Russia has tried to claim that Ukraine was filled with neo-Nazis abusing and killing Russian-speaking populations in their territory as the rationale for their invasion of Ukraine. One of their main examples of this is the Azov Batallion, a far-right, neo-Nazi military regiment who are currently holding out in the besieged city of Mariupol. In the last election, Azov candidates received just 2% of the vote and did not win a single seat in Ukraine’s Parliament. Bellingcat has discovered that Russia has its own far-right group supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.

The Russian group, known as the “Male State,” is a group of Russian homophobes, sexists, and racists that have been making noise on Russian social media and Telegram about their support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Particularly, they support all the atrocities that come with the war.

The group has tens of thousands of members who attack anything they see that poses a threat to their motherland, Russia. They collectively embrace a far-right ideology that they describe as “national patriarchy.” The Male State is notorious for trolling, harassing, threatening, and inciting violence against people who oppose their group and their views, particularly women.

Flag of the Male State (Wikimedia Commons). Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_the_Male_State.svg
Flag of the Male State (Ivan Ch RUCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Despite being banned from the Russian social media platform Vkontakte in 2020 and being marked an extremist group in 2021, they have managed to retain a strong following as its members moved over to other channels like Telegram to spread its message of hatred.