Russians and Reactionaries

The on-again, off-again flirtation between Mother Russia and the deplorables of Europe

Jay Kinney

A central accusation in the uproar over “Russian influence” holds that Moscow is covertly in cahoots with the American alt-right, supplying the movement with fake news, memes, and social media talking points. The evidence for this tends to be more speculative than solid, but the general question of post-Soviet Russia’s cooperation with Western nationalist and racialist groups is certainly salient.

Such links are at the heart of Anton Shekhovtsov’s new study, Russia and the Western Far Right: Tango Noir. Shekhovtsov is a fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, and his book is exhaustively detailed in its description of Russian relations with the European far right. What impact this may have had on the American right comes up only in the book’s final three paragraphs, which mostly raise questions and provide no answers.

Shekhovtsov argues that a range of reactionary groups, largely in Europe, see Putin “as an ally in their struggle against Western liberal democracy and multiculturalism.” Moscow, in turn, uses them both “to consolidate the authoritarian kleptocratic regime at home” and “to counteract the growing isolation of Russia in the Europeanised world.” And in some cases, the author argues, Russia wants “to disrupt the liberal-democratic consensus in Western societies and, thus, destabilize them.” […]

Austrian and Italian far-right parties signed coordination and cooperation agreements with Putin’s “United Russia”

In my book Russia and the Western Far Right, I mistakenly wrote that the Italian far-right Lega Nord (Northern League, rebranded as Lega in 2018) had signed a coordination agreement with the Russian ruling party “United Russia” (ER), in contrast to the coordination and cooperation agreement signed between the Austrian far-right FPÖ (Freedom Party of Austria) and the ER. That incorrectly implied that the LN/ER agreement was lesser in scope than the FPÖ/ER agreement. […]

The Ukrainian far-right National Corps picks up where Svoboda left off

Five years ago, the Ukrainian far-right Svoboda (Freedom) party could legitimately brag about their vast contacts with European far-right movements and parties. Even Svoboda’s predecessor, the Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU, renamed into Svoboda in 2004), was a member of the Euronat, an international far-right organisation formed at the end of the 1990s by the French National Front (FN). And it was the FN, then still headed by Jean-Marie Le Pen, who advocated granting Svoboda an observer status in the Alliance of European National Movements (AENM) formed in 2009. […]

Fascisme-expert Anton Sjechovtsjov: ‘Poetin wil banden met extreemrechts in heel Europa aanhalen’

‘Poetin is verheugd over de winst van extreemrechts in Italië en Oostenrijk’, vertelt academicus Anton Sjechovtsjov. Hij onderzoekt sinds 2006 extreemrechtse partijen in Europa en sinds 2013 ook hun link met het regime in Rusland. ‘Samen kunnen zij de westerse democratie vernietigen.’

Brecht Castel […]

Was Russland und Europas Rechte verbindet

Die italienische Lega ist – wie andere rechtspopulistische Parteien in Europa – ausgesprochen russlandfreundlich. Mehr noch: Parteichef Matteo Salvini pflegt enge Beziehungen zum Kreml und kremlnahen Kreisen. Lorenzo Fontana, Vizechef der Lega, nimmt kein Blatt vor den Mund. «Wir betrachten Russland als Verbündeten Europas», sagte er nach den Wahlen letzten Monat.

Judith Huber […]

The Kremlin’s Loyal Friends in Europe

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime has loyal friends in the European Union. They might not be the most influential ones, and their impact might still be too small to influence EU policies, but that may not even be the purpose of this friendship. They provide an extra layer of domestic legitimacy to the Kremlin, and help undermine the trust in Western liberalism. An interview with political scientist Anton Shekhovtsov, expert of the entanglements between the far right and the Kremlin. […]

Сбор информации о фейковом наблюдении на российских президентских выборах

Я начал сбор информации по фейковым наблюдателям на российских президентских выборах. К сожалению, ЦИК РФ не публикует списки наблюдателей – неважно, нормальных или фейковых, – поэтому приходится собирать их имена «вручную». […]