U.S. Designates Three Connected To The Russian Imperial Movement

(New York, N.Y.) — Last week, the U.S. Treasury Department added three individuals to its list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) connected with the white supremacist Russian Imperial Movement (RIM). RIM and its leadership were first designated by the U.S. Department of State in March 2020. Concurrent to the Treasury action, the State Department also listed Swedish national Anton Thulin for posing a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism.

Thulin was a former member of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) and later “received paramilitary training from RIM, including in bomb-making” at a RIM training course known as “Partizan” in 2016. The courses are reportedly led by ex-Russian military members, who conduct trainings on marksmanship, combat medicine, and small group tactics such as assaulting and clearing buildings. In January 2017, Thulin was involved in a failed bombing at a Swedish refugee residential center in Gothenburg. Thulin was later sentenced to 22 months imprisonment for his role in the plot. Following his release, Thulin sought additional paramilitary training in Poland, however, he was deported back to Sweden after Polish security officials considered him to pose a security risk to the country.

Along with Thulin, Stanislav Shevchuk and Alexander Zhuchkovsky were designated for their roles in RIM. Shevchuk served as a representative for the group, traveling to the United States and across Europe to establish connections between RIM and other far-right extremist and nationalist groups. Zhuchkovsky reportedly raised funds and recruited for the group via social media. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Zhuchkovsky continued to raise funds that reportedly purchased military equipment and supplies for Russian fighters in the Donbas region.

Former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism Nathan Sales, now a member of the Counter Extremism Project’s (CEP) Advisory Board, recalled that “the 2020 designation of RIM and three of its leaders illustrated the serious threat posed by white supremacist terrorism around the globe, and today, the new designations reflect that continued threat. The U.S. is sending an unmistakable message that it will not hesitate to use its sanctions authority against any terrorist group or individual, regardless of ideology, that threatens our citizens and our allies.”

RIM is a fascist group based in St. Petersburg, Russia, that seeks to create a “mono-ethnic state” led by a “Russian autocratic monarchy.” Although the group is not sponsored by the Russian state, RIM has allegedly recruited and trained Russian fighters for Russia’s ongoing conflict with Ukraine. The organization’s militant branch, the Imperial Legion, has also reportedly sent fighters to conflict zones in Syria and Libya.

To read the CEP’s resource Russian Imperial Movement (RIM), please click here.

To read CEP’s resource Anton Thulin, please click here.

To read CEP’s resource Stanislav Shevchuk, please click here.

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