The following reports are now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Domestic Terrorism Threat Monitor (DTTM). For DTTM subscription information, click here.
On March 15, 2022, the "Russian Imperial Movement" (RIM), which the U.S. government has designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entity, posted on VK a report on a rally in support of Russia's invasion of Ukraine that took place in Belgrade, Serbia. The report highlighted the group's ties to neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements in Serbia, as well as illuminating the internal struggles within these groups over Serbian politics, elections, and indeed the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Rally In Belgrade
The post on the RIM VK group stated that on March 13 a car-based rally was held in support of Russia at the initiative of Damnian Knezevic, the leader of the white supremacist "People's Patrol" movement. According to the post over 100 cars with flags of Russia, the Russian Empire, Novorossia, DPR, LPR, Belarus, Serbia, and the Eastern Roman Empire, as well as stickers with the letter "Z" – denoting support for the Russian military – engaged in the rally. The post alleged that the rally happened despite the best efforts of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and various pro-Western NGOs to prevent it.
The post published by "RIM" VK group titled "Russian Banners Fly Over Belgrade"
The post also states that the "Serbian Action" movement, which is a Serbian group affiliated with "RIM," also participated in the rally, along with war veterans, the pro-Kremlin "Nashi" movement, the neo-Nazi "Liberation" movement, and ultranationalist presidential candidate Mladjan Djordjevic.
The photo in the post depicts Serbian presidential candidate Mladjan Djordjevic carrying the Russian Imperial flag.
The post read: "The car rally successfully made its way through Belgrade, reaching at the end the Russian embassy, where the Serbian people once again loudly expressed their support."
The videos enclosed to the post depict the car rally and people chanting "Serbians and Russians are brothers for centuries."
A video of the rally can be watched HERE or below:
Presidential Election Struggle
In addition, the post condemned the "false nationalists and far-right Serbians, primarily those from the "Srpska Desnitsa [Serbian Right Hand]" movement headed by Misha Vatsich, which conducted its own pro-Russian rally on March 13 "in order to gain popularity before the elections." The post argues that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has no control over "true Serbian nationalists and patriots" and, thus, orchestrated the "false" right's rally through his "puppet," Misha Vatsich. The "People's Patrol" movement stresses that it has no affiliation with Serbian Right Hand movement or the country's president, Aleksandar Vucic.
On March 17, it became known that Misha Vatsich promised amnesty, in the event that he wins the presidential elections, to Serbian volunteers who go to fight on the Russian side in Russo-Ukrainian conflict.