SARFAN Fans! Welcome to the latest entry in our Profiles of Hate series where we give a brief overview of some of the most notorious individuals committing atrocities under the banner of their hateful ideologies and fully enabled by Russia and it’s government, something we hope to stop with the help of you guys and all our combined efforts. As always we continue to welcome correspondence from the SARFAN community in highlighting other individuals of this nature so that we can continue shining a light on this terrible secret that the international community seems to ignore or brush aside. Without further adieu, let us introduce you to Aleksandr Barkashov.
Barkashov, a lifetime Russian neo-nazi, created the Russian National Unity Movement (RNU) after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. His group was responsible for physical attacks on Muslims, Jews, Central Asian migrant workers, and US service members in Russia. Like Milchakov and Petrovsky, Barkashov organized a private military group led by his son and sent it to eastern Ukraine in 2014 and 2015. In a rare move by the Russian Justice Ministry in 2018, they called out the RNU as an extremist organization for its use of neo-Nazi iconography. The RNU responded by claiming its use of the swastika was actually an ancient Orthodox Christian symbol, meaning the RNU was not an extremist organization. The Justice Ministry did not close down the RNU, and as we’ve seen with Milchakov and Petrovsky, they appear to have been coopted by the Russian government giving them further access to neo-Nazi and other far-right extremist groups, possibly for further use in conflicts overseas as they leverage more of their mercenary armies to achieve their ruthless goals.
While Barkashov himself is a notorious individual, we hope to have a dive into the RNU itself, which might kick off another series, perhaps Organizations of Hate? We hope you all can help us in this endeavor as well! Any further information you all have is always welcome and we encourage you to reach out to us so that we can put something together. As always, stay informed, be safe, and if you have any ideas for articles in the future, please reach out!