The United States imposed sanctions Wednesday on two backers of an “ethnically motivated violent extremist group” called the Russian Imperial Movement, or RIM, one of whom visited the United States to make connections with far-right and white nationalist groups.
The U.S. Treasury Department named the two as Stanislav Shevchuk, a Europe-based representative of RIM, who traveled to the United States in 2017 seeking connections with “extremist” groups, and Alexander Zhuchkovsky, a Russia-based supporter of RIM, who has used his Russia-based social media platform to fundraise and recruit for the group.
Since 2014, Zhuchkovsky has raised more than $3.4 million to purchase weapons and military equipment for RIM and other pro-Russian fighters in the Donbas region in Ukraine and facilitated the travel of RIM fighters to the region, the Treasury said.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Zhuchkovsky has continued using his social media accounts and online payment methods to purchase military equipment and supplies for Russian fighters carrying out the invasion and fighting in the Donbas, it added.
“The Russian Imperial Movement has sought to raise and move funds using the international financial system with the intent of building a global network of violent groups that foster extremist views and subvert democratic processes,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement.
The Treasury said it also imposed sanctions on Swede Anton Thulin for his pursuit of terrorist training even after serving his prison sentence for his 2017 attacks in Sweden, which it said showed he continues to be a terrorism threat.