Two types of Bulgarians contrast starkly on Russian television today (by the way, Bulgarian society has been purposefully polarised since the fall of Communism, allowing for simple manipulation). One kind is a Russophile who adores Russia and hopes for Bulgaria's liberation from Russia once more. The other is on opposition television, discussing Navalny and producing films about the Russian opposition, displaying to the world the alternative, still democratic and west-like face of Russia. Positive political PR that also reaches the opposition, and even more so if it comes from a foreigner, EU citizen, or Bulgarian. Moreover, just for the record, instill fear by recounting the atrocities committed by the Putin regime against dissidents. Nonetheless, it provides the opportunity to appreciate Russian culture while participating in the global trend against Putin. And one day, when Putin is supplanted by the Russian elite, be able to transition quickly.
In 1973. Solzhenitsyn, a portly man with a shaggy beard, published a book that shook the Soviet empire. The Gulag Archipelago threatened Brezhnev's Soviet Union to such an extent that merely killing him would be insufficient for the scale of his betrayal; he must be exiled. This was the official legend that was more than positively embraced by the West, making Solzhenitsyn a hero and one of the key cultural figures for decades to come. The French love the cover story. The new philosopher-intellectuals of the 1970s - such as André Glucksmann and Bernard-Henri Lévy - recognized that communism was an unequivocally malign force. The time of Jean-Paul Sartre and his Soviet apologetics is receding. Americans, however, were more ambiguous. They assumed he was an important critic of what President Reagan would later call the "evil empire." But Solzhenitsyn's attitude to the culture of American liberal democracy - finance, capitalism, individualism - remained dubious. In a famous address in 1978 at Harvard University, for instance, he complained about the ‘film producers’ and ‘publishers’ who were poisoning the ‘younger generations with corrupting filth’. Something that, for example, a lot of "supposedly" pro-Western intellectuals(from Europe) allow themselves to say today. Let's Kill Micky Mouse- Nostalgic Heirs of the Communist Party (theangel.today)
Solzhenitsyn by no doubt is the main foundation of the modern Russian Nationalism, Traditionalism, and the West's Critic. For many scholars, Solzhenitsyn is the unofficial leader of the Russian nationalist intelligentsia and the father of the idea of reclaiming the Lost Territories(Ukraine). Solzhenitsyn believed that the collapse of the Soviet Union, while good because it meant the end of communism in Russia, was also catastrophic because it isolated millions of Russians in countries outside the modern Russian state, their homeland. Saying it was like losing limbs to save your heart. Ales Antsipenka, a Belarusian philosopher, says that after the essay "Rebuilding Russia," "I realized that Mr. Solzhenitsyn was a common Russian imperialist, despite the fact that he had lashed out at the totalitarian system with such force. I saw it as a terrible contradiction because any imperialistic system is, to a certain extent, totalitarian. I saw that Solzhenitsyn was hugely contradictory in denying Belarusians and Ukrainians the right to determine their fate."
Today, the West is repeating the same mistake with so called oposition leader Navalny, who, unlike Solzhenitsyn, has entrenched far-right views shown in embryo. And yet, with the idea that this still "looks" like a counterweight to Putin(and may have led to the defragmentation of Russia), the image is even propped up with Oscars. Omitting even that it is too naive to believe that that Russia, in whatever form, can be infiltrated by foreign influence. Тhe childish notion that there are any democratic institutions in Russia and that it is possible to allow the occasional person to grow up in Russia who is a prominent critic of the regime. In reallity Navalny is representative of some of the most right-wing elements within the Russian oligarchy.
The Russian political system has been described by analysts as the Kremlin's towers, fighting each other, but part of one fortress. Like Navalny, it has close ties to parts of the Russian elite and state apparatus. Among its supporters are Vladimir Ashurkov and Mikhail Fridman, two of Russia's richest men, and economist Sergei Guriev, a former ally of ex-President Dmitry Medvedev. Russia's Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper notes that Navalny's corruption revelations bear the imprint of the FSB secret service, which is known for compiling so-called kompromat dossiers of compromising material on its current and potential opponents. The newspaper suggests that many of these revelations are likely based on leaks from the security apparatus.
