbian police, who prevented the protesters from moving closer to the checkpoint.
Russian neo-Nazi Denis Whiterex Kapustin (Nikitin) was interviewed by nationalist journalist Oleg Kashin. Kapustin admitted that he is the head of the Russian Volunteer Corps unit, which included other Russian neo-Nazis who defected to the side of Ukraine.
Serbian nationalists from the Serbian Action translated and published a statement from the Russian Imperial Movement in defense of arrested German nationalists from the Reichsbürger movement who were planning to stage a coup d’état.
Citations
UN: Half of Ukraine’s Energy Infrastructure Destroyed by Russian Attacks
https://www.voanews.com/a/un-half-of-ukraine-energy-infrastructure-destroyed-by-russian-attacks/6874897.html
Putin flew Lukashenko to Minsk for the first time in three years. Why?
https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-64025166
New Year’s address to the citizens of Russia http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/70315/videos
Medvedev flies to China with a letter to Xi Jinping from Putin
https://www.gazeta.ru/politics/2022/12/21/15976471.shtml
Brittney Griner: Russia frees US basketball star in a swap with arms dealer Viktor Bout
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63905112
RUSOV post https://vk.com/wall-49804789_53098
Whiterex! ​​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fBOnc8KjMo
Serbian Action Telegram post https://t.me/srbska_akcija/1056

Russia - November 2022
Russia - November 2022

Introduction & Updates in National Landscape
The war in Ukraine is now in its tenth month. On 11 November, Russian troops left Kherson and withdrew from the right bank of the Dnieper. It was the only regional center captured by Russia since 24 February. Kherson was also declared part of the Russian Federation. Against this backdrop, the G20 summit was held in Indonesia in mid-November. Russia’s actions in Ukraine and its promises to use “all available means” to protect its interests were not supported at the summit.
On the evening of 15 November 2022, an explosion occurred in Poland near the Ukrainian border near the village of Przewodów, killing two people during a Russian missile attack on Ukraine. Poland is a NATO member, and a Russian attack on its territory could have triggered a military response under the provisions of the mutual self-defense treaty. Officials in Poland and the European Union later said they believed the single missile fired by Ukrainian forces went off course and landed in Poland.
Meanwhile, the situation on the front remains difficult for the Russian side, despite regular attempts to destroy Ukrainian infrastructure in the rear with missile strikes and periodic attacks on Ukrainian positions in Donbas. The Crimean authorities have started building fortifications to protect the peninsula. The Russian side tried to outbid the initiative in the information confrontation as well but without much success. The Russian Defence Ministry commented on a video circulated on social media showing the alleged execution of surrendered Russian soldiers in Makeyevka. The Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal investigation into the “mass shooting of captive Russian servicemen by Ukrainian representatives,” and the head of the Russian Human Rights Council, Valeriy Fadeyev, promised to send the videos to international organizations.
According to the latest Rosstat data, one in eight Russians lives below the poverty line, while the income of 17.6 million people (12.1%) does not exceed 14 thousand roubles a month. Amidst the stress of the military conflict in Ukraine, sanctions, and growing economic uncertainty, asocial behavior is on the rise. The Russian Interior Ministry has recorded a sharp increase in crimes involving firearms, ammunition, and explosives.
Russian society does not accept the intense politicization now being offered to it, and most Russians are trying to maintain their usual format of apoliticism. Some sources report that, according to data obtained by the Kremlin from surveys conducted in a number of regions at the request of the presidential administration, Russians have fallen into apathy, as they see no prospects for themselves or for the country. The most negative attitude is caused by mobilization and economic difficulties due to sanctions. However, the Kremlin does not believe that all this discontent will develop into large-scale protests. However, the situation could change if the authorities announce a new phase of mobilization in one form or another. In essence, society is restoring its usual structure of thinking, which implies that the majority of Russians are detached from the political agenda.
