ICCT is exploring the main mechanisms of Russia’s support for racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist (REMVE) groups or individuals in Europe. In doing so, it will investigate direct support (e.g. financial support) as well as indirect support (e.g. inspiration, or spreading disinformation or misinformation through social or traditional media) for far-right extremism.
ICCT will develop a typology of Russian influence on the far right by mapping the range of tactics Russian actors have used, and the ‘hot spots’ where this manifests. ICCT experts will discern the most important patterns across 10 European countries, identifying means of influenced used and which countries are most heavily affected, as well as the risk profiles for various kinds of Russian influence. They will further evaluate to what extent Russian influence exacerbates far right extremist violence. At the same time, country experts will write a detailed analysis of how these patterns develop at the national level. This comparative analysis and these country assessments will be published in a book in 2024 to disseminate this insight widely.
This will raise awareness among European and North American policymakers about the scope and tools of Russian influence on the far right in Europe, and as such their ability to assess and respond to such risks.
About the project
The goal of this project is to show where, how and to what extent Russia is influencing far right actors in Europe, with a particular focus on racially or ethnically motivated extremists (REMVE). ICCT’s efforts are providing:
- Original evidence-based chapters that contribute to understanding of Russia’s influence on the European far-right landscape;
- Regional threat analyses, risk assessment and recommendations, and a separate chapter offering a comparative analysis and overall assessment;
- Increased understanding of the ways in which Russia supports far-right movement in Europe, with a particular attention to the risk of violent extremism.
The country-by-country assessments that ICCT is making will demonstrate what forms of support can be observed in which contexts. This will raise the awareness of policy-makers of the nature of the problem in these countries.
The overall analysis, moreover, will instil policy-makers with a more general understanding of the factors that shape Russian support. Understanding the relationship between contextual factors and the shape of Russia’s support to the far right, as well as what factors make what kind of Russian support for the far right more likely, can help policymakers assess and mitigate risk of interference.