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US Intelligence Says Russia Supporting Western Neo-Fascist Groups

March 28th, 2022 11:52

US media is report­ing that accord­ing to a US intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty assess­ment, the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment is pro­vid­ing “indi­rect and pas­sive sup­port” to neo­fas­cist groups oper­at­ing in the U. S. and else­where. Accord­ing to a Yahoo news report:

A U. S. intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty assess­ment obtained by Yahoo News con­clud­ed that the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment is pro­vid­ing “indi­rect and pas­sive sup­port” to neo­fas­cist groups oper­at­ing in the U. S. and else­where, but stops short of accus­ing the Krem­lin of sup­ply­ing finan­cial or mate­r­i­al assis­tance to West­ern extrem­ist groups. The Krem­lin “prob­a­bly tol­er­ates some pri­vate Russ­ian enti­ties’ sup­port” for U. S. and Euro­pean white nation­al­ist groups “because it aligns with Krem­lin efforts to aggra­vate soci­etal fis­sures in the West,” states the report. Russ­ian neo­fas­cist groups have attempt­ed to recruit and pro­vide para­mil­i­tary train­ing to North Amer­i­can and Euro­pean extrem­ists in order to “expand their reach into the West, increase mem­ber­ship, and raise mon­ey,” accord­ing to the unclas­si­fied July 2021 intel­li­gence report. The sup­port of West­ern neo­fas­cists by Russ­ian extrem­ists “pos­es a poten­tial threat to West­ern secu­ri­ty by encour­ag­ing and enabling attacks on eth­nic minori­ties and gov­ern­ment facil­i­ties,” states the report, which is titled “Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion Sup­port of Racial­ly and Eth­ni­cal­ly Moti­vat­ed Vio­lent Extrem­ists.” But the report, which was pre­pared by the Office of the Direc­tor of Nation­al Intel­li­gence with input from the CIA and the FBI, also says the U. S. gov­ern­ment lacks “indi­ca­tions of direct Russ­ian gov­ern­ment sup­port” for for­eign white nation­al­ist groups. Russ­ian state-backed online influ­ence oper­a­tions do, how­ev­er, “ampli­fy polit­i­cal­ly divi­sive issues” that like­ly help in “the rad­i­cal­iza­tion and recruit­ment efforts world­wide” of white nation­al­ist groups, the report states. The Office of the Direc­tor of Nation­al Intel­li­gence declined to com­ment. Russ­ian extrem­ist groups are active­ly train­ing for­eign white nation­al­ists, the report states. One Russ­ian neo­fas­cist group, the Russ­ian Impe­r­i­al Move­ment, has over­seen para­mil­i­tary instruc­tion for Euro­pean extrem­ists at its Rus­sia-based camps, and has tried to recruit Amer­i­cans to train there, accord­ing to the report.

Read the rest here.

In late Feb­ru­ary, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed how pro-Russ­ian sen­ti­ment is spread­ing online as an exten­sion of US cul­ture war pol­i­tics and that influ­en­tial US con­ser­v­a­tive voic­es are play­ing an increas­ing role in ampli­fy­ing pro-Russ­ian messaging.

GIOR has recent­ly pub­lished a report on a new and devel­op­ing alliance between US con­ser­v­a­tives and Euro­pean nation­al­ists, seen as a means for Rus­sia to exert covert influ­ence in Europe and the US. Accord­ing to that report, cul­ture war issues play a promi­nent role in that alliance:

Rus­sia is a pro­lif­ic actor in the influ­ence oper­a­tions are­na, both in the US and Europe. Russ­ian Pres­i­dent PUTIN has expressed an inter­est in Rus­sia becom­ing the ide­o­log­i­cal cen­ter of a new glob­al con­ser­v­a­tive alliance, and Euro­pean far-right lead­ers have tak­en pro-Russ­ian posi­tions based on a sim­i­lar ide­ol­o­gy. Hun­gary is at the cen­ter of a devel­op­ing alliance between Euro­pean far-right nation­al­ists and Amer­i­can con­ser­v­a­tives that Rus­sia could poten­tial­ly exploit for use in infor­ma­tion war­fare. This alliance oper­ates under the rubric of “Nation­al Con­ser­vatism,” cen­tered on nation­al sov­er­eign­ty, cul­tur­al iden­ti­ty, and oppo­si­tion to glob­al insti­tu­tions and rep­re­sent­ing a poten­tial­ly rad­i­cal change for the US con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment away from long-held Rea­gan-era philosophies.

Dowload the full report here.

In Sep­tem­ber 2021, GIOR report­ed that Rus­sia was cul­ti­vat­ing and sup­port­ing far-right groups in Bosnia and Ser­bia oper­at­ing under the guise of human­i­tar­i­an aid.