04/07/2022

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US imposes terrorist designation on man tied to Russian White supremacist group


The organization and three of its leaders were classified as terrorists in 2020 by the US State Department — the first time in history the agency had designated a White supremacist group as such.

On Wednesday, the State Department announced it was designating Anton Thulin as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) “for posing a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism.”

Thulin, a Swedish national, traveled to Russia in 2016 “and received paramilitary training from RIM, including in bomb-making,” according to a statement from State Department spokesperson Ned Price. He was convicted by a Swedish court in 2017 and sentenced to 22 months in prison “in connection with the detection of a powerful homemade bomb near a refugee residential center in Gothenburg, Sweden,” Price said.

According to the State Department, “after serving his sentence, Thulin sought to receive additional paramilitary training in Poland, before he was expelled by Polish authorities who cited the ‘serious, real, and current threat to security and public order’ he posed.”

“The United States is designating Anton Thulin because his continued pursuit of terrorist training, even after serving his prison sentence for his role in the 2017 attack in Sweden, demonstrates that he continues to pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism,” the department said.

The terrorist designations deny Thulin access to the US financial system, with the intention of making it more difficult to move money through the international system and fund their efforts.

The US Treasury also slapped sanctions on European-based RIM member Stanislav Shevchuk and Russian-based supporter Alexander Zhuchkovsky. Shevchuk was sanctioned “for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, RIM;” Zhuchkovsky, “for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, RIM.”

According to the Treasury statement, Shevchuk “travelled to the United States in 2017 with the objective of establishing connections between RIM and far-right extremist and white nationalist groups.”

“He has also spoken on behalf of RIM at rallies in Europe and advocated publicly for the group throughout Europe as recently as 2019,” it said.

Zhuchkovsky “has repeatedly used his account on Russia-based social media platform VK, formerly known as VKontakte, to fundraise and recruit for RIM,” the statement said.

“Since 2014, Zhuchkovsky has raised over 200 million rubles to purchase weapons and military equipment for RIM and other pro-Russian fighters in the Donbas in Ukraine and has facilitated the travel of RIM fighters to the region,” it continued. “Since Russia began its unprovoked war against Ukraine in February 2022, Zhuchkovsky has continued using his social media accounts and online payment methods to purchase military equipment and supplies for Russian fighters carrying out the invasion of Ukraine and continued fighting in the Donbas Region.”

“Zhuchkovsky has also taught at RIM’s Partizan training center in St. Petersburg, Russia, where participants receive training to conduct acts of terrorism and violence,” it added.

Quoted from Various Sources

Published for: WATPFC