At the 2011 Russian March, he agitated in a thinly veiled anti-Semitic manner against oligarchs before a fascist audience and was seen having a friendly conversation with Dmitry Diomushkin, a notorious neo-Nazi and organizer of the March.
Terrorists- Racially and ethnically motivated violent extremism (REMVE) refers to a loosely organized movement of individuals and groups that espouse some combination of racist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, misogynistic, and homophobic ideology. REMVE actors see their race or ethnicity under threat and promote the use of or engage in violence against a given population group. The majority of REMVE actors are motivated by cultural nationalism or White supremacy—beliefs that Caucasian or "Aryan" peoples represent superior races, and that "White culture" is superior to other cultures.
A veteran human rights advocate recalled falling out with Navalny over his views at the time. “When he told me that the future in Russia belongs only to the nationalist Russian political process, and I said, ‘Okay, lad, we are not talking any more’,” Lev Ponomaryov, who heads the Moscow-based For Human Rights group and is blacklisted by the Kremlin as a “foreign agent,” told Al Jazeera.
In 2007, Navalny was expelled from the Yabloko party for promoting nationalist ideas.
"It is not customary to show nationalism in Yabloko, and Navalny, I think, tried to hold back. But sometimes he snapped. In the heat of an argument he said to an Azerbaijani female in Yabloko: "And you, nigger, keep quiet, your place is in the market. The woman ran out in tears, complained, Navalny's behavior was discussed, he justified himself, they believed him. There were several episodes like that." former Yabloko co-worker, 86-year-old Engelina Borisovna Tareyeva writes in Noise magazine. According to her, Navalny's attitude toward this or that person was largely determined by this person's national affiliation.
"I couldn't understand that. I thought that no matter what nationalist beliefs you espoused, when you see a specific person in front of you, you still see him as a person, not as a representative of a nation, but that's not what happened here. Navalny disliked and despised the Georgian-Appleman just because he was Georgian. Called him always with contempt in his voice "old Georgian", although he was not old and was handsome. I loved him. I wrote a post about him called "My Georgian Friend." He and I worked in the Party-Building Commission and organized the Freethinker discussion club. But none of this meant anything to Navalny. The main thing was that he had a Georgian in front of him. When I said the words "Georgian poetry," he laughed his aforementioned laughter. The very phrase "Georgian poetry" made him laugh. If I told him that the Georgians had embraced Christianity several centuries earlier than the Russians, and that they had a great epic of world significance - the written monument "The Knight in the Tiger's Skin" - when Russia had only the "Edifications of Vladimir Monomakh", he let it pass him by. It was impossible to move Navalny from his nationalist positions. He especially despised the countries and peoples of the South and Southeast," Tareyeva recalled.
In a 2007 pro-gun rights video, Navalny presents himself as a “certified nationalist” who wants to exterminate “flies and cockroaches” – while bearded Muslim men appear in cutaways. Racially motivated attacks surged in 2008, when ultra-nationalists killed at least 110 people and left 487 wounded, according to Sova, a Moscow-based hate crimes monitor.
Often, the killers were gangs of teenagers who hunted down people who, to them, appeared Asian, killing them with hammers, screwdrivers and knives.
On February 23, the prominent NGO Amnesty International withdrew Navalny from its list of "prisoners of conscience," a designation reserved for people imprisoned for who they are or what they believe. Amnesty said Navalny, who is in prison on what he and his supporters call trumped-up charges aimed at silencing him, fell short of its criteria because of past statements the rights watchdog perceived as reaching the "threshold of advocacy of hatred."
After the Moscow mayoral election 2013, in which Navalny came second, he stopped attending Russian Marches and toned down his nationalist rhetoric, focusing on anti-corruption investigations and the expansion of his Anti-Corruption Foundation throughout Russia. “This is a wave-like movement that no one controls and, in fact, no one understands, including me,” Navalny told this reporter at a 2014 rally supporting political prisoners.
Russian Far Right
For the Russian Nationalists and Putin included, the collapse of the USSR and the lost territories and population is the greatest historical tragedy. As their rejoining is not only a strategic mission but also historically justified. And the military conflict with Ukraine that began with Crimea has served the Putin regime to consolidate nationalist elements inside Russia and to deploy a large-scale ideological framework(anti system internatonal) based on the Far Right that works beyond Russia's borders, targeting the West, much more strongly and effectively than during the Cold War.