Now, according to the Levada survey center, 88% of respondents are concerned about events in Ukraine, and the vast majority (70-80%) regularly follow developments in Ukraine. However, focus groups over the last month show that the majority prefer to follow events in the SWE in little detail and receive only the most important and/or superficial general information. There has also been an increase in the number of citizens who generally try to distance themselves from the news agenda and concentrate on their daily lives.
Transnational Activities & Group Interactions
The main holiday for all Russian far-right activists, People’s Unity Day on 4 November, during which they usually hold the traditional Russian march, went unnoticed, and the march did not actually take place anywhere. Some anonymous groups offered to hold the Russian march in the format of informal meetings, but in the end, only a few people showed up. For example, The Nationalist Movement (DN)published a photograph on its Telegram channel showing six men sitting at a table in a café in St Petersburg. The action in Moscow gathered as many as ten people under the slogans: Time to unite; Nationalists unite today – Russian national state tomorrow; For Russia without Putin, for peace without Russophobia. In the end, however, the far-right reported the establishment of Russian Soviets in Moscow and St Petersburg.
The opposition online publication Meduza has published two exclusives on far-right politics in Russia. It is alleged that the far-right philosopher Alexander Dugin has been invited to the Kremlin more often since the murder of his daughter. Meduza also published a story that businessman and Wagner PMC founder Yevgeny Prigozhin, close to Putin, would allegedly create his own conservative movement, which would become a party. Prigozhin himself denied this.
The nationalists have also limited themselves to symbolic posts on social media on Memorial Day for Yuri Budanov 24 November, the Russian colonel convicted of war crimes in Chechnya.
On 19 November in Belgrade, Serbian supporters of the International Movement “RUSOV” from the organization “Let’s not betray Kosovo and Metohija” held an event commemorating the 102nd anniversary of the exodus of the Russian (White) Army from Crimea in November 1920, thus supporting the action of companions from Sevastopol. Those gathered laid white flowers on the tomb of General Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel, which is located in the Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity, and lit candles.
On 11 November in Poland, in Krakow, near the majestic Krak mound, a public rally was held against the “Russophobic policies of the Polish government,” in which the supporters of the International Movement “RUSOV” from the “Zadruzni Krag” organization also took an active part. True Polish nationalists want friendship, not enmity, with the Russian people.
On 29 October, associates of the International Movement “RUSOV” from the Polish organization “Zadruzni Krag” gathered at a shooting range in Podlaskie Voivodeship, where they held practice shootings, discussed pressing issues and conveyed their fraternal support to Russia, Belarus, and Serbia. The placard they held read: “Crimea – Russia” and “Kosovo – Serbia.”
Serbian nationalists handed over a 600-metre-long Russian-Serbian flag. The Russian Imperial Movement published a video of the flag being carried through St Petersburg.
Citations
Russian missiles had crossed into Poland, killing 2 (later AP corrected this line) https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-war-zelenskyy-kherson-9202c032cf3a5c22761ee71b52ff9d52
Ukraine says half its energy system crippled by Russian attacks, Kyiv could ‘shutdown’
https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraine-hails-chinas-opposition-nuclear-threats-2022-11-15/
Russia builds fortifications in Crimea https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/5670115
Defence Ministry reports execution of Russian POWs by UAF https://www.rbc.ru/politics/18/11/2022/637790ae9a7947b76850c516
Report on the Social and Economic Situation of Russia https://rosstat.gov.ru/compendium/document/50801
There has been an almost 30% increase in gun crime in Russia https://www.rbc.ru/society/23/11/2022/637ccfa59a79478ef249f44d
“Indifference and apathy. Leave us alone. Stay away from us” https://meduza.io/feature/2022/11/22/ravnodushie-i-apatiya-otstante-ot-nas-ne-lezte-k-nam
Telegram-channel of The Nationalist Movement (DN) https://t.me/nationalism3000/2395
Telegram-channel Russian March https://t.me/rusmarsh/5296
Russian-Slavic Unification and Revival (RUSOV) VK post https://vk.com/wall-49804789_52713 Russian-Slavic Unification and Revival (RUSOV) VK post https://vk.com/wall-49804789_52452
Russian-Slavic Unification and Revival (RUSOV) VK post https://vk.com/dvizhenie.rusov?w=wall-49804789_52320
Russian Imperial Movement https://vk.com/rus_imperia?w=wall-3560737_250101

