Putin and the Extreme right

Given Putin’s style of aggression against Ukraine, it is not surprising that he has long been backing extreme right wing parties (see also We know Russia funds Europe’s far-Right. But what does it get in return?).

He supports, for example: France’s National Rally, who used to be known as the National Front; Germany’s neo-Nazi National Democratic Party, whose early leaders were mostly former Nazi Party members, and whose 1940’s Nazi forerunners killed tens of millions of mostly Russian Soviet citizens, most of them civilians, and deliberately starved to death millions of mostly Russian Soviet prisoners of war; the Alternative for Germany; and the Austrian Freedom Party, whose leaders have included former members of the Waffen SS, who were of course heavily involved in killing tens of millions of mostly Russian Soviet citizens.

Putin’s father, who was also called Vladimir, was a Soviet soldier who fought against the Nazis, so I doubt that he would have been impressed by his son’s cosying up to neo-Nazis, or by Putin’s admiration for the Russian fascist writer Ivan Ilyin, who supported the Nazis until Hitler said that the Slavs were an inferior race.

Ilyin also supported Mussolini.

You can read about other Alternative for Germany and National Democratic Party collaboration with the Putin regime in this German news magazine article. One particularly despicable example of Alternative for Germany collusion, was members of its Young Alternative youth wing attending a conference called “Donbass: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”, at which attendees would no doubt have been presented with Putin’s justifications for violently stealing part of Ukraine.

Western neo-Nazi parties who sent representatives to a Putin-backed 2016 St. Petersburg conference included Greece’s Golden Dawn, and Germany’s National Democrats.

These conferences are organised by Rodina (Motherland in English), an extreme right party which, according to the prominent Russian journalist and Putin critic Anna Politkovskaya,  who was later assassinated, was set up by Kremlin spin doctors to draw voters away from the National Bolsheviks, who were a syncretic, extreme right-extreme left ideology party.

As you can read in this article, Russia is also now home to, “a new global alliance of far-right groups called the World National-Conservative Movement.”
Putin is of course the real leader of this global extreme right group, which was created by his Rodina supporters.
As you can see from this WNCP membership list, the extreme right parties who are part of this “conservative” global group do not in fact include any conservative parties, but they do include neo-Nazis like Germany’s National Democrats, Greece’s Golden Dawn, and Scandinavia’s Nordic Resistance Movement, who aim to turn the 5 Scandinavian countries into a single neo-Nazi state.
The NRM have been banned in Finland for being violent and openly racist.

The last party on the WNCP list, under Rodina, the Russian Imperial Movement, reveals what this new “conservative” group is really about.

In the days of the Soviet Union, its leaders aimed to maximise its imperial power through the Comintern (Communist International) and Cominform (Communist Information Bureau) global Communist groups, and Putin’s new global extreme right group serves exactly the same function.
Stalin’s Comintern lap dogs in the world’s Communist Parties would do what their leader in the Kremlin told them to, and now a new Kremlin leader is trying to build up another army of loyal lap dogs.
Putin even has a Stalin type gulag system, which uses torture, and wants to ensure that Russians forget about Stalin’s gulags, which is why a prominent gulag researcher who had uncovered mass graves from Stalin’s era was jailed for 13 years on fabricated charges, and why the names of Stalin’s victims are now being quietly erased from official records.
Even the Putinophile Trump administration branded the Russian Imperial Movement a terrorist group.
After the RIM provided 2 Swedish neo-Nazis from the Nordic Resistance Movement with paramilitary training, they carried out 2016 terrorist attacks in Gothenburg.
UKIP do not seem to be extreme enough for Putin and his new extreme right wing Comintern, but past UKIP leaders Nigel Farage and Diane James have still expressed their admiration for him.
The Dutch Forum for Democracy is also clearly not extreme enough for the Kremlin, but its leader has called Putin “a beautiful guy.

Italy’s League party is, again, clearly not extreme enough for Putin, but its former deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, is another of his admirers.