Russia’s own military coalition in Ukraine — including its national army, mercenaries, and separatists — contain ideologically far-Right and neo-Nazi formations. The most notable of these is Task Force Rusich, which has links to the infamous mercenary Wagner Group. Rusich’s logo is a black Kolovrat, a popular symbol among radical Right-wing movements in Slavic countries, particularly Russia and Ukraine. They also use the Valknut, another symbol adopted by extremist groups.
Another little-known far-right extremist group is apparently gaining strength in Russia. The White Ranger Detachment (WRD) is based in Russia, but according to various reports, its fighters have taken part in a number of battles in Ukraine since the invasion, including the battle for Mariupol and the storming of the Azovstal complexes. Although virtually unknown in the West, the WPRS appears to be highly regarded among Russian far-right and nationalist military circles. The group recruits and trains in Russia, and its members are a mix of survival, intelligence, tactics and weapons enthusiasts.
On April 6, 2020. the U.S. State Department announced the designation of the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM) and three of its senior leaders as U.S. terrorist groups. The terrorist designation of Russian nationalists, a precedent-setting action taken by the U.S. State Department, represents the first white supremacist group to be placed on the U.S. list of terrorist groups. Consequences of this action include significant financial restrictions on the group, criminal sanctions on those who intend to do business with it, and an expansion of the Treasury Department's authority to prosecute other RMI-affiliated actors.
The group established multiple links with foreign far-right groups. In 2015, they were part of a conference of international far-right groups in St. Petersburg. In September of that year, the group visited the Northern Resistance Movement in Sweden, donating an undisclosed amount of money. Two months later he attended a gathering of right-wing extremists in Madrid. That same year it traveled to Vienna for a congress organized by the monarchist Black and Yellow Alliance at the Schönbrunn Parkhotel, a restored former guesthouse of the palace of Emperor Franz Joseph I, ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Matthew Heimbach, organizer of Unite the Right, met with RHM representative Stanislav Shevchuk in Washington, D.C. and in Gettysburg, Pa. Jared Taylor, who runs the American Renaissance website, traveled to the St. Petersburg conference. As this is just a small sample of the vast network that has been built.
The point is that Putin's regime has succeeded in cultivating the Nationalist Movement by putting all the important nationalist players under it. And at the same time it has become a beacon for the European far Right as well as the far Left. President Vladimir Putin's ruling party has signed a cooperation agreement with Italy's far-right Lega Nord party, deepening Russia's ties with populist movements in Europe.
Putin's United Russia party signed a similar agreement with the far-right Austrian Freedom Party, whose leader Heinz-Christian Strache was narrowly defeated in the presidential election. The leader of the anti-immigrant German Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, Frauke Petri, also held talks with the speaker of the Duma, the lower house of parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin of United Russia, during his visit to Russia. A congress of the International Russophile Movement was held in Moscow in March 2023. Among the guests were, Pierre de Gaulle, grandson of Charles de Gaulle, and an Italian princess, American actor Steven Seagal. Bulgaria was represented by Nikolay Malinov, a former member of the Bulgarian parliament from Bulgarian Socialists who is now under US sanctions, opened the event by saying that it was time for "the forces of light to defeat the forces of darkness".
When talking about European Fascism, and the European Far Right, it is good to take into account that in the early 20th century, like what is happening now, it was largely influenced by the Left. Early in Mussolini's political formation while living in Switzerland in 1902-1904, he developed intellectually writing for socialist periodicals such as L'Avvenire del Lavoratore (The Worker's Future). In Italy, Mussolini was initially a socialist politician and journalist for the newspaper Avanti! In 1912, he became a member of the National Directorate of the Italian Socialist Party before taking the path of Fascism. And that the far right skinhead is a subculture which originated among working class youths in London, England, in the 1960s. And in general, the far left and far right are potent working class anti systemic movements based on social protest.
