Russian neo-Nazis with ties to Switzerland are fighting against Putin in Russia
The Russian region of Belgorod is the scene of heavy fighting: the Russian army is battling Russian militants, including suspected volunteers who have invaded from Ukraine.
Denis Kapustin or Denis Nikitin, a well-known Russian neo-Nazi, fights on the side of Ukraine against Russia as the commander of the “Russian Volunteer Army”.
A member of the “Russian Volunteer Corps” poses for a photo at the Gravoron border crossing in Kosinka, Russia’s Belgorod region.
A still image released by the Russian Defense Ministry shows airstrikes by Russian forces against militants invading Ukraine.
Defense Minister Shoigu reiterated on Wednesday that the army had killed “more than 70 Ukrainian terrorists” after the attack.
According to official Russian sources, one civilian was killed in the attack and a woman died of heart failure while evacuating her home.
The fighting on its own territory is seen as a setback for Russia, whose military appears to be making little progress in Ukraine at the moment – while, according to reports from Kiev, Ukraine is gearing up for an offensive to recapture Russian-held territory.
Another attack was carried out on Wednesday night in Russia’s Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine.
Two Russian groups directed against President Vladimir Putin have claimed responsibility.
For example, in the “Freedom for Russia” militant group, Russian prisoners of war fight against the Kremlin.
On the other hand, the “Russian Volunteer Force” is commanded by a Russian neo-Nazi.
Denis Nikitin wants the fall of the Putin regime, but only Russia for ethnic Russians.
He provides a through ball to the Kremlin’s campaign against Ukraine.
And Wednesday night was not quiet in Russian Belgorod. A “large number” of drones hit the front town, forty kilometers from the Ukrainian border.
Fierce fighting had previously rocked the region: dozens of Russian volunteer fighters rushed across Ukraine in convoys of armored vehicles. border A. It is not clear how many.
The Russian army was so surprised that the villages were not evacuated until civilians were already trapped in the crosshairs. Since then, there has been a tense situation there. According to Russian officials, 70 “representatives of Ukrainian military units” were killed and several vehicles destroyed or captured.
Who are the Russian fighters?
In Kiev they wanted nothing to do with the attacks. After all, the volunteer forces of Russian citizens admitted this, and said it in a sinister tone.
This should be a treat for Ukraine: the Kremlin is using the same tactics it used when it occupied Crimea in 2014. At that time, Russian unmarked special forces were occupying the peninsula, while Moscow was not aware of it. That is now as obvious as Kiev’s denial: in the Belgorod operation, Russian rebels used Western military vehicles, suggesting links with the Ukrainian military.
Several groups are involved in the attacks: in addition “Freedom of Russia” and “National Republic Army” “Russian Volunteer Army” (see box).
A well-known Russian neo-Nazi
The corps has been cooperating superficially with the Ukrainian military since last year, according to its commander, Russian neo-Nazi Denis Kapustin, or Denis Nikitin.
In 2017, Niktin moved to Ukraine. In the year of the Russian invasion, he founded the “Russian Volunteer Army” with a dozen Russian right-wing extremists. In August, he publicized his armed struggle against Russian President Vladimir Putin at a press conference in Kiev.
“If we kill one immigrant every day…”
Like other Russian militias in Ukraine, Nikitin’s volunteer force wants to overthrow the Putin regime — and a Russia for ethnic Russians. “If Russia is reduced to the size of Moscow, a region or a European region for Russians,” Nikitin said in an interview last October, “that suits me as a nationalist.”
Nikitin came to Germany with his family in 2001 as a quota refugee — that is, as a Jew from the former Soviet Union — where his family still lives today. In the 2010s he remained with his label “White Rex” One of the key figures in the international hooligan and neo-Nazi scene and gives martial arts seminars to right-wing extremist parties Similar to PNOS In Switzerland.
When he was in Russia, he preyed on the LGTBQ community and immigrants. “If we kill one migrant every day, that’s 365 migrants in a year,” Nikitin once told the Guardian.
A steep template for Kremlin propaganda
Since the 2016 European Championships in France, he has become known as the worst racket in Europe. In Marseille, his Russian thugs severed an England supporter’s Achilles tendon and left two others in comas.
It received praise from Russia at the time, and President Vladimir Putin joked that 200 Russian fans managed to chase away “a few thousand Englishmen”. Now that Nick has switched sides, Putin must have stopped laughing.
Yet people like Nikitin provide the Kremlin with a through ball when neo-Nazis fight Russian soldiers on Russian soil. Although far-right parties have no standing in the population, Moscow has always tried to portray Ukraine as ultra-nationalist. But it should also be clear to Ukraine that Nikitin is not the most suitable hero to lead a popular uprising in Russia.
Legion “Freedom of Russia”
In addition to the right-wing extremist “Russian Volunteer Army”, less ideologically complex volunteer units have infiltrated Belgorod. For example, the “Freedom of Russia” brigade, which is dedicated to the Ukrainian armed forces.
According to their own reports, in addition to volunteers with Russian passports, their ranks include many Russian prisoners of war, who now support Ukraine against Putin’s regime. But the Legion also accepts men who are still in Russia.
Obviously, to be admitted, they must pass polygraph, psychological and other aptitude tests. There are also Russian partisans of the “National Republican Army” operating secretly in Russia.
Both armed groups are represented by Ilya Ponomarev as their political coordinator. Only a former Russian Duma deputy who voted against Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 now lives in Ukraine.
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