On the 2018 anniversary of Mussolini’s date of birth, Salvini tweeted “Many enemies, much honour”, a phrase which was almost identical to one of Mussolini’s most famous sayings.
One of the League party’s former government ministers, Lorenzo Fontana, has called for an anti-fascist law to be repealed.
Salvini also agreed to join another international extreme right group, the Movement, which was set up by Donald Trump’s pro-Putin former adviser, Steve Bannon.
Other extreme right parties who have agreed to work with the Movement are UKIP, France’s National Rally, Belgium’s People’s Party, and the Brothers of Italy.
The Austrian Freedom Party have not thrown in their lot with Steve Bannon, but they, and Salvini’s League party, have signed a cooperation agreement with Putin’s United Russia party.
Former Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache, who used to be Austria’s vice chancellor, was openly neo-Nazi during his youth.

Just before the Freedom Party became part of Austria’s government in 2017, its 51 MP’s, including Strache, stopped wearing their usual blue cornflowers, which are a symbol of the 1930’s Austrian Nazi movement (in that decade, they were worn as a secret sign of support for the Austrian Nazis after they were banned).

All of the parties I have been discussing win votes by posing as enemies of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, but they are of course happy to ignore the now huge list of extreme right-wing party and group members and supporters who have been convicted of terrorist offences, and to team up with a terrorist in the Kremlin.
Putin was the director of the FSB, one of the successors of the KGB, from 1998-1999, before becoming Prime Minister in 1999, and became popular after he was put in charge of the 1999 invasion of Chechnya, in the wake of 4 “Chechen” apartment block terrorist bombings in Russia, which appear to have been perpetrated by some of his FSB officers, who were caught planting a 5th bomb in an apartment block in Ryazan. The bombings killed 293 people.

The apartment block bombings led directly to him becoming president, because the war that they created a pretext for, massively increased his popularity. As the chosen successor to Boris Yeltsin, who had a 2% public approval rating when Putin became prime minister, it had seemed impossible for Putin to be elected president, but the bombings and the war changed all that.

People who have tried to investigate who was really behind the apartment block bombings have been murdered, as have other critics of Putin and his regime.
The apartment bombings, and the involvement of the FSB in the planting of the 5th bomb, are discussed in this American PBS TV documentary about Putin’s grotesque history of extreme corruption, which is of course normal for fascist regimes.

For example, the Nazis stole more war loot (gold, art treasures, etc.) than any regime in history, which is why the western democratic Allies had to create a special unit to try to return the huge numbers of artworks that the Nazis had stolen from museums, art galleries, churches, and wealthy Jews to their owners; Mussolini abolished the last vestiges of Italian democracy, and seized dictatoral power when it appeared that he was about to be arrested or impeached for corruption; Franco printed money so he could steal large amounts of it; and Pinochet became very wealthy from his army and secret police selling cocaine to the US and Europe.

Former Guardian Moscow correspondent Luke Harding’s “Mafia State: How One Reporter Became an Enemy of the Brutal New Russia” (Guardian Books, London, 2012) shows how under Putin, his regime and Russian organised crime have become twoIan sides of the same coin, which would explain why some of Putin’s FSB officers were so corrupt, that they appear to have murdered 293 Russians to create Russian public support for a war. That book is also important to read if you want to understand Putin’s influence over another leader of the terrorist-infested extreme right, Donald Trump, who allegedly has extensive ties to Russian organised crime.

Craig Unger’s “New York Times” bestseller, “House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia” (Dutton, New York, 2018) is about those alleged Trump-Russian organised crime ties.
Luke Harding’s “Collusion: How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win the White House” (Guardian Faber, London, 2018) is a “New York Times” number 1 bestseller that explains how Putin’s regime helped to put Donald Trump in the White House.
So should we be surprised that Trump’s attacks on the FBI and US Justice Department investigation into his election campaign’s alleged links to Russia targeted 3 officials who had, “extensive experience in probing money laundering and organised crime, particularly as they pertain to Russia”?

