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Russia Has Long Supported Extremist Groups For Its Geopolitical Objectives

The USSR’s Legacy in Fostering Extremism

The Soviet Union’s foray into supporting extremist factions began to prominently surface post the Six-Day War in 1967. The KGB, the USSR’s principal security agency, initiated a covert campaign against Israel by extending military aid to terrorist groups who saw Israel as an adversary. This move was orchestrated to undermine Western influence in the Middle East and deter Israel’s growing regional power​​.

Spreading Anti-Western Sentiments: KGB’s Psy-ops

The 1970s witnessed a calculated maneuver by the KGB to sow seeds of discord by nurturing anti-American and anti-Jewish sentiments in Muslim nations. This was an early attempt at psychological warfare aimed at tarnishing the image of the West and fomenting hostility towards its allies, marking the beginning of the USSR’s clandestine support for extremist factions targeting the United States​.

Transition to Russia: Extending the Legacy

With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation inherited a legacy of leveraging extremist factions to further its geopolitical agenda. Under the stewardship of Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer, allegations suggest that Russia continued the practice of nurturing ties with extremist groups, albeit with a modern twist. The new era saw Russia allegedly extending its support to a broader spectrum of extremist ideologies, including white supremacist groups, to further its geopolitical objectives.

The Russian Imperial Movement: A New Chapter in Extremism

The Russian Imperial Movement (RIM), emerged as a significant player in fostering white supremacist ideologies. Sanctioned by the U.S. State Department, RIM’s role in training white supremacists globally signals a new chapter in Russia’s playbook of leveraging extremist factions. The training camps established by RIM are purported to impart paramilitary skills to white supremacists, nurturing a network of extremists stretching from Russia to the United States and Sweden​.

Unveiling Connections: The Case of The Base

The clandestine nexus between white supremacist groups and Russian actors came to light with the exposure of the Base, a neo-Nazi terror network. The revelation that the group’s leader, initially known as Norman Spear, was a Russian operative named Rinaldo Nazzaro hinted at deeper connections between Russian actors and white supremacist networks globally​​.

Russia’s Ambitions: Chaos as a Ladder

Russia’s alleged engagement with white supremacist groups aligns with its broader strategy to sow discord in Western democracies. By nurturing extremist ideologies, Russia aims to destabilize the West, thereby creating a geopolitical landscape conducive to advancing its interests. Prominent American white supremacists, like David Duke and Richard Spencer, have openly lauded Russia as a pivotal player in the global white supremacist movement, further highlighting the mutual affinity between Russian actors and Western white supremacists​​.

Russia’s Historical Blueprint Towards Terrorism

Russia’s historical blueprint reveals a persistent strategy of leveraging extremist factions to challenge its adversaries and shape the geopolitical landscape in its favor. The evolution from supporting anti-Israel factions during the Soviet era to allegedly nurturing white supremacist groups in contemporary times reflects a calculated, albeit sinister, approach to global geopolitics.

Understanding this historical trajectory is crucial to devising strategies to counter the transnational menace of extremism emboldened by state actors.


  1. “Terrorism and the Soviet Union – Wikipedia.” Link
  2. “How the Soviet Union helped terrorism go global.” Link
  3. “Did Vladimir Putin Support Anti-Western Terrorists as a Young KGB Officer?” Link
  4. “Inside the Global Fight for White Power.” Link
  5. “Confronting Russia’s Role in Transnational White Supremacist Extremism.” Link
  6. “How Russia Uses Neo-Nazi Groups to Spread Chaos.” Link