Russia - October 2022
Russia - October 2022

Introduction
The war in Ukraine is in its ninth month. Two important events occurred at the beginning of October that fundamentally changed the nature of the fighting. On the morning of Saturday, 8 October 2022, the Crimean bridge was blown up, causing more than 250m of roadway to collapse into the water. This had a serious impact on the logistics of the Russian Armed Forces. Although vehicles can still drive over the bridge, the repair work will take a considerable amount of time and is not due to be completed until early 2023.
On the same day, it became known that General Sergey Surovikin had been appointed commander of the combined Russian troop grouping in the war in Ukraine. Most experts call this appointment a landmark. Previously, the grouping was commanded from Moscow. Many decisions required long approvals, which undoubtedly had an impact on the conduct of the war. Now General Surovikin has been given carte blanche to manage the troops and will be able, as commander, to make the necessary decisions himself. In the army, Sergey Surovikin is considered a tough military leader who can successfully lead troops in the most difficult situations.
Immediately after his appointment, “General Armageddon” ordered the large-scale bombing of Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, primarily electricity grid facilities. Within a month, Ukrainian cities were repeatedly hit by missiles, with at least a third of the power grid damaged. Since 10 October, 30% of Ukrainian power plants have been destroyed, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenski said on 18 October.
Updates in the National Landscape
On 28 October, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the end of the country’s partial mobilization and reported to Putin on the fulfillment of his tasks. According to the Minister, 300,000 reservists have joined the ranks of the Russian troops as part of the partial mobilization. Of these, 82,000 have already been trained and sent to the line of contact.
Mobilisation has now given the army a chance to recover, allowing the Russian armed forces, exhausted after nearly eight months of fighting, to take a break. Some experts believe that the problem of morale, discipline, and fighting ability of Russian troops in combat zones could lead to a temporary suspension of offensive operations. Evidence has emerged that mobilized troops have been deployed to Ukraine after only a few days or weeks of training, while other groups will only get a month to train. Even before most of the new troops were deployed, evidence emerged of casualties among the mobilized, some of whom had been killed and others who had committed suicide, been captured, or deserted.
On 15 October, a mass shooting took place at a firing range in the Belgorod region during the training of volunteers preparing to take part in the invasion of Ukraine, killing 11 people. The online edition of Baza stated that two of the attackers were Tajik nationals, and the reason for the attack was a religious conflict. According to media reports and Russian telegram channels, Andrei Lapin, the lieutenant colonel in charge of the Russian Forces Central grouping during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, was removed from his post in late October. He was linked to a shooting in Belgorod Region.
Transnational Activities & Group Interactions
On 14 October, International Movement Russo-Slavic Union and Revival (RUSOV) reported that Polish comrade-in-arms Artur Chmok, who had served about a year in a Polish prison for his pan-Slavic, pro-Russian views and active participation in the International Movement “RUSOV,” was released, it happened about an hour ago. He was welcomed by his loyal comrades-in-arms from the “Zadružij Krug” organization.
On 29 October, associates of the International Movement Russo-Slavic Union and Revival (RUSOV) from the Polish organization “Zadružij Krug” gathered at a shooting range in Podlaskie Voivodeship, where they held practice shootings, discussed pressing issues, and, of course, conveyed their fraternal support to Russia, Belarus, and Serbia. The banner they held read: “Crimea – Russia” and “Kosovo – Serbia.”
Transnational Developments on Discourse in Mainstream Media
In October, Evgeny Prigozhin, entrepreneur and founder of the private military company Wagner, and Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Chechen Republic, marked an active presence in the media field. Both speak from the position of hawks and the war party. Prigozhin’s answers are posted on his Concorde press service’s social media page, which is highly atypical. On 18 October, his press service published a flattering review of Prigozhin’s appointment of a new commander of Russian troops in Ukraine: «Read my statement carefully, one of the key messages I made. Apart from the fact that Surovikin is courageous, intelligent, and makes balanced decisions, he is ‘the most competent commander in the Russian army. But he can act in the current situation based on possibilities he has and on the situation that was given to him by his predecessors, and it was given, to put it mildly, not in the best way… Surovikin is the best and tried to save his Motherland, but his success depends, among other things, on his shells in the tank (the number of shells in his tank)”. As for the Kherson direction, I don’t know much about it, but I know that everything is all right on the Bakhmut».
Kadyrov publishes his comments on his personal Telegram channel. The comments and reactions of Prigozhin and Kadyrov are widely quoted not only in the Russian media but also abroad.
Andrei Rodionov, head of the RUSOV, gave an interview with Serbian journalist Dejan Zlatanovic and Macedonian from the Rodina Macedonia party, Vladimir Trajkovski. They mainly talked about the course of the war and the situation in the former Ukraine. The interview with Dejan had more than 25,000 views and many supportive comments in 24 hours, but the video service administration restricted access to it.
Transnational Social Media Activity & Propaganda/Narratives
The big news in October for Russian nationalists was the triumphant return of Novorossiya leader Igor Strelkov (Girkin) to the front. He himself wrote about it in his Telegram channel on October 18. Strelkov’s status and rank were not disclosed. On 16 October, Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence set a reward of $100,000 for capturing Strelkov and handing him over.
The far-right Local Crew has published a whole series of cynical multimedia pieces on the destruction of civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.
Transnational Political and Financial Cooperation
In October, the efforts of the far-right were focused on the purchase of missing equipment for Russian soldiers and sponsored units. The far-right war correspondent Gleb Ervier alone managed in one month to raise over a million roubles (over 16 thousand euros) and buy four UAVs, over a dozen radios, counters for jet and barrel artillery, and other minor items.

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Analysis

Bohdan Yakimenko

Antifa United – Seven Antifascists Detained in Russia

On June 5, Russian police and the FSB conducted a large-scale operation and detained seven antifascists in Moscow and the Moscow region in the Antifa United case. The alleged leader of the group, Bogdan Yakimenko, was detained in Rostov-on-Don. The

An Emerging Generation of the Russian Far-Right

A new generation of far-rightists has emerged in Russia, attacking migrants against the backdrop of the invasion of Ukraine, filming their attacks on video and publishing them on Telegram.

Image of Yan Petrovsky in military gear.

Rusich Fighter Yan Petrovsky’s Escape From Russia

An alleged key fighter, founding member and leader of Russia’s best-known neo-Nazi unit Rusich, Yan Petrovsky, has been detained in Finland. Kyiv has sent an official request to Finnish authorities asking for the extradition of the 36-year-old Russian neo-Nazi. Our

How the far-right reacted to Prigozhin’s mutiny

Antifa.ru has collected the far-right’s reaction to the news of Prigozhin’s military mutiny. On the night of 24 June, Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner PMC, issued a statement accusing the Russian Defence Ministry of missile attacks on the camp

EUROPOL Report Covers the European Right’s Stance on Ukraine

Europol has published a report on terrorism. It mentions the far-right and the war in Ukraine There has been a significant split among the European far-right on the issue of the war in Ukraine. This is based on Europol’s European