Taking a Page from the KGB Playbook, Russia Supports Neo-Nazis across the Globe

In 2020, the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM) became the first white-supremacist group to be officially designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. RIM, writes Oved Lobel, “is inextricably intertwined with Russian intelligence.” And it is not alone in that regard:

The group trains white supremacists and neo-Nazis from across Europe, including the former members of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement that conducted bombings in Sweden in 2017, and has even allegedly networked with U.S.-based far-right extremists. It has also directly participated in Russia’s destabilization and then invasion of Ukraine since at least 2014. In 2022, the U.S. sanctioned two key facilitators of the group, which it said is “building a global network of violent groups that foster extremist views and subvert democratic processes” and continues “to exacerbate Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.”

Nor is this a remotely new phenomenon. Russia was the original state sponsor of terrorism, having not only infiltrated and co-opted neo-Nazi movements in the West during the cold war since at least the 1960s, but supporting and even controlling, both directly and via their client states and proxies, the full spectrum of terrorist groups throughout the world, most famously the groups comprising the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The Russian Imperial Movement is also directly linked to the Wagner group, Russia’s “implausible deniability” imperial tool built around a neo-Nazi core that commits horrific atrocities and massacres across Africa, the Middle East, and Ukraine.

As Lobel also notes, Wagner “works closely” with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which similarly sponsors a network of jihadist terrorist groups.

Read more at Fresh Air

More about: KGB, neo-Nazis, Russia, Terrorism


The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7