As constitutionalists around the United States vent their frustration at what they perceive to be the slow death of their republic, the regime of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is hoping that such frustrations will lead to the dissolution of that republic, beginning with the secession of Texas. Secessionist movements which draw little support from the American media are being actively promoted by the Russian state-controlled press.
Although the event gathered very little attention in the American news media at the time, in the spring of 2015 the city of St. Petersburg played host to the International Russian Conservative Forum (IRCF), described by one account for Buzzfeed as “a conference organized by a pro-Kremlin ultranationalist party to cement far-right ties, as one participant put it, ‘from Gibraltar to Vladivostok.’ United by their hatred of Washington, the European Union, and LGBT people, about 200 far-right politicians and activists from across Europe gathered in St. Petersburg’s Holiday Inn to rail against liberal tolerance and implore Russia to lead the fight for Christian morality.” However, the non-Russian participants in the conference have been described as “the fringe of the fringe”:
Of the three members of the European Parliament there, one, Germany’s Udo Voigt, has described Adolf Hitler as a “great German statesman.” The other two hail from Greece’s Golden Dawn, whose logo is a barely disguised swastika. “It’s a bizarre lineup,” Jared Taylor, an American “racial realist,” told BuzzFeed News. “It’s the fringe of the fringe.” Speakers railed, variously, against Freemasons; the corrupting influence of Hollywood; “Nazi fascists in the EU”; a “global cabal” of “bloodsucking oligarchs”; non-white immigrants practicing “alien traditions”; “fags and dykes”; and “Zionist puppet filth.”
An article for Politico.com recently drew attention to the fact that Nathan Smith, “who styles himself the 'foreign minister' for the Texas Nationalist Movement,” was among the attendees at the IRCF. As Casey Michel wrote for Politico:
Despite roaming around in his cowboy hat, Smith managed to keep a low-key presence at the conference, which was dominated by fascists and neo-Nazis railing against Western decadence. But at least one Russian newspaper, Vzglyad, caught up with the American, noted that TNM is “hardly a marginal group,” and quoted Smith liberally on the excellent prospects for a partial breakup of the United States. Smith declared that the Texas National Movement has 250,000 supporters — including all the Texans currently serving in the U.S. Army — and they all “identify themselves first and foremost as Texans” but are being forced to remain Americans. The United States, he added, “is not a democracy, but a dictatorship.” The Kremlin’s famed troll farms took the interview and ran with it, with dozens of bots instantly tweeting about a “Free Texas.”
Anton Shekhovtsov, a researcher affiliated with the University College London, reported in March that the IRCF was organized by “the Russian fascist Rodina (Motherland) party that was founded by Russia's current Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin” and was supposed to include representatives of organizations in Bulgaria, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, and the United States. However, a number of the organizations that had originally expressed an interest in attendance withdrew because “all the other participants of the IRCF, including the Russian organiser (Rodina) are explicit fascists and neo-Nazis.”
Michel observes that “over the past 15 months there has been a sudden, bizarro uptick of Russian interest in and around the American Southwest, most notably Texas, where secessionist sentiment never seems to entirely die out (TNM’s predecessor group, the “Republic of Texas,” disbanded after secessionist militants took hostages in 1997). In a rehash of the Soviet Union’s fate, numerous Russian voices have taken to envisioning an American break-up, E Pluribus Unum in inverse — "out of one, many.” As Alex Newman recently reported for The New American, the Kremlin is actively supporting separatist movements in the United States, lobbying the United Nations for an end to U.S. “occupation” of Alaska and Hawaii by means of a “human rights” coalition. As Newman noted:
It should be greatly troubling to Americans that the Russian and Chinese governments, along with the deeply corrupt UN, are circling like vultures to exploit certain U.S. secession movements — and are even being openly asked for “assistance” by secessionist groups. The implications of the UN, Obama, Moscow, Beijing, Brasilia, and other forces exploiting indigenous peoples should be worrying to anyone who values freedom, constitutional government, private property rights, and national sovereignty. If nothing else, one thing is clear: None of those powers have the American people’s best interest at heart.
Russia’s support for fringe political parties in several European countries has been viewed by analysts as an effort both to gain influence in those countries and also further alienate them from the United States. In some cases, the attempt to win friends in foreign governments has included buying allies. Thus, for example, the National Front in France received millions of dollars in loans from Russian banks after the party leader, Marine Le Pen, publicly supported Russia’s annexation of Crimea. However, no such connections have even been alleged with regard to American groups.
As Christian Gomez reported last June for The New American, Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union is the gradually being built up to take the place of the old Soviet Union. Russia’s annexation of Crimea and covert invasion of Ukraine are aspects of building that union, as is the effort to undermine the United States. As Aleksandr Dugin, the father of modern Russian Eurasianism, declared in his essay, “Main Principles of Eurasist Policy”:
It is Russia’s interest to back the anti-American mood in Southern and Central America, using, however, a much more flexible and wider world-view and geopolitical device than Marxism. In the same channel lays [sic] the policy of priority work with anti-American political circles in Canada and Mexico. Possibly also using in this direction the lobbyist activity of the Eurasian diasporas in the US.
In light of Putin’s Eurasianist policy, Russian support for secessionist movements is far from an act of benevolence toward Texas, Alaska and Hawaii; rather, it is more likely a cynical effort to distract Americans from his own agenda.
Photo: AP Images