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date: 30 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter introduces some basic contours of Russia’s contemporary radical right scene. It distinguishes between systemic and non-systemic ultra-nationalist groups in Putin’s Russia, the principal difference being the groups’ and individual actors’ proximity and clarity of connections to the crypto-authoritarian regime. The systemic component consists of political groups, authors, and activists that are allowed or encouraged to participate in official mass media and public life. Main actors of the mainstream radical right include Vladimir Zhirinovskii’s Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia and organizations using the “Rodina” (Motherland) label. Major expressions of government-supported Russian “uncivil society” and anti-democratic intellectual discourse include the writings of the far right political thinkers Lev Gumilev and Aleksandr Dugin. Manifestations of the non-systemic component of Russia’s extreme right include skinheads and their use of ethnic violence, political movements such as the Movement Against Illegal Immigration, other descendants of the “Pamiat” (Memory) organization in the 1980s, and their activities.

Keywords: Russia, radical right, radicalism, right-wing movements, nationalist groups, Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia, extreme right, ethnic violence, Movement Against Illegal Immigration

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