The designation of the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM) as a global terrorist group is based on its responsibility in paramilitary and terrorist actions, which led to violence against innocents, and not on its ideological stance, according to the US State Department. In addition, RIM has provided paramilitary-style training to white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Europe and actively works to rally these types of groups into a common front against their perceived enemies. RIM has two training facilities in St. Petersburg, which are likely being used for woodland and urban assault, tactical weapons, and hand-to-hand combat training. In 2016, two Swedish individuals attended RIM’s training course; thereafter, they committed a series of bombings in Gothenburg, Sweden, targeting a refugee shelter, a shelter for asylum seekers, and a café, for which they were convicted in Sweden. The Swedish prosecutor credited RIM for their terrorist radicalisation and relevant training. RIM has also provided paramilitary-style training to white supremacists from Germany, Poland, and Finland.
RIM’s racism and its anti-Semitic ideology are well documented. Though not officially promoted or funded by Russian authorities, RIM has been tolerated by the Kremlin for its role in recruiting, training and sending volunteers to the Donbas war. Russian former intelligence officer Igor Girkin [a.k.a. Igor Strelkov], indicted for his responsibility in the downing of the MH17 flight in Ukraine, expressed solidarity with RIM over the designation as a terrorist organisation. Members of RIM’s paramilitary wing, the Imperial Legion, also fought in support of Russian interests in Ukraine, Syria and Libya.