Stanlislav Vorobyov, the leader of the Russian Imperial Movement, speaking at the meeting of the "Nordic Resistance", 5/6 September 2015
Article by: Anton Shekhovtsov
One of the previous posts addressed the issue of two Russian far right organisations, namely the Rodina party and the Russian Imperial Movement (Russkoe Imperskoe Dvizhenie, RID), engaged in building of an international extreme right network under the title "World National-Conservative Movement" (WNCM). According to its political programme, the WNCM – rather than being just a framework for conferences – is focused on action.
A few days ago, new information has emerged that further corroborates this argument. On 5-6 September 2015, representatives of the RID visited Sweden and took part in a meeting of the Swedish fascist organisation Nordic Resistance (Nordiska Motståndsrörelsen), which was invited to join the WNCM earlier. During his talk, the RID's leader Stanislav Vorobyov, warned about "a full-scale war against the traditional values of Western civilisation" and explained that the uniform in which he showed up at the meeting was a symbol of their fight against "the Jewish oligarchs in Ukraine" on the side of pro-Russian extremists in Eastern Ukraine. Furthermore, he claimed that "the Zionist strategy in the Middle East would be used int he future to divide and rule the nations of Europe".
Most importantly, however, the Swedish report on the meeting states that, during its visit to Sweden, the Russian delegation has donated money to the Swedish fascists as a contribution to the building of a political party on the basis of the "Nordic Resistance". The information about the donation has been confirmed by the RID itself. The amount of the donation remains has not been disclosed.
The RID is not an ordinary far right organisation, but a fascist paramilitary movement that poses a potential terrorist threat to democratic societies. To understand the nature of this movement, as well as getting more insight into the WNCM that was co-founded by the RID, it seems appropriate to consider the current activities of the movement.
The RID was established in 2002 in St. Petersburg by Stanislav Vorobyov. Its major political goals are the revival of the Russian Empire (and regaining the "lost" territories) and the restoration of the Russian monarchy.
Since 2014, the RID was actively involved in the Russian war on Ukraine. Curiously, Vorobyov arrived in Ukraine right after the start of the occupation of Crimea by the Russian "little green men". The building of the Crimean parliament was seized by the Russian special ops forces on 27 February 2014, and Vorobyov arrived in Crimea the next day. I accompanied an airplane to Crimea that carried Russian military instructors who were to organise the local resistance movement. I remember one night the SBU guys [Ukrainian security officers] burned documents in their yard – then I understood that we were going to annex [Crimea].Vorobyovdescribedtheir visit to Crimea as follows:
On 14 March 2014, yet another groups of the RID members headed byNikolay Trushchalovwent to Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine. In Donetsk, they met with the representatives of a number of pro-Russian right-wing extremist organisations, in particular with the members of the "Donetsk Republic" that had long-standing relations with the Eurasianist movement headed by Russian fascist Alexander Dugin.
The "delegation" of the Russian Imperial Movement with the activists of the "Donetsk Republic", Donetsk, Ukraine, 14 March 2014. Nikolay Trushchalov is on the far right
In Donetsk, the representatives of the RID agreed to start providing the pro-Russian right-wing extremists with "humanitarian help" and manpower. Two members of the RID were key players in this operation.As a footnote, Trushchalov, as a leading member of the RID, was also present at the fascist conference in St. Petersburg on 22 March 2015.
(left to right) Nikolay Trushchalov, a leading member of the Russian Imperial Movement, and Nick Griffin, ex-leader of the fascist British National Party, St. Petersburg, Russia, 22 March 2015
The first key player is Denis Gariev, a member of the RID and the head of its paramilitary club "Imperial Legion" that holds "Partisan" military courses.
Participants of the "Partisan" military courses, Russia, September 2015
Under the leadership of Gariev, the RID's "Imperial Legion" club became the core of the "Imperial Legion" volunteer unit that took part in the Russian-Ukrainian war. A basic training course for a volunteercosts 250 Euros. Then qualified volunteers are sent to the Russian city of Rostov from which they illegally travel to Eastern Ukraine and join Russia's war on Ukraine. In July 2014, the RIDclaimed that they had sent over 300 volunteers from Russia to Eastern Ukraine.
Fighters of the "Imperial Legion" in Eastern Ukraine:
Stanislav Vorobyov (centre) decorates the fighters of the "Imperial Legion" who returned from Eastern Ukraine, St. Petersburg, Russia, 25 April 2015
The second key player, is Alexander Zhuchkovsky, a member of theRID who became a coordinator of the "humanitarian help" sent from Russia to East Ukrainian territories occupied by the pro-Russian extremists and Russian troops. Zhuchkovsky collects money, acquires military equipment and accessories, and sends them to Ukraine. As he claimed, by autumn 2014 the RIDmanaged to collect 30 million Russian rubles (€630.000).
Alexander Zhuchkovsky (right) and his "humanitarian help":
It is important to note that the RID positions themselves as opponents of Russia's President Vladimir Putin, but according their interviews and other materials, they have no problem with either holding military training courses in Russia, nor sending military equipment or volunteers to Eastern Ukraine to kill Ukrainians. There seems to be a tacit agreement between the RID and the authorities. The fact that the RID seems to have cooperated with the former commander of the pro-Russian extremists Igor Strelkov-Girkin (whose activities weresponsored by the Russian "Orthodox oligarch" Konstantin Malofeev), the movement likely has an understanding with the Russian authorities.
Igor Strelkov-Girkin (centre), Alexander Zhuchkovsky (right) in Eastern Ukraine
And it is these people who are now providing money to the Swedish fascist organisation "Nordic Resistance". Would the Russian fascists have anything in return?