About us     Activities     Announcements     Contacts 
 Lithuania
 EU/NATO
 Russia
 Other countries
 Threats
 Energetics
 Reviews of the press
 Summer Academy
 Publications















   We recommend:







   Our sponsors:



 
Other countries
 
  New Extremely Right-Wing Intellectual Circles in Russia (II)

Andreas Umland, Kiev
2013 08 16

Prokhanov’s Isborsk Club

A project that is so far less well known – although it has a similar ideology – but has a broader political appeal and may be more persistent, is the Isborsky klub,  named after the place of its first meeting, the city of Isborsk in Pskov Oblast in northwestern Russia. This relatively big intellectual circle, brought to life by the grandseigneur of Russian right-wing extremism, Prokhanov, wants to unite the “Reds” (national Communists) and the “Whites” (anti-Soviet nationalists). It is based on the Institute of Dynamic Conservatism and is apparently intended to compete with the well-known Valdai International Discussion Club of RIA-Novosti. The latter consists of foreign experts and journalists working on Eastern Europe, as well as Russian politicians, scientists, and intellectuals. Prokhanov is a member of the Valdai Club, and, for his new anti-Western Isborsk Club, he copied Valdai’s format of a geographical term as a name, the versatile composition of its membership, and the practice of large meetings outside Moscow.

Similar names appear in Prokhanov’s club and in the Anti-Orange Committee; for example, Dugin, Leontiev, Starikov, and Shevchenko. The Isborsk Club’s spectrum of members is, however, more wide-spread and includes many other prominent anti-Western publicists, such as Sergei Glaziev, Leonid Ivashov, Nataliya Narochnitskaya, Archimandrite Tikhon (a.k.a. Shevkunov), Yuri Polyakov, and Mikhail Khazin. The group’s connection to the Kremlin may be even closer than in the case of Kuginyan’s committee. This was illustrated, for example, with the participation of the Russian Minister for Culture, Vladimir Medinsky, mostly known for allegations of plagiarism in his doctoral dissertation, in the founding meeting of the club in Isborsk. Prokhanov’s club seems to be well-funded and has so far held meetings in the cities of Khimki, Yekaterinburg, and Ulyanovsk. The Isborsk Club publishes an illustrated journal of the same name, with a run of 999 copies.

Geidar Dzhemal’s Florian Geyer Club

The most astonishing new foundation in the extreme right-wing intellectual milieu, however, is a small circle, which calls itself Conceptual Club “Florian Geyer”  and was founded on 22 September 2011. Led by the notorious Islamist and avowed anti-Western activist Geidar Dzhemal, the group uses the name of a figure from the German Peasants’ War of the 16th century. The historical figure Geyer is entirely unknown in Russia, and unfamiliar even to many Germans. The name “Florian Geyer”, however, is well known among experts on contemporary European history, as the byname of the Third Reich’s 8th SS Cavalry Division, which was deployed on the Eastern front in 1943-44.

Dzhemal, Dugin and Shevchenko, the founders of the Florian Geyer Club, claim to be referring to the former peasant warrior and not to the SS division. Dugin’s past in particular, however, indicates that the club’s founders are probably familiar with the use of the name in the Third Reich which indicates that the twofold historical significance of “Florian Geyer” is actually intended. From 1980 to 1990, Dzhemal and Dugin were members of a small occult circle in Moscow that called itself the “Black Order of the SS”. During the 1990s, Dugin, both under his pseudonym “Aleksandr Shternberg” and under his own name, repeatedly expressed support for sympathizers, members, and divisions of the SS, for example the Institut “Ahnenerbe” (Institute “Ancestral Heritage”) of the SS, the Italian fascist theorist and admirer of the Waffen-SS Julius Evola, the SS-Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, and the SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich (the initial organizer of the Holocaust).

The most astonishing new foundation in the extreme right-wing intellectual milieu, however, is a small circle, which calls itself Conceptual Club “Florian Geyer”  and was founded on 22 September 2011. Led by the notorious Islamist and avowed anti-Western activist Geidar Dzhemal, the group uses the name of a figure from the German Peasants’ War of the 16th century. The historical figure Geyer is entirely unknown in Russia, and unfamiliar even to many Germans. The name “Florian Geyer”, however, is well known among experts on contemporary European history, as the byname of the Third Reich’s 8th SS Cavalry Division, which was deployed on the Eastern front in 1943-44. Dzhemal, Dugin and Shevchenko, the founders of the Florian Geyer Club, claim to be referring to the former peasant warrior and not to the SS division. Dugin’s past in particular, however, indicates that the club’s founders are probably familiar with the use of the name in the Third Reich which indicates that the twofold historical significance of “Florian Geyer” is actually intended. From 1980 to 1990, Dzhemal and Dugin were members of a small occult circle in Moscow that called itself the “Black Order of the SS”. During the 1990s, Dugin, both under his pseudonym “Aleksandr Shternberg” and under his own name, repeatedly expressed support for sympathizers, members, and divisions of the SS, for example the Institut “Ahnenerbe” (Institute “Ancestral Heritage”) of the SS, the Italian fascist theorist and admirer of the Waffen-SS Julius Evola, the SS-Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, and the SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich (the initial organizer of the Holocaust).

