Report: Russian paramilitary forces in the US?
PR dla Zagranicy
The Kremlin has set up an intricate network of pro-Russian activists, including paramilitary groups, in the United States, working under the cover of diplomatic posts, schools and churches, according to a report by the slavicsac.com website.
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“What do the GRU special forces, Russian officers and Cossack militiamen do in America?” the website asks in its report.
It says that staff at Russian consulates in America are busy building a network of pro-Russian youth militias across the nation.
All this is happening at a time when Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent, is exchanging friendly handshakes with US leader Donald Trump, according to the report.
The offensive appears to emulate Russian security service operations on the eve of Moscow’s invasion of the Donbass region of Ukraine, when "little green men" from Russia appeared in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine, the report says.
The Kremlin's influence can be clearly felt in America, according to the slavicsac.com writer, with well-organised groups linked to Russia springing up throughout the nation. These include foundations, schools, libraries and events such as literary contests, cultural evenings and sports games held under the auspices of the Russian embassy.
Most of these organisations are directly influenced by Russian authorities and many have been set up and are funded by the Russian embassy, consulates and other diplomatic establishments in the United States, the report says.
Popular Russian-themed events in America include patriotic concerts and public celebrations of milestones such as the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, in addition to International Women's Day and even Soviet Army Day, slavicsac.com says.
It adds that, while all these holidays have nothing to do with American culture and statehood, they have grown popular among the country’s Russian-speaking diaspora.
Pro-Russian "boot camps" in California
The website also mentions pro-Russian paramilitary "boot camps" for children that it says are organised every now and then in the US state of California and possibly other locations in America.
According to the report, one Orthodox parish in Sacramento has organised a "young fighter's course" that included firearm handling, knife throwing skills, military drills and patriotic training.
The report writer, Ruslan Gurzhiy, says he has managed to visit one such camp operated by the Bethany Slavic Missionary Church not far from the city of Marysville in northern California. (str/pk)