We watch the US while racists are being militarily trained in Russia

Mats Paulsen We all see reports about the violent demonstrations against racism and police violence in USA. At the same German right-wing extremists are attending paramilitary training in S:t Petersburg, Russia. The German news magazine Focus, has the report.

The organizers of this training in Russia, Russian Imperial Movement, is fighting for "white supremacy”. The US State Department put this association on a warning list of international terrorist groups in early April, according to Focus. In spring 2020 we talked with Anetta Kahane, founder of Amadeu Antonio, an anti-racism foundation in Berlin. She said she was shocked by the right-wing extremism in Eastern Europe: - We arranged a seminar in S:t Petersburg and found that the situation in Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary is terrible. The Nazis are so brutal. There is so much that is not told. They attack people from Central Asia, chase them in the streets and beat them brutally. Political opponents are murdered. But this is not recognized as a political crime but as ordinary murders”, Anetta Kahane told me.

Anetta Kahane has worked with racism, antisemitism and extremism since 1998. She says that the right-wing extremists in Eastern Europe are different from the ones Western Europe.

- In Western Europe you have a big right-wing populist movement. They are mostly organized by a bourgeois right-wing movement.

But in Eastern Europe and in East Germany we have the right-wing social revolutionaries. They want a revolution. They want to overthrow the system. They are Nazis and former skinheads. It's a completely different environment, said Anetta Kahane. This is how US State Department reported in April: “Today, the State Department is designating the Russian Imperial Movement – also known as RIM – as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist or SDGT. These designations are unprecedented. This is the first time the United States has ever designated white supremacist terrorists, illustrating how seriously this administration takes the threat”.

This extreme divide in the society calls for activating people in the middle, to prevent that their bubbles drift towards the extreme. In an economic recession caused by the pandemic, the extreme movements are likely to grow. mats.paulsen@fikaproject.org


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