Preston Wiginton at a nationalist demonstration in Moscow. He lives in an apartment in Moscow that he rents from former Klan boss David Duke. His best friends are Russian skinheads. He boasts that he puts $50,000 of his own money into the white nationalist movement every year. He maintains a close relationship with the leader of the racist British National Party, as well as with ultra-right politicians and academics from white supremacist circles in Russia, his new homeland.Bulgaria is also a preferred destination for Western Neo Nazis. The question is what transformations and catharsis they undergo after finding refuge, under the influence of the Russian secret services. Plovdiv a safe haven for American far-right extremists (theangel.today)
Richard Spencer, the current face of the American far-right, believes that Russia is "the only white power in the world." Meanwhile, David Duke (leader of the Ku Klux Klan) believes that Russia holds "the key to white survival." And as Matthew Heimbach, head of the white nationalist Traditionalist Workers Party, recently stated, Russian President Vladimir Putin is "the leader of the free world" - the one who has helped make Russia "an axis for nationalists."
The Greek Asset
Greece's "Golden Dawn" turns out to be just one of the many "powder kegs" that Europe fails to effectively neutralise. Two figures, Panos Kamenos, the current defence minister, and Nikos Kotzias, the foreign minister, have received considerable attention for their close ties to Kremlin ideologue Dugin. As well, the links of individual members of the Syriza or Independent Greeks party should not be ignored. The parties' own engagement with the Kremlin must generally be seen in a strategic context. Just as an example, since the election of Alexis Tsipras in January 2015, relations between Russia and Greece have warmed considerably. Tsipras and others have questioned sanctions against Russia and even considered the possibility of receiving financial aid from Russia if negotiations with European officials fail. Other economic issues have also come to the fore, including a business offensive by Russia and China. Although it is the Nazi Golden Dawn that could prove to be a critical asset for Putin and his allies who seek to destabilize Europe from within and a tool against NATO. Similarly, in Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, the far right has close ideological and financial ties to the Kremlin. In general, Greece and Bulgaria are the domain of the Russian media oligarch Malofeev, part of the Russian imperial movement.
The Bulgarian Case
Children from Pazardzhik, part of the Bulgarian-Russian Para Military organization Vityazi(The Russian Knights), at one of the many camps here in Russia, trained by Russian Military instructors, many years after Crimea was occupied and the military conflict in Ukraine escalated. In the Bulgarian and regional media, the para military organisation, which was active until the beginning of the military conflict with Russia, is received more than positively. A lot of attention has been paid to their various patriotic activities, as well as the military skills learned by the children. As the head of the military organization, he was named Teacher of the Year. The organization worked beautifully with the local executive, even after a Russian para-military organization was declared a terrorist organization.
Part of the Bulgarian Right, like the Russian Right, is called liberal and pro-Western, despite its Islamophobic and xenophobic positions and the numerous internal corruption scandals that accompany them, following the Navalny model.
The rest of the Bulgarian Right is openly pro-Russian. To a great extent it feels Bulgaria as part of the Russian Orthodox and Slavic World and wants to be part of it, not NATO and the EU. Bulgarian Pseudo-Nationalism- 35 years in Russia's shadow (theangel.today)
Bulgaria, as not so long ago, democracy and parliamentarism have only showcase functions, aimed at creating the impression in the Western world that something is happening, while in reality Bulgaria is torn by corruption, a huge state apparatus, lack of freedom of speech and almost non-existent civil society. In this environment, various PR and media campaigns are undertaken at certain moments to demonstrate at least some Western belonging. The Strange Russia Hate Cases -Panagyurishte fails (theangel.today)
Inadequate or purposeful?
At the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023, two media dramas were played out in Bulgaria to reassure people in the Western embassies in Sofia that there is a pro-Western intellectual capacity in Bulgaria and it is against Putin. In the first act this turned into a complete fiasco. In the second, the population living on the edge of poverty and facing galloping inflation was served Hollywood inadequate glamour that played the opposite effect and reinforced the feeling of complete detachment of the "Paid by the West" elite.
