17 June 2016

Review of two books of Alexander Dugin

- Dugin, Alexander. Eurasian Mission: An Introduction to Neo-Eurasianism. London: Arktos, 2014. 180 pp.
- Dugin, Alexander. The Fourth Political Theory. London: Arktos, 2014. 212 pp.








19 May 2016

Pro-Russian activism of Mateusz Piskorski detained in Poland

On May 18-19, 2016, the media reported that Poland's Internal Security Agency searched the homes of the leaders of the pro-Russian party Zmiana: Tomasz Jankowski, Konrad Rękas, and Mateusz Piskorski. It was also reported in the media – and then confirmed by Zmiana – that Piskorski was detained by the Polish authorities. Few details are currently available on the case, but it may be useful to review some of Piskorski's political activities.

In the late 1990s, Mateusz Piskorski was an active member of the Niklot Association for Tradition and Culture, a neo-pagan, “metapolitical fascist” group that was influenced by the ideology of Zadruga, the Polish inter-war neo-pagan fascist movement. Apart from the indigenous Polish inter-war influences, Niklot was inspired by völkisch ideology, the writings of Italian fascist Julius Evola and French New Right thinker Alain de Benoist. The group was also characterized by its Slavic ultranationalism and opposed “the intermixture of cultures, languages, peoples and races”. Niklot published neo-Nazi zines Odala and Wadera, and actively recruited its members from skinhead and National Socialist Black Metal subcultures. The following quote from one of Odala’s articles provides a telling glimpse into the ideology of Niklot:
Considering the decay and multiraciality of the West, only a united Slavdom -- the northern empire of the rising sun -- is the hope for the White Race and anyone in the West who does not support the Slavs betrays the White Race and himself.

The neo-pagan, pro-Slavic world-view became an ideological link between Polish and Russian neo-Nazis. By invitation of Pavel Tulaev, head of the Russia-based far right Cultural Exchange Association, former co-editor of the journal Nasledie Predkov and co-editor of the neo-pagan racist journal Ateney, Piskorski and Niklot’s Marcin Martynowski, as well as members of other Polish neo-Nazi groups, paid their first visit to Russia in August 2000.
Polish neo-Nazis visiting Moscow in August 2000. Piskorski is in the center, together with his girlfriend

11 February 2016

Human rights situation in Crimea: A brief analysis of the EP vote

On 3 February 2016, the European Parliament adopted a resolution "on the human rights situation in Crimea, in particular of the Crimean Tatars". The resolution reminds that "the Russian Federation has illegally annexed Crimea and Sevastopol and therefore violated international law, including the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and the 1997 Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between the Russian Federation and Ukraine".

Essentially, the European Parliament "reiterates its strong commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders" and "calls on Russia to start negotiations with Ukraine and other parties on the de-occupation of Crimea".

8 February 2016

Slovak far right allies of Putin's regime (the case of Zem a Vek)

Over the years, in addition to engaging with far right activists and politicians in the capacity of commentators and opinion-makers, various Russian media have developed structural relations with the far right media projects in France, Italy and Austria. Recently, new data has emerged suggesting that structural relations seem to be developing between the Slovak magazine Zem a Vek and different Russian actors.

Zem a Vek is a typical conspiracy theory magazine with a focus, as Matúš Ritomský argues, on three particular themes: politics, a search for social alternatives, and a return to the nature. The magazine is openly anti-Western and pro-Russian, as well as being particularly obsessed with “exposing” the “power of Jews and Americans”, the LGBT “conspiracy”, and Slovak mainstream media slammed as “mouthpieces of Zionism, Americanism, globalism, defamation of national values, primacy of the minority rights over the majority rights, [and] multiculturalism”. While not being directly linked to Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico or his SMER party, he definitely benefits from the anti-Western and/or pro-Russian “alternative” new media, including Zem a Vek, that have mushroomed in the Slovak information space in the wake of the Russian-Ukrainian war, as they help him legitimise his non-reformist policies.

25 January 2016

How Alexander Dugin's Neo-Eurasianists geared up for the Russian-Ukrainian war in 2005-2013

The Neo-Eurasianist perspective on Ukraine was formed already in the 1990s, when Russian fascist Alexander Dugin argued, in his Foundations of Geopolitics, that Ukraine was “an unnatural state” consisting of four major regions with allegedly different geopolitical loyalties, and that a sovereign and united Ukraine constituted a major threat to the geopolitical security of Russia and the envisioned Eurasian Empire.

Dugin specified the means for neutralising the "Ukrainian threat to Russia" in 2009 in his book The Fourth Political Theory. In particular, he argued that “extending Russian influence on the post-Soviet space” would not necessarily imply “direct colonisation in the old tradition”: “in our world, more sophisticated and efficient network technologies are developed that allow to achieve the same results with the different means – with the use of information resources, social organisations, faith-based groups, and social movements”.  However, Russia’s direct action was also possible:
It cannot be excluded that a battle for Crimea and Eastern Ukraine awaits us.
Only a short time ago, the most hot-headed among the Russian hawks presumed only an internal conflict in Ukraine, as well as political, economic and energy pressure [on Ukraine] from the Russian side, but now a possibility of a direct military clash no longer appears unrealistic.

23 November 2015

Is Russia Insider sponsored by a Russian oligarch with the ties to the European far right?

The emails leaked by the Anonymous International last year give us a few insights into the workings of the English language pro-Putin propaganda website Russia Insider.

Its editor Charles Bausman launched the website in September 2014, and described the rationale behind the website as follows:
It was started in September 2014 by a group of expats living in Russia who felt that coverage of Russia is biased and inaccurate.
[...]
The problem is media control by a few corporations and interest groups, and their close ties with governments and business interests.
Instead of challenging, questioning, and fostering open discussion, they tend to promote those interests.
Ironically, this is what Russia Insider itself has been doing since its launch, namely publishing and re-publishing pieces of Russia's disinformation warfare against the West and Ukraine.

Charles Bausman, editor of Russia Insider and a regular commentator for Russia Today (RT)

13 November 2015

Dmytro Yarosh’s Resignation from the Right Sector

The recent resignation of Dmytro Yarosh from the leadership of the Right Sector may be a sign of the forthcoming changes in the strategies of both the Right Sector and the Ukrainian state.

In order to understand the significance of Yarosh’s resignation statement, one needs to consider two important points related to Ukraine’s domestic situation and international relations.