Violence-Oriented Right-Wing Extremist Actors in Russia: The Other Russia of E. V. Limonov – Part 2

October 11, 2023
Matus Trubac  —  Research Intern

During the past decade and a half, extremist non-state actors in Russia have become a central element of the violence-oriented transnational right-wing extremist milieu. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014 and, particularly, its re-invasion of the country in 2022 have afforded these actors far greater opportunities to operate and increase their influence than before. This blog is the second in a series in which CEP aims to highlight some of the key actors, analyze their extremist ideology, their modus operandi, and transnational role.

The Other Russia of E. V. Limonov is a Russian extremist group that follows National Bolshevism and has a paramilitary wing called the Interbrigades, also known as “National Bolsheviks” in media reports. The group has a decentralized hierarchy and an ideological base that combines elements from a wide-ranging list of extremist ideologies. This enables the group to fundraise, recruit from a broad spectrum of society, and engage in violent and non-violent activities in- and outside Russia. These are described below.


The Other Russia seems to be financed entirely from donations and membership dues. The Interbrigades accept donations in cryptocurrency, as well as into their bank accounts at Sberbank and through the faster payment system (SBP) at Tinkoff Bank. In the past, the Interbrigades have managed to collect $1,000 in one day, and have also collected around $8,000 for reconstruction efforts in Donbas. The Interbrigades are public about how they spend donations, including for the purchase of military equipment for their own members as well as fighters of the Luhansk and Donetsk militias.

The Interbrigades regularly donate military and medical equipment to separatist fighters. Given the group’s critical stance on the current war strategy of the Kremlin, it is unlikely that it receives direct funding from the Russian government, but it has organized collection points in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Irkutsk, Severodvinsk, Syktyvkar, and other cities of the Russian Federation without interference from Russian authorities.


Both the group and its paramilitary wing use social media networks to recruit members and fighters. The group claims to have over 50,000 members, and its VKontakte page has 25,000 followers. Its ranks include former members of the National Bolshevik Party (NBP), and the group organizes larger-scale meetings in Moscow attended by all regional branches.

Interestingly, the party also has a history of attending and organizing pro-democracy rallies, such as the 2009 Strategy-31 protests and the 2006-2007 Dissenter’s March. Given its authoritarian ideology, it is likely that it uses these events for recruitment and gaining legitimacy. In 2011 and 2012, Limonov declared his intention to run for elections to the State Duma, despite the group not being able to obtain an official status as a political party in Russia.

The group appears to mainly target adolescents and young adults with its propaganda—it advocates for lowering the voting age to 14, considers young people the most oppressed social demographic—and its punk aesthetic appeals to the young. Photos from group meetings also feature many young people.


In 2014, the Interbrigades formed a subdivision in the Zarya Battalion, which operates under the umbrella of the militia of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic. Recruits of the Zarya Battalion come from Russia and Latvia. It is likely that the Interbrigades do not offer formal paramilitary training of their own, but rather cooperate with militias of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic.

In 2014, the Interbrigades engaged in battles in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, and their members also fought in Syria in 2018. Therefore, it is likely that some of their fighters have combat experience. After the Russian re-invasion of Ukraine in 2022, members of the Interbrigades began serving in various units of the Donetsk and Luhansk militias, such as the Cossack brigades and the 132nd motorized brigade in Donetsk. Some fighters of the Interbrigades have even been awarded medals by the Russian government.

As far as political activism is concerned, Other Russia administers several regional centers in Russia that spread the group’s ideology online and offline. Russian police have raided several of these centers, such as in Orenburg, St. Petersburg, and Vladivostok.


  • May 1, 1993: The National Bolshevik Party is founded by Eduard Limonov and Aleksandr Dugin after they exit from the National Bolshevik Front which consisted of six extremist groups. Dugin leaves in 1998, and the party becomes more leftist. The party is banned by the Russian Supreme Court as an extremist organization on August 7, 2007.
  • July 10, 2010: Limonov and former NBP members found The Other Russia party at a congress in Moscow. On January 21, 2011, the group is denied official registration by the Russian Ministry of Justice.
  • May 2014: Members of The Other Russia establish the Interbrigades to help with the annexation of Crimea and to participate in separatist battles in the Donbas region.
  • September 2020: In honor of the dead Limonov, The Other Russia is renamed to The Other Russia of E.V. Limonov.
  • July 13, 2023: Party member Vladislav Balyasnikov is arrested and sentenced to 15 days in prison for criticizing the Russian army for its inefficient conduct of the war.

Violent History

  • October 26, 2018: Party member Olga Shalina cuts her veins in public in Moscow, as a form of protest against what she called politically motivated imprisonments of group members.
  • 1992: Limonov fights in the Bosnian War and is seen alongside convicted war criminal Radovan Karadžić.
  • February 2014: The Interbrigades arrive in the Donbas and are active there since the so-called “Russian Spring,” the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Eastern Ukraine. Limonov arrives to inspect the front lines.
  • March 4, 2015: A member of the Interbrigades, Nikolai Rudnev, is killed near Debaltseve, Ukraine.
  • February 7, 2018: A member of Other Russia, Kirill Ananiev, is killed near Hisham, Syria, in an airstrike. On February 8, the Russian Defense Ministry states that there were no Russian servicemen in the area where the airstrike took place.
  • August 16, 2018: A member of the Interbrigades, Ilya Guryev, is killed near Luhansk.
  • August 1, 2023: After repeatedly ignoring Russian arrest warrants, member of the Interbrigades Ramazan Suleimanov flees to Donbas. His sister, Zemfira Suleymanova, herself a social media influencer and member of the Interbrigades, is killed on August 15, 2022, near Donetsk by a landmine. Ramazan Suelimanov is later sent to a penal colony for three months, starting on April 1, 2023.


Other Russia has not yet been designated as an extremist organization by the Russian government, and while members are occasionally arrested, the Kremlin appears to tolerate its activities in Ukraine. Despite Other Russia’s public criticism of the Kremlin, Russian security and judicial authorities have not moved against the group or banned it, in marked difference to anti-war protesters. Indeed, several members have gone to fight in Ukraine to avoid being brought before court in Russia. It may be argued that the group, or at least its paramilitary wing, and the Russian government are temporarily in an uneasy alliance. It remains to be seen how sustainable this cooperation will be going forward.

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

In Their Own Words:

We reiterate once again that the brigades will directly target US bases across the region in case the US enemy commits a folly and decides to strike our resistance fighters and their camps [in Iraq].

Abu Ali al-Askari, Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) Security Official Mar. 2023
View Archive