The Institute for European Integrity (IEI), an NGO monitoring influence organizations, has launched its NGO watchlist identifying “suspicious, high-risk, criminally-linked, or sanctioned NGOs.” According to the IEI announcement
October 21, 2022 Today, the Institute for European Integrity (IEI) launched its flagship NGO Watchlist. The Watchlist identifies suspicious, high-risk, criminally-linked, or sanctioned NGOs and investigates their funders and links to government influence. The organizations placed on the Watchlist are identified as having deep involvement with or funding from an individual or entity that has been criminally prosecuted or sanctioned (Russia-invoked sanctions are excluded). Additionally, a separate category of watchlisted NGOs includes those with strong links to individuals with criminal allegations levelled by a European, EU, US, or UK government authority.
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Two NGOs on the initial Watchlist are featured in Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reporting. The St. Basil, the Great Foundation, is described by the Watchlist as follows:
The St. Basil the Great Foundation was established by sanctioned oligarch Konstantin Malofeev in 2007. Supposedly one of the largest Orthodox charities in Russia, St. Basil has lobbied for various “traditionalist” causes in and outside of the country as well as having built a school with religious and tsarist flavor. Although there has been some turnover in terms of leadership, the main core of St. Basil has, more or less, remained intact since at least 2012. While the foundation may remain a positive contribution inside of Russia, its inception and international activity remain a wellspring of controversy as it is 1: founded by a well-known sanctioned Russian oligarch; 2: part of an anti-western conspiracy theology (Orthodox vs. Decadent West); and 3: behavior consistent with attempting to whitewash backgrounds as well as laundering narratives. There are four individuals that are worth illuminating within the organizational leadership structure: Konstantin Malofeev, Michael Yakushev, Father Tikhon, and Alexey Komov. Presently sanctioned by the EU, UK & US, Konstantin Malofeev (a/k/a the “Orthodox Oligarch”) serves as the Founder of St. Basil. In addition to serving as the founder, he possesses 50%+ ownership of the following entities: St. Basil, Safe Internet League, Marshall Capital Partners, Tsargrad Conglomerate, and Gilroy Trading Company.
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The Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported this week that St. Basil the Great Foundation founder Konstantin Malofeyev had chosen one of two MEPs from Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National party to participate in a secret project called “AltIntern,” intended to promote values such as “Christendom as the foundation of life” and marriage as “the union of a man and a woman.” In March 2022, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported on leaked emails and documents that showed how the Russian influence group known as Tsargrad was cooperating with senior far-right politicians in Italy, France, Germany, and Austria. As that post detailed, Tsargrad is funded by Malofeyev (aka Malofeev), known by US intelligence as the Russian President’s “right arm for operations of political interference in Europe,” and designated by the US in 2014 over his interference in Ukraine. A recent UK media profile of Malofeyev describes him and his role in funding anti-abortion, anti-LGBTIQ initiatives,
The IEI Watchlist describes The Institute of Democracy and Cooperation in Paris as follows:
The Institute of Democracy and Cooperation in Paris, hereinafter “IDCP” or “IDC”, was founded in 2008 by Russian attorney Anatoliy Kucherena. In addition to having purportedly acted as Putin’s doverennoe litso (trusted representative) during the 2012 and 2018 Russian presidential elections, Mr. Kucherena has handled high-profile cases relevant to the Kremlin such as former NSA contractor turned Russian citizen Edward Snowden and Ukrainian president-turned-fugitive Viktor Yanukovych. Adding to his many achievements, the Ukrainian National Agency on Corruption Prevention has characterized IDCP’s founder as a high-level individual who works within entities that are “…providing financial support to actions that undermine Ukraine’s security, sovereignty, and independence.” IDCP as a combined organizational whole has maintained limited staff. What it lacks in terms of manpower is alleviated by the milieu it traffics in with other pro-Kremlin organizations. Moreover, these networks tend to share, as well as recycle, senior leadership yielding a convergence on numerous issues. IDCP presents a variety of concerning issues such as the following: 1: undisclosed government support; 2: senior leadership possessing close links to ultranationalists; and 3: participation in well-known disinformation media ecosystems and serving as a fake observer for biased elections. In addition to its undisclosed funding sources, IDCP appears to operate predominantly as a two-person team involving the following individuals: at its helm is Director Natalia Narochnitskaya, while John Laughland fills the role of Director of Studies.
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The GIOR has reported earlier that IDC Director of Studies John Laughland is a British national and conspiracy theorist with close ties to Russia who recently spoke at this year’s opening of the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC), a Hungarian education facility associated with the government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Russia’s closest partner in the EU. Aside from his role at the MCC, Laughland is director of the Forum for Democracy International, an arm of the Dutch far-right, populist political party known as the FvD. In July of this year, the GIOR reported that Laughland was scheduled to deliver a keynote at a pro-Russian propaganda event sponsored by the FvD, where the Russian ambassador to the Netherlands was expected to participate. In October, we reported on an article written by Laughland attempting to cast doubt on the idea that the Russians were likely behind the recent suspected sabotage of the Nordstream 2 gas pipelines and redirect blame onto the United States.