Around Christmas all media in Bulgaria were flooded for several days with the story of a Bulgarian journalist wanted by the Kremlin. The political parties and the interim government joined in the hysteria. They started talking about freedom of speech and seeking protection from the EU. Strange as it may seem in a country as strange as Bulgaria, which is one of the last in the world in terms of media freedom and complete silence about abuses against journalists. Unless of course it is a PR demonstration. But Grozev's case is much more special than just another demonstration in front of Western embassies in Sofia, aimed at showing some signs of a living democracy and active citizens. Hristo Grozev, works for a famous blogger who created the platform Belinkat. A platform that even after a basic Google search is understood to be a working tool of the Western services in the war we are in. One of Google's first results is FP from December 2022, a source that says Bellingcat Can Say What U.S. Intelligence Can't as is Open Source Intelligence designe to fight Kremlin. But in Bulgaria the media hysteria started like this:
26/12/2022 "The Russian Interior Ministry announced that it was searching for investigative journalist Hristo Grozev, Russian and Ukrainian media reported on Monday. Grozev, who is a Bulgarian citizen, works for the independent investigative journalism network Bellingcat. Russian authorities did not specify the nature of the offences for which he is wanted, saying only that they are contained in the criminal code. Some Russian media outlets, citing their own sources, say Grozev has been sued for publishing false information about the Russian military..." That information was in all the medias. Talk shows, political shows, public, opinions, Senat, President...
27th and 28th The hysteria got to the point that politicians started talking about protecting Grozev. About what the EU will do. Recalling the first days with the Ukrainian refugees in Bulgaria, who will not and after a few weeks were demonized in the whole society. And with Grozev, the demonization came much sooner. The attack was launched by the most leftist journalist in Bulgaria, Peter Volgin. On 28th "To call Hristo Grozev an investigative journalist is a manifestation of severe stupidity or incurable brain damage. He can any. A Western special services man, an order boy, a provocateur or a plain liar. However, certainly not a journalist, let alone an investigative one. So if you have any self-respect, colleagues, don't produce this guy as a journalist. You are insulting yourselves." This is what he wrote on his Facebook profile. A post which was circulated by the largest unofficial media tribune in Bulgaria PIK(analogue of bellincat), through which things can be said that the authorities cannot say. This was followed by their response to the Grozev case:
29/12/2022 PIK was referring in a big article to an FSB. Russian report that said a Ukrainian Defense Ministry operation to hijack Russian warplanes, controlled by the secret services of NATO countries, had been foiled in Russia. The information of the Russian FSB also states that the Russian counterintelligence in the course of operational actions against Ukrainian intelligence received data thanks to which the Russian armed forces destroyed a number of Ukrainian military sites.
Nikolay Barekov- Bulgarian journalist, politician managed to fight his way to third political power in Bulgaria. "A country that accepted Kiril Petkov and Assen Vassilev as prime minister and minister will also accept Hristo Grozev as a journalist."
Konstantin Konstantinov, leader of the pro-Kremlin Vazrazhdane Party. Known for his anti-Western rhetoric: "It is unknown why Hristo Grozev is presented as an "investigative journalist". He is a Bulgarian citizen accused of working for foreign intelligence services.
At the end of the short operation there is a complete discredit in the already fragile trust of the citizens in Bulgaria in the freedom of the media. The associations are, after having gone through the brief sympathy, that all pro-Western media work for the Western secret services. The public anyway has the opinion that the media are commissioned. As well, the opinion that the political class in Bulgaria serves the West is strongly inculcated.
13/03/2023 year, the most watched TV time, after 10 min report about the glamorous Oscars Ceremony in the USA, where the extremely controversial Hristo Grozev in Bulgaria, won an Oscar (as the most rotated joke in Bulgaria is that they should have given him an Oscar for his act that he is a journalist). After 10 minutes about the Oscars and the Bulgarian victory telling the whole world about the "Russian democratic opposition", the second news is about the monstrous inflation in Bulgaria.
Grozev claims that he grew up in a family of dissidents, but his education was passed in an elite school where the descendants of the communist nomenklatura were educated. He began his journalism career at the age of 17, in 1986, in Bulgaria during the Communist era. When, journalism was part of the propaganda apparatus, filtered by the secret services, and random individuals in no way got into the media. By the way, it is no coincidence that Bulgaria is one of the last countries in the world today in terms of freedom of speech.