The above-mentioned TV host Shevchenko – probably the best-known, to the larger Russian public, among the three founders – did not concede that the club’s title “Florian Geyer” referred to the SS division of the same name. However, in his opening speech for the foundation of the circle, he admitted: “This name was also used by those German National Socialists (the left wing), who were linked to National Bolshevism. And the Florian Geyer song, which the young generation is familiar with from the work of the group Rammstein, was very popular with those left- and right-wing circles that adopted an anti-elite and anti-liberal stance”.  Thus, it is all the more astonishing that – in addition to several right-wing extremists – some well-known Russian intellectuals were participating in the club’s round-table-talks who do not fit this context, among them historian Igor Chubais, legal scholar Mark Feygin, and sociologist Boris Kagarlitsky. It is also worth noting that, at the meetings of the club, anti-American activists from abroad were also invited to speak, including, for instance, the notorious Italian “traditionalist” Claudio Mutti.

Another participant in the club worth mentioning is the infamous political writer Vladimir Kucherenko, better known under his pseudonym “Maksim Kalashnikov”, who is also a member of the Isborsk Club. Like Dugin, he sympathizes with aspects of National Socialism and also develops extravagant flights of political fantasy in his publications. In the book “Onwards to an USSR-2” (2003), which had a large print run, for example, Kucherenko-Kalashnikov speculates about a future “neuro-world” that would be a “structure” combining the characteristics “of a church, a giant media conglomerate, and a financial empire” that is “equipped with a secret service”.

As in the case of the Anti-Orange Committee, despite its continued internet presence, it is unclear whether the club is still active. The last meeting documented on the Florian Geyer club’s website took place in June 2012.

Are Russian anti-Western activists on the rise?

Since the announcement of Putin’s third presidency in September 2011, a restructuring of the ultra-nationalist intellectual milieu has been underway in which the Isborsk Club plays the leading role. Extreme right-wing publicists comment unfavorably and, sometimes, hysterically on today’s situation in Russia. They frequently conjure up apocalyptical scenarios for the future of their country and the world. Notwithstanding their dubious background, questionable academic credentials and tarnished reputation, they can act freely, often appear on governmental television, and are regarded with favor by the Kremlin, if not purposefully promoted. Should these tendencies continue, the already critical Russian public opinion towards the US will deteriorate even more, and the alienation between Russia and the West will increase further.

Translated by Christopher Findlay

Recommended further reading

Laruelle, Marlene (2009), “Inside and Around the Kremlin’s Black Box: The New Nationalist Think Tanks in Russia,” Institute for Security and Development Policy Stockholm Papers Series, October. Inside and Around the Kremlin's Black Box 

Popescu, Nico (2012), “The Strange Alliance of Democrats and Nationalists,” Journal of Democracy, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 46-54. Journal of Democracy 

Satter, David (2012), “The Threat of Russian Nationalism,” FPRI E-Notes, April. The Threat of Russian Nationalism 

Umland, Andreas (2007), “Post-Soviet ‘Uncivil Society’ and the Rise of Aleksandr Dugin: A Case Study of the Extraparliamentary Radical Right in Contemporary Russia.” University of Cambridge. Post-Soviet Uncivil Society and the Rise of Aleksandr Dugin...  

Umland, Andreas (2009), “Restauratives versus revolutionäres imperiales Denken im Elitendiskurs des postsowjetischen Rußlands: Eine spektralanalytische Interpretation der antiwestlichen Wende in der Putinschen Außenpolitik,” Forum für osteuropäische Ideen- und Zeitgeschichte, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 101-125. Restauratives versus revolutionares imperiales Denken im Elitendiskurs... 

First published in the Zurich web journal Russian Analytical Digest, no. 135, 8 August 2013.

Copyright: it is obligatory to indicate www.geopolitika.lt as a source in reprinting or otherwise using www.geopolitika.lt material.


   Print version
 
  Article has no comments
 
Name:
E-mail:
Comment:


Enter code:  

Use of juvenile, nonsensical and vulgar language prohibited.
 
 
Search




Ukraine has filed a lawsuit against Russia in the International Court of Justice for terrorism and racism

2017 01 19


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine filed a lawsuit in the UN International Court of Justice against Russia within the framework of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, says the site of the Foreign Minister. This is done on the instructions of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, issued on 16 January.


National Armed Forces (NAF) of Latvia will deploy additional military units in three cities (1)

2017 01 18


For effective complex defence of Latvia, the establishment of a permanent division of the National Armed Forces has started in Latgale, reported the official website of the Ministry of Defence.

 



In Lithuania the amount of 110 thousand Euros was collected at a concert in support of the ATO fighters and residents of Donbass

2017 01 17


On 13 January a concert "Together to the victory" was held in Lithuania, where the audience decided to support Ukraine's defence and donated 110 thousand Euros.

 



Belarus has established a visa-free regime for citizens of 80 countries

2017 01 10


Alexander Lukashenko on 9 January signed a decree № 8 "On the establishment of visa-free entry and exit of foreign nationals." The document establishes visa-free entry to Belarus for a period not exceeding 5 days at the entrance through the checkpoint "National Airport Minsk" for citizens of 80 countries, - reported the press service of the President of Belarus.




The European Parliament approved the recall of visas for citizens of Ukraine and Georgia

2016 12 19


 

The European Parliament approved the granting of a visa-free regime for short-term trips to the citizens of Ukraine and Georgia, RIA Novosti reported.

 


 

Copyright: it is obligatory to indicate www.geopolitika.lt as a source in reprinting or otherwise using www.geopolitika.lt material!

© 2005-2017 Geopolitiniø Studijø Centras