CTEC published original research investigating the Russian Imperial Movement, an ultranationalist and far-right extremist group that was recently sanctioned as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the United States government. Connor Michelotti, CTEC researcher and MIIS graduate student, explored RIM’s Russian-language activity on social media, documenting its efforts to spread COVID-19 disinformation as well as hate toward LGBTQ and ethnic communities. 

In addition to noting RIM’s endorsement and amplification of conspiracy theories about the coronavirus pandemic, CTEC’s research also outlines RIM’s paramilitary activities, such as training white supremacists in military skills as well as supporting violent action outside of Russia, especially against Ukraine.

The brief can be seen below. Follow CTEC on Twitter @CTECMIIS for more from CTEC’s researchers on how extremist groups are exploiting and manipulating narratives about the pandemic to serve their ends.