First White Supremacist Group To Be Designated By The U.S.
(New York, N.Y.) – On Monday, the U.S. Department of State designated the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM) as a global terrorist organization. The RIM has reportedly provided training and resources to white nationalist groups around the world and seeks to promote the idea of a “mono-ethnic state” led by a Russian autocratic monarchy. In 2018, the White House had added the threat of transnational white supremacist groups to the government’s National Strategy for Counterterrorism.
White supremacist groups in the United States and Europe propagate racism, hatred, and violence. Individuals belonging to these groups have been charged with a range of crimes, including murder, civil rights violations, racketeering, solicitation to commit crimes of violence, firearms and explosives violations, and witness tampering. Europe also suffers from the growth of ethno-nationalist and white supremacist movements that manifest in far-right political parties, neo-Nazi movements, and protest groups under the guise of populism.
In Russia, far-right, ultra-nationalist extremism has been on the rise since the 1990s. Ultra-nationalist extremists have set up paramilitary training camps in Russia to teach weapons handling, bomb making, and other skills. The RIM runs one such camp in St. Petersburg, called Partizan, to train people for impending global chaos.
Russia has also become a source of financial and logistical support for some U.S.-based and European white nationalist groups. Security scholars have accused the Russian government of supporting white nationalist extremist groups in the West in order to weaken Western governments and sow division within Western societies. U.S. intelligence officials have accused the Russian government of seeking to stoke racial tensions in the United States in order to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Despite the U.S. designation, the RIM continues to maintain a presence on social media, including on Facebook and YouTube. CEP has redacted links to the pages and accounts detailed below.
To read CEP’s Russia resource, please click here.
To read CEP’s U.S. White Supremacy Groups resource, please click here.
To read CEP’s European Ethno-Nationalist and White Supremacy Groups resource, please click here.
RIM-Affiliated and RIM Official Social Media Accounts:
RIM-Affiliated Imperial Legion YouTube Channel
Subscribers: 316 (April 7, 2020)
Views: 58,096 (April 7, 2020)
Channel created: April 8, 2015
Most recent video upload: April 29, 2018
Description: A channel containing 29 videos from the RIM affiliated Imperial Legion. Videos include footage from the war in Ukraine, speeches from Imperial Legion leaders, and instructional videos on using AK series rifles.
RIM-Affiliated Imperial Legion YouTube Channel
Subscribers: 279 (April 7, 2020)
Views: 31,376 (April 7, 2020)
Channel created: December 26, 2012
Most recent video upload: September 30, 2013
Description: A channel containing 18 videos from the RIM affiliated Imperial Legion. Videos include instructional clips on using AK series rifles and footage from the group’s training courses.
Facebook Profile for RIM-affiliated SDGT
Name: Nicholas Truschalov
Friends: 563 (April 7, 2020)
Last post: January 3, 2018
Description: The personal Facebook page for Nicholas Truschalov, one of the three individuals listed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) by the U.S. Treasury Department. Truschalov used the Facebook page to make connections with European far right groups. The page has been inactive for approximately two years.
Inactive Facebook Page for RIM Affiliated Training Group ‘Partizan”
Last post: June 12, 2017
Description: A Facebook page for the RIM affiliated paramilitary training group Partizan, which is led by SDGT designee Denis Valliullovich Gariev. Partizan offers firearms and tactical training, and has trained volunteers who have gone on to fight in the Ukrainian separatist territories. Two members of the Nordic Resistance Movement who were convicted for the January 2017 bombing of a shelter for asylum seekers in Sweden are alleged to have attended the Partizan trainings. The page has 91 “likes” and 99 followers.
RIM Telegram Account
Subscribers: 354 (April 7, 2020)
Description: RIM maintains a Telegram account where they recruit as well as share news and propaganda. The account is updated several times per day.
RIM Twitter Account
Last post: September 10, 2014
Description: An inactive Twitter page for the Russian Imperial Movement. The account was following 20 other accounts, and had 585 followers on April 7, 2020. The page has been inactive for approximately five and a half years. The account tweeted pro-RIM news.
RIM Accounts on VK
Followers: 13,815 (April 7, 2020)
Description: The main RIM VK page is updated several times per day. The page has videos, news, propaganda, and links to recruitment forms. The page has spread conspiracy theories about the coronavirus, and promoted homophobia and radical nationalism. The page has links to a half dozen additional RIM affiliated VK pages, including one for a RIM chapter in the breakaway Moldovan state of Transnistria. VK is owned by the Russian company Mail.Ru.
RIM Account on Ok.Ru
Description: A group page for RIM on the Russian website ok.ru. The page has 45 participants and has posted video interviews with the group’s leaders, links to content on other platforms, and propaganda.