10 June 2015

State of EU-Russia relations: A brief analysis of the EP vote

On 10 June 2015, the European Parliament adopted a resolution "on the state of EU-Russia relations". It is a strong resolution that condemns the illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia's war against Ukraine, as well as reminding that Russia is "directly or indirectly, involved in a number of 'frozen conflicts' in its neighbourhood – in Transnistria, South Ossetia, Abkhasia and Nagorno Karabakh".

Importantly, the resolution states that "at this point Russia [...] can no longer be treated as, or considered, a ‘strategic partner’".

In the context of this blog, I am happy to say that the European Parliament raises concerns directly related to the themes regularly discussed here, namely the cooperation between Putin's Russia and the Western far right:
Is deeply concerned at the ever more intensive contacts and cooperation, tolerated by the Russian leadership, between European populist, fascist and extreme right-wing parties on the one hand and nationalist groups in Russia on the other; recognises that this represents a danger to democratic values and the rule of law in the EU; calls in this connection on the EU institutions and Member States to take action against this threat of an emerging ‘Nationalist International’;
Is deeply concerned with Russia´s support for and financing of radical and extremist parties in the EU Member States; considers a recent meeting in St Petersburg of the far right parties an insult to the memory of millions of Russians who sacrificed their lives to save the world from Nazism;

7 June 2015

Sergey Glazyev and the American fascist cult

Among Russian politicians who established relations with the Western far right already in the 1990s, Sergey Glazyev, currently an adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the issues of regional economic integration, is one of the most prominent.

In 1992-1993, Glazyev was Minister of External Economic Relations of the Russian Federation, but resigned in protest over the decision of contemporary president Boris Yeltsin to dissolve the State Duma (Russian parliament) – the decision that resulted in the unsuccessful coup attempt staged by then vice president Aleksandr Rutskoy and then chairman of the Duma Ruslan Khasbulatov in October 1993 in Moscow. Glazyev was elected to the Duma in 1994 and became the chairman of the parliamentary Economic Affairs Committee.

Sergey Glazyev

29 May 2015

"Putin's fascist Russia?" Roger Griffin's comments on the concept

Several authors argue that either Putin's Russia is already a fascist state or Putin is building one. Some of the most recent articles arguing along this line can be found here:

Alexander J. Motyl: Is Vladimir Putin a Fascist?
Rob Garver: Putin Isn’t Reviving the USSR, He’s Creating a Fascist State

Here I post a few comments from Professor Roger Griffin, the world's leading expert on fascism and the founder of the New Consensus school within Fascism Studies.

2 May 2015

Russia and Front National: Following the Money

A new leak of the text messages originating from a hacked smartphone of a high-ranking officer of Russia’s Presidential Administration sheds further light on the relations between the Russian authorities and their far right allies in France.

The hackers from the Anonymous International have disclosed thousands of text messages sent to and by Timur Prokopenko, deputy chief of the Domestic Politics Department of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation. Before he started working in the Presidential Administration, Prokopenko headed the youth wing of the ruling United Russia party, the Young Guard, that was established in 2005, next to the Nashi movement and Aleksandr Dugin’s Eurasian Youth Union, to defend Russia from the largely virtual threat of a “colour revolution”.

Prokopenko rose up to become a powerful figure in the Presidential Administration. The hacked messages reveal the internal developments in the Domestic Politics Department, how it communicates with and tries to control the already intimidated mass media, organises and finances pro-Putin rallies and movements in Russia. The messages dating back to March 2014 also mention Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French far right National Front, and contribute to better understanding of the relations between Russia and Le Pen’s party.

Timur Prokopenko

1 April 2015

What does the fascist conference in St. Petersburg tell us about contemporary Russia?

On the 9th of May, Russia will plunge into ritualised mass celebrations to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory over fascism in the “Great Patriotic War”. At the same time, on the 22nd of March, a few weeks before the celebrations, a Russian party with a presumably patriotic name “Motherland” held the International Russian Conservative Forum (IRCF) that hosted over a dozen of notorious European and American fascists, white supremacists and anti-Semites.

To add injury to the apparent insult, the Motherland party held the IRCF in St. Petersburg that suffered, in 1941-1944, one of the longest sieges in the military history (Siege of Leningrad) that resulted in over a million casualties of civilians alone.

Is this (yet another) case of Russia’s ideological schizophrenia or something else?

14 March 2015

The Uneasy Reality of Antifascism in Ukraine

The Uneasy Reality of Antifascism in Ukraine
First published in German language in Beton International: Zeitung für Literatur und Gesellschaft (10 March 2015). The German version can be found below.

Ukrainian antifascists hold a banner that reds: "Against political terror". Kyiv, 19 January 2015

For almost twenty years of Ukraine’s independence, the term “antifascism” used to have very limited currency in the established political discourse in Ukraine. Until 2010, “antifascism” was primarily used as a form of self-identification by an element of Ukraine’s left-wing movement, as well as being employed by the far right groupuscules to refer to their left-wing opponents. Hence, until 2010-2011, “antifascism” remained a notion that largely belonged to the subcultural sphere of the physical and symbolical strife between left-wing and far right activists.