Comments (6)

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  1. Dougie Harrison says:

    I don’t think for one second, Ian, that you are in any way wrong in your detailed and well-referenced analysis of why Putin is essentially a right-winger. But you totally fail to examine why the neo-fascist right has supported the emergence of the brave heroes of current Ukraine. The world is a complex place, and its complexity deserves careful analysis.

    Nick Wright, in today’s ‘Morning Star’, at least attempts to provide such an analysis – over two pages. Read it please, if you wish to genuinely understand the complexities of today’s war between Russia and Ukraine.

  2. Joshu's Dog says:

    Let’s not forget that Russian propaganda has been investing in the right for the last ten years because they virtually got (a dwindling but initially extremely large) swathe of the left as Useful Idiots “for free.”

    Bush/ Iraq and everything in its train for the subsequent 15 years essentially carried over the entire problem of a century of willfully blinkered belief in the “socialist camp” to a vague identification with Putin via a new round of simple anti Americanism.

    Putin would have to commit atrocities on the scale of Hitler to break the hypnosis “Russia” still holds over segments of the left, especially the Euro-left. Bucha won’t cut it. And given that liberal technocracy is also increasingly nauseating it’s no surprise we’re seeing large political constituencies casting about for poles of resistance to the Western capitalist establishment and its values.

    But at least one silver lining in Putin having crossed the rubicon into open confrontation with the West is that he isn’t able or attempting to use “Russia Today” style nonsense to brainwash /new/ followers quite so easily. For Gen Z, Putin is the “Bush” figure — the swaggering warmongering arsehole patriarch. For Millenials and older, Putin was the anti-“Bush”.

  3. SleepingDog says:

    Do you have anything to substantiate the claim that “Nazis stole more war loot (gold, art treasures, etc.) than any regime in history”? What do you think British museums and Royal palaces are stuffed with? The Nazis may have been systematic and organized in much of their looting, and therefore less wasteful. At least, less destructive and cruel than the British and French Empires in their looting and sacking of the Old Chinese Summer Palace: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Summer_Palace#Destruction
    The British royal imperial regime managed to loot much of the wealth of India (borrowing the word itself), and considering that the Benin Bronzes are just the tip of British imperial ‘punitive’ missions, I find claims of Nazi excellence to be in poor taste, as if looting were some kind of international competitive sport. In fact, the RAF destroyed vast amounts of cultural property not just in bombing Germany, possibly the biggest book burning in history, but again let us not be competitive about it. And because of the way Germany was bombed and then occupied, it was far more vulnerable to looting than most other countries. I have heard firsthand accounts from British officers of the way British troops themselves systematically looted German houses (and much, much worse), using dynamite to blow safes and so forth. Nazi looters is such a tired old trope, there are so many worse things they really did, and every time I hear this I think it could be a deflection from what the (Western) Allies did. Go read some real testimonies, like To the Victor, the Spoils by Sean Longden. There is also a new Dutch book out about how the Allies plundered Nijmegen, charming.

  4. florian albert says:

    The politicians who have done most for Putin are not far-right nonentities like Diane James or Lorenzo Fontana. They are mainstream, centrist politicians. The most important of these is Angela Merkel.
    She created an energy policy which has left Germany highly dependent on Russian gas and, in consequence, paying for Putin’s war of aggression.
    Plainly, many Germans have a sense of guilt over the atrocities perpetrated by their ancestors in Russia 80 years ago but – in 2022 – Ukraine is paying a much heavier price for German guilt than Germany is. Merkel’s predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder deserves a dishonourable mention. Greed, rather than guilt, appears to be his primary motivation.

    1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

      I think the City of London and the associated legal services have done a fair amount, too.

      1. florian albert says:

        According to the Guardian, last Wednesday, the EU has paid £29 billion to Russia since the present war started. I doubt that even the greediest City of London banker or lawyer can compete with such largesse.

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