Numerous Russian right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis apparently joined Russia’s attack on Ukraine. This is reported by the “Spiegel” with reference to a confidential report by the Federal Intelligence Service (BND). The seven-page document was sent to several federal ministries the week before last.

According to the BND, the “Russian Imperial League” and the group “Rusich” are fighting at least “two groups with right-wing extremist sentiment” against the Ukrainian army. In addition, the Russian government is using at least one right-wing extremist “individual” for its own purposes, the “Spiegel” further quotes from the report. The cooperation with these groups leads “the alleged reason for war, the so-called ‘denazification’ of Ukraine, to absurdity,” write the analysts of the German foreign intelligence service.

The document gives no information about the number of right-wing extremist fighters. However, the BND report names groups and units.

The “Russian Imperial Legion” (RIL), the paramilitary arm of the right-wing extremist group “Russian Imperial Movements”, has therefore already intervened in the fighting. The group had already fought on the Russian side in Donbass, Ukraine, in 2014 and 2015.

Just a day after the Russian attack on Ukraine on February 24, RIL boss Denis Gariejew wrote on Telegram: “There is no doubt that we are in favor of liquidating the separatist entity Ukraine.” to fight Ukraine. According to the BND document, fighters with military experience and graduates of the organization’s training center “Partizan” in St. Petersburg were advertised. It is unclear “whether this decision was made at the request of or in consultation with the Russian leadership,” says the BND report. According to the information, 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 have been involved in the fighting on Ukrainian territory since the beginning of April at the latest. In many places it is attributed to the notorious Russian mercenary group Wagner and was also deployed in Donbass in 2014 and 2015. According to the BND, “Rusich” was “known for particular brutality” at the time. The group had a reputation for “never taking prisoners.” One of the two “Rusich” founders is considered a sadist.

According to their report, the BND analysts attached pictures of the “Rusich” founders Alexej M. and Jan P. to prove the right-wing extremist background of the organization: One picture shows M. with a swastika flag, another shows P .in front of a campfire with a Hitler salute.