Russian President Putin has repeatedly justified the invasion of Ukraine by wanting to "denazify" the country. In fact, according to one report, numerous right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis are fighting for the Russian troops.
According to a confidential report by the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), numerous Russian right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis are fighting on the side of Russia against Ukraine. According to the seven-page document, the "Russian Imperial League" and the group "Rusich" are "at least two groups with right-wing extremist sentiment" fighting against the Ukrainian army, as the "Spiegel" reports, citing the paper. In addition, Moscow uses at least one right-wing extremist "individual for its own purposes". Cooperation with these groups "reduces ad absurdum the alleged reason for war, the so-called 'denazification' of Ukraine," write the analysts.
The document does not contain any information about the number of right-wing extremist fighters. However, groupings and units are named. Accordingly, the "Russian Imperial Legion" (RIL), the paramilitary arm of the right-wing extremist group "Russian Imperial Movements", has already intervened in the fighting. After the group had already fought on the Russian side in Ukraine's Donbass in 2014 and 2015, RIL boss Denis Garieyev wrote on Telegram just a day after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022: "There is no doubt that we are talking for the liquidation of the separatist entity Ukraine."
As the BND further reports, Gariyev's deputy died in fighting in Ukraine. Gariyev himself was flown out injured, and at least two other right-wing extremists were seriously wounded.
The group "Rusich" is also said to be involved in the fighting. In many places it is attributed to the notorious Russian mercenary group "Wagner" and was also deployed in Donbass in 2014 and 2015. "Rusich" is said to have become part of the combat operations on Ukrainian territory by the beginning of April at the latest.