Introduction & Updates in National Landscape
The war in Ukraine is now in its tenth month. On 11 November, Russian troops left Kherson and withdrew from the right bank of the Dnieper. It was the only regional center captured by Russia since 24 February. Kherson was also declared part of the Russian Federation. Against this backdrop, the G20 summit was held in Indonesia in mid-November. Russia’s actions in Ukraine and its promises to use “all available means” to protect its interests were not supported at the summit.
On the evening of 15 November 2022, an explosion occurred in Poland near the Ukrainian border near the village of Przewodów, killing two people during a Russian missile attack on Ukraine. Poland is a NATO member, and a Russian attack on its territory could have triggered a military response under the provisions of the mutual self-defense treaty. Officials in Poland and the European Union later said they believed the single missile fired by Ukrainian forces went off course and landed in Poland.
Meanwhile, the situation on the front remains difficult for the Russian side, despite regular attempts to destroy Ukrainian infrastructure in the rear with missile strikes and periodic attacks on Ukrainian positions in Donbas. The Crimean authorities have started building fortifications to protect the peninsula. The Russian side tried to outbid the initiative in the information confrontation as well but without much success. The Russian Defence Ministry commented on a video circulated on social media showing the alleged execution of surrendered Russian soldiers in Makeyevka. The Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal investigation into the “mass shooting of captive Russian servicemen by Ukrainian representatives,” and the head of the Russian Human Rights Council, Valeriy Fadeyev, promised to send the videos to international organizations.
According to the latest Rosstat data, one in eight Russians lives below the poverty line, while the income of 17.6 million people (12.1%) does not exceed 14 thousand roubles a month. Amidst the stress of the military conflict in Ukraine, sanctions, and growing economic uncertainty, asocial behavior is on the rise. The Russian Interior Ministry has recorded a sharp increase in crimes involving firearms, ammunition, and explosives.
Russian society does not accept the intense politicization now being offered to it, and most Russians are trying to maintain their usual format of apoliticism. Some sources report that, according to data obtained by the Kremlin from surveys conducted in a number of regions at the request of the presidential administration, Russians have fallen into apathy, as they see no prospects for themselves or for the country. The most negative attitude is caused by mobilization and economic difficulties due to sanctions. However, the Kremlin does not believe that all this discontent will develop into large-scale protests. However, the situation could change if the authorities announce a new phase of mobilization in one form or another. In essence, society is restoring its usual structure of thinking, which implies that the majority of Russians are detached from the political agenda.
Now, according to the Levada survey center, 88% of respondents are concerned about events in Ukraine, and the vast majority (70-80%) regularly follow developments in Ukraine. However, focus groups over the last month show that the majority prefer to follow events in the SWE in little detail and receive only the most important and/or superficial general information. There has also been an increase in the number of citizens who generally try to distance themselves from the news agenda and concentrate on their daily lives.
Transnational Activities & Group Interactions
The main holiday for all Russian far-right activists, People’s Unity Day on 4 November, during which they usually hold the traditional Russian march, went unnoticed, and the march did not actually take place anywhere. Some anonymous groups offered to hold the Russian march in the format of informal meetings, but in the end, only a few people showed up. For example, The Nationalist Movement (DN)published a photograph on its Telegram channel showing six men sitting at a table in a café in St Petersburg. The action in Moscow gathered as many as ten people under the slogans: Time to unite; Nationalists unite today – Russian national state tomorrow; For Russia without Putin, for peace without Russophobia. In the end, however, the far-right reported the establishment of Russian Soviets in Moscow and St Petersburg.
The opposition online publication Meduza has published two exclusives on far-right politics in Russia. It is alleged that the far-right philosopher Alexander Dugin has been invited to the Kremlin more often since the murder of his daughter. Meduza also published a story that businessman and Wagner PMC founder Yevgeny Prigozhin, close to Putin, would allegedly create his own conservative movement, which would become a party. Prigozhin himself denied this.
The nationalists have also limited themselves to symbolic posts on social media on Memorial Day for Yuri Budanov 24 November, the Russian colonel convicted of war crimes in Chechnya.
On 19 November in Belgrade, Serbian supporters of the International Movement “RUSOV” from the organization “Let’s not betray Kosovo and Metohija” held an event commemorating the 102nd anniversary of the exodus of the Russian (White) Army from Crimea in November 1920, thus supporting the action of companions from Sevastopol. Those gathered laid white flowers on the tomb of General Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel, which is located in the Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity, and lit candles.
On 11 November in Poland, in Krakow, near the majestic Krak mound, a public rally was held against the “Russophobic policies of the Polish government,” in which the supporters of the International Movement “RUSOV” from the “Zadruzni Krag” organization also took an active part. True Polish nationalists want friendship, not enmity, with the Russian people.
On 29 October, associates of the International Movement “RUSOV” from the Polish organization “Zadruzni Krag” gathered at a shooting range in Podlaskie Voivodeship, where they held practice shootings, discussed pressing issues and conveyed their fraternal support to Russia, Belarus, and Serbia. The placard they held read: “Crimea – Russia” and “Kosovo – Serbia.”
Serbian nationalists handed over a 600-metre-long Russian-Serbian flag. The Russian Imperial Movement published a video of the flag being carried through St Petersburg.
Russian missiles had crossed into Poland, killing 2 (later AP corrected this line) https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-war-zelenskyy-kherson-9202c032cf3a5c22761ee71b52ff9d52
Ukraine says half its energy system crippled by Russian attacks, Kyiv could ‘shutdown’
Russia builds fortifications in Crimea https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/5670115
Defence Ministry reports execution of Russian POWs by UAF https://www.rbc.ru/politics/18/11/2022/637790ae9a7947b76850c516
Report on the Social and Economic Situation of Russia https://rosstat.gov.ru/compendium/document/50801
There has been an almost 30% increase in gun crime in Russia https://www.rbc.ru/society/23/11/2022/637ccfa59a79478ef249f44d
“Indifference and apathy. Leave us alone. Stay away from us” https://meduza.io/feature/2022/11/22/ravnodushie-i-apatiya-otstante-ot-nas-ne-lezte-k-nam
Telegram-channel of The Nationalist Movement (DN) https://t.me/nationalism3000/2395
Telegram-channel Russian March https://t.me/rusmarsh/5296
Russian-Slavic Unification and Revival (RUSOV) VK post https://vk.com/dvizhenie.rusov?w=wall-49804789_52320
Russian Imperial Movement https://vk.com/rus_imperia?w=wall-3560737_250101