Martin Dewhirst reviews Russia and the Western Far Right by Anton Shekhovtsov

A review article by Martin Dewhirst

It has sometimes been claimed that many of those who support what are conventionally known as the Far Right and the Far Left are remarkably similar to one another, at least psychologically: dogmatic, narrow-minded, inflexible, opinionated, dreadfully earnest and, in many but not in all cases, lacking a healthy sense of humour. Some of the key words used by people on the Far Right and the Far Left are different, but the all-important style can be remarkably similar. If this is the case, then President Putin has changed only slightly since he stopped being an ardent communist secret policeman and quickly, once the USSR imploded, became an active wheeler- dealer and strong supporter of primitive, obscurantist, pre-modern, rather than contemporary, tolerant and humanistic values – all this without showing any signs of guilt, embarrassment or repentance for his murky activities in the past. Those who organised and ran the GULag, the terror and the purges should, he now says, be forgiven, but should this generosity also apply to the Nazis as well? Ukraine is currently accused of promoting fascism, yet the Russian authorities are themselves happily collaborating with extreme right-wingers when this appears to be a way of weakening the West and strengthening the messianic and neo-Eurasian imperialistic aspirations of the regime centred on the Kremlin and Old Square (the HQ of the Presidential Administration).

Many people, not least some of those surprised by the result of the referendum on Brexit and the election of President Trump, have the feeling that a ‘paradigm shift’ is taking place, for better or for worse, in political developments around the world. Is it stoppable and reversible? Are ‘Western values’ under serious threat from what some observers consider to be outdated and harmful rather than traditional and acceptable attitudes and opinions? With Putin, health permitting, likely to be the President of the Russian Federation for another six years, this is just the time to read Shekhovtsov’s pioneering monograph and decide whether or not he is exaggerating the likelihood that the Far Right could have a lasting and decisive impact on the future of the West. For most readers, the names of the majority of the numerous European and American Far Right activists about whom he writes will be unknown. Our very own Nigel Farage is absent from the Index, but one can assume that for most of the present-day Far Right activists named in the book he is a genuine hero on whom they should model themselves. […]

European Council on Democracy and Human Rights: “Presidential election in Crimea is fair, free and legitimate”

This is the sort of the headlines that Russian and foreign readers will see in the Russian and pro-Kremlin media after the presidential election in Russia on 18 March 2018. There may also be something like “The European Council on Democracy and Human Rights recognises the presidential election in Crimea”. […]

Putins Söldner?

Russische Politik und die extreme Rechte in Europa

Thomas Willms

Die auffällige Nähe des russischen Staates zu diversen extrem rechten Akteuren in Westeuropa ist in den letzten Jahren immer deutlicher geworden und bedurfte dringend der Analyse. Der in Österreich forschende Anton Shekhovtsov hat nun die erste Gesamtdarstellung des Themenkomplexes vorgelegt. Das Ergebnis ist erschöpfend detailliert, methodisch vielfältig, politikwissenschaftlich faszinierend und politisch desillusionierend. Alles bearbeiten konnte der vielsprachige Autor trotzdem nicht. So hätte man gern ein eigenes Kapitel zu Alexander Dugin, dem russischen Lieblingsideologen deutscher Neonazis gelesen oder mehr zum Verhältnis von Jürgen Elsässers »Compact« zur in Paris ansässigen russischen Stiftung »Institut de la Democratie et de la Cooperation« erfahren, ganz zu schweigen von den Auftritten von AfD-Politikem und anderen deutschen Rechten im Donbass. Das Werk enthält selbst in seinen Nebenaspekten Erschütterndes. So erfährt man, dass sich der russische Auslandssender »Voice of Russia« in den 90em Jahren nicht zu schade dafür war, dem berufsmäßigen Auschwitzleugner Emst Zündel eine eigene Sendereihe einzurichten. […]

Putin’s Russia 4.0: What can we expect from it?

On the 7th of December, Vladimir Putin announced that he would run for a new presidential term in March 2018. So far, he has not presented a programme or agenda for his fourth presidential term, which is expected to last from 2018 until 2024, and it is very unlikely that he will do it in the nearest future. However, particular developments in Russia in December can give us a glimpse into what we can expect from Putin’s Russia 4.0. […]

Waarom extreemrechts in Vlaanderen valt voor de charmes van Poetin

Terwijl het Vlaamse extreemrechts eertijds nog ten strijde trok tegen de Rus, zijn de vijanden van weleer vandaag in een innige omhelzing verwikkeld. Knack ging op zoek naar de pro-Russische lobby in België. ‘Ik vind dat Stalin goed werk heeft geleverd.’

Jeroen Zuallaert

© Knack

‘s Lands grootste Poetinfan woont in een rijhuis in een Dendermondse buitenwijk. Wie het huis van Kris Roman binnenkomt, waant zich prompt in een souvenirwinkel op wandelafstand van het Rode Plein. Bezoekers stoten bij het binnengaan op een bar met een glazen drankenkabinet dat als in een boetiek tot aan het plafond volgestouwd is met tientallen flessen exquise wodka. […]

Pourquoi l’extrême droite flamande succombe au charme de Poutine

Alors qu’autrefois l’extrême droite flamande partait en guerre contre les Russes, les ennemis d’hier sont aujourd’hui intimement enlacés. Notre confrère de Knack est parti à la recherche du lobby pro-russe en Belgique. “Je trouve que Staline a fait du bon boulot.”

Jeroen Zuallaert

© Knack

Le plus grand fan de Poutine du pays vit à Termonde. Quand on entre dans la maison de Kris Roman on se croirait dans une boutique de souvenirs située à trois pas de la Place Rouge. Roman, un quinquagénaire corpulent au crâne rasé, reconnaît qu’il a un passé de droite. Dans les années quatre-vingt et au début des années nonante, il militait pour le Vlaams Blok pour protester contre la hausse de migrants à Bruxelles. Roman qualifie son passé extrémiste, où il a ouvertement sympathisé avec le Troisième Reich, de “pêché de jeunesse” auquel il a dit adieu. […]

“Вмешательство России – это новая норма”

Что ждет Евросоюз, Кремль и его европейских союзников в 2018 году

Ярослав Шимов

Фигура, изображающая Владимира Путина и его союзников из числа европейских крайне правых, на карнавале в Дюссельдорфе (Германия), 2016 год

“Это не идеология, а принцип политической организации, при котором сторонники [партии или лидера] воспринимают себя как “настоящие” граждане, выражающие подлинную волю народа – против элит, мигрантов или меньшинств – этнических, религиозных, сексуальных”. […]

Kto tancuje zhubné čierne tango

Šechovcov objasňuje zvláštnu symbiózu postsovietskeho Kremľa a západoeurópskej krajnej pravice.

Grigorij Mesežnikov

Činnosť európskych populistických a nesystémových strán vrátane pravicovo radikálnych, resp. krajne pravicových, sa dostáva v posledných niekoľkých rokoch do pozornosti expertov a publicistov oveľa častejšie.

Dôvodom sú volebné výsledky týchto strán, ktoré svedčia o tom, že krajná pravica rozširuje svoju voličskú základňu (a to ako v západnej, tak aj v strednej Európe) a začína čoraz viac ovplyvňovať vývoj v jednotlivých európskych štátoch. […]